Freemasonry Today - Autumn 2014 - Issue 27

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e have recently completed another readership survey about Freemasonry Today, which shows encouraging results supporting its editorial approach and philosophy. Let me give you some examples of those interesting results. Three quarters of readers think the magazine is excellent, with seventy-five per cent believing that Freemasonry Today is a forwardlooking publication, and seventy-three per cent agreeing that it helps change perceptions about Freemasons for the better. Eighty-four per cent say the magazine shows us in a modern light and portrays the openness of the United Grand Lodge of England. More than half our readers have encouraged friends and family to read the magazine, while three quarters have discussed an article with them. Forty-four per cent of readers say their wives and partners read Freemasonry Today with eighty-nine per cent being more positive about the Craft after doing so. We have had fantastic feedback from our new DVD, What’s It All About? The film has been shown successfully at county shows and received more than 30,000 views on YouTube. In this issue of the magazine, you will find myriad examples of what our members enjoy about the Craft – for some it’s supporting charity, while others are looking to find a greater understanding of themselves.

We follow a group of Welsh lodges as they trek around the coastline to support a local charity. While the money raised will help fund a state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Cardiff, one of the masons on the walk admits that the reward of making lifelong friendships is what drives him to take part in these activities. For Frank Lee, a volunteer at a local RMBI care home, his Freemasonry is about looking after the elderly and doing what he can to help them. Our report on the Association of Friends scheme explains why Frank counts many of the James Terry Court residents as friends, as they see him as one of the family. Our feature on Ian Mcilquham profiles a Freemason who received crucial assistance when he needed it most. His local lodge and the MSF were on hand to give financial and pastoral support following Ian’s diagnosis with prostate cancer. His story is not unique. Since 2005, local masonic lodges have raised £476,000 for Prostate Cancer UK in a bid not only to raise awareness, but also to improve ways of treating the condition. The fact that Freemasonry can encompass all these things (and more) reveals an organisation that has a great deal to offer to both existing members and potential recruits. Nigel Brown Grand Secretary

‘Eighty-four per cent of readers say the magazine shows Freemasons in a modern light and portrays the openness of the United Grand Lodge of England.’



The Board of Grand Lodge Publications Ray Reed, Robin Furber, Graham Rudd Publishing Director Nigel Brown Editorial Panel Karen Haigh, John Hamill, Susan Henderson, John Jackson, Siobhan McCarthy Editor Luke Turton Published by August Media Ltd for The United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Editorial Freemasonry Today, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ Advertising contact Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE Mark Toland 020 3283 4056 Circulation 0844 879 4961 Masonic enquiries 020 7831 9811 Printed by Wyndeham Roche © Grand Lodge Publications Ltd 2014. The opinions herein are those of the authors or persons interviewed only and do not reflect the views of Grand Lodge Publications Ltd, the United Grand Lodge of England or August Media Ltd.





The latest masonic news from around the country



Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes explains why masonic ritual needs to involve a proper understanding of what’s being said rather than simply reciting the words




Rev Dr John Railton explores the soldier’s origins



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How Freemasons are helping out around the UK




As the tercentenary of Freemasonry approaches, the newly formed Membership Focus Group considers how best to attract members and discusses why the strategy for the future of the Craft must be a collaborative effort


How Matthew Flinders named Australia, by Kevin Gest


Robin Furber explains why The Masonic Mutual wants to offer better value in the insurance market




New Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton talks to Luke Turton about working as London’s Lord Mayor and what he hopes to achieve in his role



Ian Mcilquham was diagnosed with prostate cancer but thanks to crucial financial support provided by the MSF, he’s on the road to a full recovery, writes Andrew Gimson

Each year, three hundred and fifty Freemasons volunteer at RMBI care homes across the UK, reports Tabby Kinder

Meet the members of the Welsh lodges who united for a sixty-day trek to support a children’s hospital







How the tolerant and open-minded Duke of Sussex played a pivotal role in shaping modern Freemasonry

Charles Grace has been instrumental in the restoration of the Grand Temple pipe organ at Freemasons’ Hall. Sarah Holmes finds out how the project is progressing

Cover image: Laurie Fletcher This page: Master Fellows of Trinity College Cambridge, Rhian Ap Gruffydd, Laurie Fletcher, Tim E White, Mary Evans Picture Library, Alun Callender


How the outbreak of WWI affected the Craft in England

Nigel Brown welcomes you to the autumn issue


An extensive photographic collection adds another interesting perspective on the Craft and its members


Your opinions on the world of Freemasonry



Director of Special Projects John Hamill calls for a national scheme to record how the Craft helped during WWII



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

DUKE OPENS MASONIC BERTH AT CHELSEA PENSIONERS’ HOME Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea to open a newly refurbished berth funded by a £50,000 donation from the Grand Charity made in 2009. This grant was approved by the Grand Charity in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the installation of the Duke as the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, who also serves as Grand President of the Grand Charity. The Duke opened the berth prior to taking part in the Chelsea Pensioners’ 322nd annual Founder’s Day Parade on 5 June as Reviewing Officer – an event that commemorates the founding of the Royal Hospital by King Charles II in 1682. ‘I was most interested to learn of the enormous efforts made to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care,’ said the Duke. ‘Most impressive are the new berths in the Long Wards, which now enable In-Pensioners [fulltime residents] to enjoy accommodation that’s been built to the highest modern specifications, and yet remains in keeping with its historic surroundings.’ The Chelsea Pensioner who will reside in the ‘Freemasons’ berth’ is 77-year-old Gordon ‘Sandy’ Sanders. ‘I’ve been moved from the 17th to the 21st century,’ he said. ‘My new accommodation is nothing short of fantastic!’ Freemasons have contributed to the Royal Hospital Chelsea charity over a number of years, including donations for the recently opened Margaret Thatcher Infirmary, which provides 24-hour nursing care.

Left: HRH The Duke of Kent with ‘Sandy’ Sanders

‘I was most interested to learn of the enormous efforts made to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care.’ Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent 6


SPRING CLEAN SUCCESS Porthcawl masons and brethren from the South Wales Province organised a two-day ‘spring clean’ in association with Keep Wales Tidy, helping to maintain the award-winning Blue Flag beach of Rest Bay as well as further along the coast to nearby Pink Bay. With grandparents and grandchildren turning out in support, more than 180 bags of rubbish were disposed of – while the grounds team at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club provided a tractor and equipment to help remove larger objects. The event was organised by Dilwyn Thomas and Peter Tayler.

Plenty of help for the big clean-up

CLASSIC CARS AND BACON BUTTIES The Masonic Classic Vehicle Club held one of its Sunday Breakfast Meets at the restaurant Zest at Lime Square, near Reading, involving a varied collection of 20 vehicles and their owners. Coffee and bacon butties made this an enjoyable, informal morning gathering with advance publicity attracting members of the public. Among the vehicles on show were Jaguars, MGs, Bentleys, Triumphs and a few motorcycles. There was also a tiny Subaru 360 rally car, one of only three in the UK.

An eye-catching C-Type Jaguar

Shown (l to r): Lincolnshire Deputy PGM John Hockin; Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence; Dimas Pestana; Larry Riches of Lancaster Lodge, No. 9413; RMTGB President Mike Woodcock; and Richard Barrett


A BIRD IN THE HAND The Devon branch of the Masonic Fishing Charity organised a day’s fishing at Blakewell’s Fishery near Barnstaple for six boys who are supported by Little Bridge House Children’s Hospice in south-west Devon. The youngsters were treated to a birds of prey display by Martin Simkins and Maurice Jones from North Devon Falconry. Funds for the day’s outing were provided by Lodge of Harmony, No. 372, of Budleigh. Above: Martin Simkins and guest with Bengal eagle owl, Charlotte

LISBON TO LINCOLN IN A MODEL-T Freemason Larry Riches has raised more than £5,000 for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and Prostate Cancer UK by driving a 100-year-old Model-T Ford from Lisbon to Lincoln. Together with co-drivers Richard Barrett and Dimas Pestana, Larry travelled the 2,000km journey over 10 days in support of the two charities. During the final leg of the epic journey, the 1914 Model–T passed through

central London and stopped at Freemasons’ Hall where the trio were greeted by Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence, the presidents of the four central masonic charities, and Lincolnshire Deputy PGM John Hockin.

The route was selected as Larry is a member of lodges in Portugal and the Province of Lincolnshire – the latter of which has supported the RMTGB for the past six years and is due to end its Festival appeal this November.



WALKING FOR THE RAINBOW TRUST Members of Technical Lodge, No. 5666, which meets at Kingstonupon-Hull, East Yorkshire, and their partners walked the High Hunsley Circuit, a challenging 26-mile charity hike around the local villages that follows part of the Wolds Way National Trail. It took the walkers just over 10 hours, and their efforts helped to raise just under £1,000 for the Rainbow Trust children’s charity, which provides emotional and practical support for families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.


MASONIC EXHIBITION REVEALS IMPACT OF WAR An exhibition to be held at Freemasons’ Hall in London this September will examine the effect of World War I on Freemasons in England, as well as its impact on masons fighting on the Western Front and those who were prisoners of war. Freemasons’ Hall, completed in 1933, was dedicated to masons who died in World War I. Among the exhibits on display will be lodge fittings created from appropriated war materials, souvenirs from Freemasonry on the front line and personal diaries kept by masonic prisoners of war. In September, the Library and Museum, itself a member of the First World War Centenary Partnership, is publishing a richly illustrated book to coincide with the exhibition: English Freemasonry and the First World War will be available from Letchworth’s Shop, priced £15. The exhibition at Freemasons’ Hall runs from 15 September 2014 to 6 March 2015


Masons and their families were among a large group of people who converged on the Wycombe Wanderers ground at Adams Park, High Wycombe, to welcome back the RockRide 2 cyclists who had battled searing temperatures across Spain and France – covering more than 1,500 miles from Gibraltar to Bucks on a charity ride. Three of the team were masons who, along with another dozen cyclists, helped to raise over £240,000 for their nominated charities. Among the welcoming crowd was Buckinghamshire PGM Gordon Robertson. Charities that benefited included the SSAFA, the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust and the Bucks Masonic Benevolent Fund. Pictured below with the RockRide 2 cyclists are Bucks PGM Gordon Robertson (black suit, left of centre) and Wycombe Mayor Cllr Khalil Ahmed (front row, fifth from right).

THE RMBI’S ORIGINS ON STAGE Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire Province’s demonstration team has produced a play that portrays how the RMBI came to be. The wrangling between the Grand Master, The Duke of Sussex (who had decided on an annuity) and Dr Robert Crucefix (who wanted to provide an Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Distressed Freemasons) has been condensed into a play called ‘In the Beginning’. The 50-minute drama covers a series of events over a 20-year period. Above: Members of Meridian Lodge, No. 9542, in a scene featuring Crucefix and the Duke of Sussex



WEST KENT GYMNAST CLUB FUNDING Falcon Spartak Gymnastics Club, based at Hurstmere School in Sidcup, caters for gymnasts of all standards and ages and provides particular support for individuals with special needs. Andrew Bull, the father of Joshua, aged nine, who regularly attends the Saturday club session, is also a member of Bostall Heath Lodge, No. 4492, in Welling, Kent. Joshua was born with Down’s syndrome and has benefited greatly from the work of coaches at the club. The lodge approached the Provincial Charity Committee for a major grant from the Province of West Kent. As a result, Falcon Spartak received a generous donation of £1,000 to help fund some much-needed replacement gym equipment.

SOUTH WALES TRADITION Freemasons and their families from the Province of South Wales assembled at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff earlier this year for the traditional annual service, all welcomed on behalf of the Dean by Canon Graham Holcombe who opened proceedings. Readings were delivered by APGMs William Jenkins and Paul Marshall, while Psalm 67 was read in Welsh by Deputy PGM Roy Woodward and then in English by APGM Gerald Rowbottom. St Luke’s Gospel account of the Parable of the Good Samaritan was read by PGM Gareth Jones. The congregation at Llandaff Cathedral was led in prayer by Past Provincial Chaplain The Rev Dafydd Edwards and APGM The Rev Alistair Swinford. Those in attendance were also addressed by The Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales. The collection, held at the service, raised more than £1,000 and was presented to further aid the work of Llandaff Cathedral.

Above: Provincial Grand Master Gareth Jones, the Archbishop of Wales and Provincial Executive members


Oxfordshire’s Bill Butcher and Peter Smith of Jersey Lodge, No. 2334, visited Ypres during a World War I commemorative tour and laid a wreath at the Menin Gate on behalf of the lodge. Both are former police officers and they travelled to Belgium with the Thames Valley Police Social Club. While there, they looked for memorials and graves of former police officers who had joined up, placing poppy crosses on them. Bill Butcher at the Menin Gate




FIJI AID FOR WATER-STARVED SCHOOLS Following destructive hurricanes and severe flooding in Fiji in recent years, local brethren have assisted schools facing water shortages in remote areas of both the main and outer islands. Many schools have continuing shortages as they rely on water from rain, streams and bores. With a Grand Charity donation of £5,000, Fiji brethren have donated 12 water tanks to schools, at a value of £11,000. Ross McDonald, the Grand Inspector of the South West Pacific Group of Lodges, said that the schools were in areas with poor communities that rely on subsistence crops for income and were unable to meet these costs.

Shown (l to r): Ross McDonald, two school principals, education officer and Lodge of Fiji’s WM Don Bruce

GARIBALDI DESCENDANT COMES TO LONDON In June, the Library and Museum of Freemasonry held a private view of its exhibition Garibaldi in London, which was attended by members of the Italian community in London, including representatives of the Mazzini Garibaldi Club and British Italian Society. The guest of honour was Anita Garibaldi, the great granddaughter of General Garibaldi. Guests were entertained by the Tricolore Theatre Company, which performed a re-enactment of part of Garibaldi’s visit. Anita Garibaldi (shown second from left in the picture, right) presented Diane Clements, the Director of the Library and Museum (third from right), with a limited-edition Garibaldi medal for the collection. They are pictured here with the actors and other guests. The exhibition ran from 19 May to 29 August.

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Red Cross Balkan flood relief effort



Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, has received £50,000 from the Grand Charity to fund the development of a new state-of-the-art bedroom at its Brighton centre. When completed, the new specially adapted bedroom will feature fully accessible wet-room facilities and an electronic hoist, making it ideal for frail veterans. Lesley Garven, manager of the Blind Veterans UK rehabilitation, training and care centre in Brighton, said: ‘Thanks to the Grand Charity, our blind veterans will be able to live even more comfortably in a supported environment with direct access to the highest quality of nursing.’

Together with the Gloucester Citizen, local charity CRY, which heightens awareness of the cardiac health of youngsters involved in sport, was looking to raise the sum of £7,000. Gloucestershire’s then PGM Adrian Davies stepped in with the £2,000 required – the cost of screening sessions for 200 young sportsmen and women. Charity patron and five-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave was present at the University of Gloucester School of Sport and Exercise in Longlevens to draw attention to the screenings on offer.

PIONEERING BRAIN REPAIR Research at Cambridge University’s Clinical Neurosciences Department into multiple sclerosis (MS) was celebrated at a special charity evening held in Cambridge. Representatives from 25 local charities were invited to a supper at Freemasons’ Hall during which grants were awarded from both national and Cambridgeshire masonic charities. The Grand Charity and the MSF have each made a grant of £50,000 towards a research project on the safety of the drug Bexarotene – capable of repairing brain damage during the early stages of MS. In 2011, a £100,000 grant from the Grand Charity supported the development of Alemtuzumab, a drug used to help treat leukaemia, by Dr Alasdair Coles – which is now licensed for use in Europe, Canada and Australia. Shown above (l to r): Jacqueline Garget (associate director of trusts and foundations at the university), PGM Rodney Wolverson, Dr Alasdair Coles and Professor Alastair Compston (head of clinical neurosciences)

Sir Steve Redgrave and Adrian Davies with Matson rugby player, Justin Sterry

MYSTERY TOUR BOOSTS CHARITY RESEARCH Shown (l to r): Kerry Levins (Blind Veterans UK trustee), veteran Bob Strickland, Jackie Greer (Blind Veterans UK head of care), Martin Mitten (Sussex Deputy PGM-Elect) and Jackie Ball (Blind Veterans UK group manager)


A recent fundraising effort – the magical mystery tour in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research – was organised by Derwent Lodge, No. 884. The event was led by Freemason Tim Draper and his wife Pam, whose grandson Jack was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of two. The trip took them to Stratford-upon-Avon, South Marston in Wiltshire, Bath and Derby, where they were met by Jack – sitting in his grandfather’s coach – having raised £1,559.


In response to an urgent appeal launched by the British Red Cross, Grand Charity President Richard Hone has approved a £30,000 emergency grant in support of its flood-relief efforts in the Balkans. Since May, strong winds, low temperatures and heavy rains in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have caused severe flooding, killing over 40 people. The floods have triggered over 3,000 devastating landslides and have disturbed landmines laid during the regional conflict in the 1990s. Over 350,000 people are thought to be without water or power, and around 100,000 homes have been destroyed.




THOMAS BRINGS JOY TO DISABLED RIDERS A group of Freemasons and their friends raised thousands of pounds for charity to buy a nine-year-old horse called Thomas. Standing 15 hands high, Thomas is now a favourite among staff and clients at The Diamond Centre for Disabled Riders in Carshalton, Surrey. He was purchased using the funds raised by the Mandalay Lodge, No. 9383, Chapter and Club in Bromley, West Kent. The group raised £6,000, of which £3,000 was spent on buying Thomas. Jeff Baylie of Mandalay, together with Ron Warren, led the project. ‘The surplus will go to the upkeep of the horse,’ said Jeff. ‘We think £3,000 is an incredibly small amount to pay for all the joy he’ll bring.’

History was made in July in the City of Plymouth when, for the first time since 1938, 40 Freemasons from over 36 lodges in the Province of Devonshire took part in the Lord Mayor’s Parade in full regalia. Proud to be masons and wanting to be more open in the community, Keith Johnson, a member of the Provincial recruitment team, came up with the idea of joining in the Lord Mayor’s Parade. At the event, led by Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury, the recruitment stand gave out information all day long to interested passers-by. Above: PGM Ian Kingsbury and two standard bearers proudly lead the local masons

The Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association celebrates its 10th year in the UK this year. Since its formation, the association has grown rapidly and now boasts hundreds of members in chapters throughout the UK. Members from the UK and Europe recently came together in July for their annual rally in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire. In the past, the bikers have distributed Easter eggs and Christmas gifts to children’s homes and adult centres, and backed Help for Heroes and SSAFA. They also visited Ypres in Belgium in remembrance of brethren who fell in World War I, in an event which culminated with laying a wreath at the Menin Gate.

GRAND CHARITY SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ADULTS WITH AUTISM Prior’s Court at Hermitage near Newbury in Berkshire has officially opened The Freemasons’ Room to mark a £100,000 donation from the Grand Charity towards supporting young adults with autism. There is now on-site residential accommodation for 18 young adults who are able to learn life skills, access education and carry out work placements. Prior’s Court head of fundraising Lucinda Stubbs said, ‘We are delighted to have achieved this target through the wonderful support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and other trusts and foundations.’

HRH PRINCE MICHAEL AT HARROW ANNIVERSARY Harrow District Masonic Centre celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and the PGM, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, visited the centre as part of the celebrations. His Royal Highness has been PGM for the past 32 years, with dedicated leaders holding the position of Pro Provincial Grand Masters. To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, the main temple was renamed ‘His Royal

Highness Prince Michael of Kent Temple’, with the Number 2 Temple renamed the ‘Gordon Bourne Temple’ and the Chapter Suite renamed the ‘David Cons Chapter Suite’ to honour the Pro Provincial Grand Masters. His Royal Highness met with the staff, volunteers and the Board at Harrow, as well as the newer members of the Orders and the Provincial Executive.

Shown (l to r): Sanjiv Shah (Harrow District Masonic Centre Chairman), PGM HRH Prince Michael of Kent, David Cons and Roger Croome



MASONS PRAISED BY COUNTESS OF WESSEX Herefordshire mason Allan Lloyd and his wife Angela represented the Provincial Grand Master and the Province at a celebration of giving for The Haven Breast Cancer Support charity. The ceremony was held at Frogmore House, Windsor, in the company of the Countess of Wessex (right), an active supporter of the three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford. Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen initiated the present level of support, which has qualified the Province to become a Guardian of The Haven. In her presentation, the Countess commented on the longstanding support of Freemasons, with an acknowledgement of the patronage of the Province of Herefordshire.


MARKING LIBERATION DAY On 9 May every year, the Channel Islands celebrate their liberation from German occupation. For the past 20 years, Chelsea Pensioners have visited Guernsey around Liberation Day for an expensespaid holiday and to take part in events to mark the occasion. Guernsey Freemasons have made a significant contribution towards the annual cost of the visit for several years. This year’s donation was handed to the Pensioners by Provincial Grand Master David Hodgetts during their tour of the masonic centre, accompanied by visiting Gurkhas.

JERSEY BEARS ARE A HIT Jersey General Hospital has handed over its 500th TLC bear to a deserving child. To mark the milestone, Provincial Grand Master Kenneth Rondel visited the children’s ward to witness the event. Staff nurse Anna Bailey said: ‘The bears have gone down a treat and the initiative has been extended to other parts of the Jersey Health Service. The A&E department, our ambulances and the Child Development Centre are all well stocked with bears. ‘But the surprise area that’s been receiving amazing benefits is the hospital’s Dementia Department, where the bears are finding homes and bringing great comfort to those patients.’



A special combined meeting was held at Purbrook of the Royal Marines Associate Lodges, hosted by Royal Marine Portsmouth Lodge, No. 6423. The meeting was supported by Per Mare Per Terram Lodge, No. 3609, and Globe and Laurel Lodge, No. 4657, both from East Kent, and Amphibious Lodge, No. 9050, from Dorset. The event celebrated the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Corps in 1664 and was attended by Michael J Wilks, who is the Hampshire and Isle of Wight PGM.



The Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from the Grand Charity. Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to be able to operate. Annie Newell, fundraising manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued masonic commitment. The logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the air ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire.

HEREFORDSHIRE SAMARITANS While individual lodges have supported the local Samaritans in the past, a £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle was the first support provided by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen said this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. Herefordshire Samaritans is a self-funded charity with no paid members as everyone is a volunteer.

An international gathering for the Installation

TURKISH MASTER FOR LONDON LODGE Seven years ago, members of Mandate Lodge, No. 4258, which meets at Great Queen Street in London, travelled to Istanbul to perform a twinning ceremony with Freedom Lodge, No. 35. Earlier this year, Ihsan Goren was installed as Master of the lodge, the first Turkish Worshipful Master since the twinning. Mandate Lodge has steadily grown more international in its membership. At the Installation ceremony, the Master and Immediate Past Master of Freedom Lodge and several other brethren from Turkey, Holland, Italy, Nigeria and the West Indies were in attendance.


RIDING TO VICTORY WITH DISABILITY SPORT WALES Monmouthshire PGM The Rev Malcolm Lane and Provincial Grand Secretary Brian Davies visited the Wales National Velodrome, Newport to present a tricycle to Neil Smith, paracycling coach for Disability Sport Wales (DSW). DSW has helped to nurture many competitors and worldrecord holders as the organisation has developed and thrived with its athletes. The tricycle was provided by Roderick Hill Lodge, No. 8619, Chepstow, and lodge representative Vince White attended the presentation.

War veterans paid a visit to a Chislehurst primary school this month to remember World War I and talk about its history. Elderly residents from the local area joined residents of the Prince George Duke of Kent Court care home in Shepherds Green to visit pupils at Farringtons School. As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict, everyone was given a rare chance to spend time together for an activity day. The event was organised by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution with the aim of educating more young people about such an important part of their recent history.

Shown above (l to r): Vince White, Brian Davies, Academy riders, The Rev Malcolm Lane and Neil Smith



TIME TO DELIVER Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes explains why masonic ritual needs to involve a proper understanding of what’s being said rather than simply reciting the words on a page



ver the past year or two there has been a certain amount of correspondence in the various masonic magazines regarding the pros and cons of reading, rather than reciting, our ritual. One correspondent suggested that, as ritual was read throughout European Grand Lodges, we should follow. I am not sure all our politicians would agree with that. Certainly, it is true that reading ritual is prevalent in many European Grand Lodges. However, it’s not universally so and, in any event, there is no good reason for us to follow their example. Indeed, I have many friends in European Lodges who envy the way we deliver our ritual. You will note that I said that they are envious of the way we ‘deliver’ our ritual. In my experience, ritual that is recited has much greater meaning to the candidate than ritual that is read, although I am pleased to say that I have not been present on many occasions that it has been read. I entirely accept that learning ritual is time consuming. But how often is it true that the busiest people are those who find the time to learn it? I am not going to pretend that I have ever found ritual learning easy, and, as time goes by, I find learning new ritual more difficult. Nonetheless, I shall never forget the satisfaction of carrying out a Second Degree ceremony at the first meeting that I was in the chair of my mother lodge. To be told by an extremely demanding Director of Ceremonies that it had been adequate was as good as it gets! This was a great deal more complimentary than anything he ever said to me during the year that he taught me classics.

By definition, reading means looking at the book. If the deliverer is looking at the book, he is not looking at the candidate or the brethren to whom he is speaking. To read a text well is a skill that not everyone has. Good reading needs preparation and unless our ritual is understood by the deliverer, what chance is there that it will be understood by the recipient? For the reader to have a good understanding of what he is saying, he will need to have read through the text on several occasions. Our ritual is to be treasured, and there are few better experiences than seeing and hearing a really well-conducted masonic ceremony. One of the prime reasons that lodges are being encouraged to share the workload is so that members can spend time really learning and understanding what they are delivering and not just reciting ritual parrot fashion. It is inevitable that some members will find ritual easier than others, and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that as much help as possible is given to those who need it. I don’t expect what I have said here to be universally accepted, but I would be surprised if the majority of our members do not agree with at least part of it.

‘Our ritual is to be treasured, and there are few better experiences than seeing and hearing a really well-conducted masonic ceremony.’





This summer, lodges across Wales united in a challenge to trek 1,000 miles in sixty days to support a children’s hospital. Sarah Holmes put on her hiking boots to spend a day on their epic journey



icture the scene – it’s a balmy afternoon in late July. The sunshine beats mercilessly down over a golden belt of sand dunes on South Wales’s Bridgend coastline. In the distance, music echoes through the granular valleys as a trail of trekkers in matching white T-shirts slowly emerge, their Welsh voices chorusing in booming unison. They look like explorers venturing through the Saharan plains and, as they come closer, it becomes apparent that they’re singing Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’. The lead crooner, Gareth Jenkins of Afan Lodge, No. 833, is an undertaker from Port Talbot. But today, equipped with his Bose speaker and backwards cap, he’s DJ Jazzy Jenks, self-appointed MC for the twenty-twomile walk around this stretch of the coast. Along with thirty fellow Freemasons from lodges across Port Talbot, he’s attempting to complete the Glamorgan leg of the Walk Around Wales campaign to raise money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. Until now, it’s been a leisurely ramble through the woodlands and heather fields of Kenfig Nature Reserve, passing by the candy-coloured attractions of Coney Beach funfair. But the toughest route has yet to come. Ahead, the grassy ridges of the Merthyr Mawr dunes rise dramatically upwards. They are the second-highest dunes in Europe, and the place where Peter O’Toole filmed his 1962 adventure epic, Lawrence of Arabia. Luckily, the Port Talbot lodges are well prepared for the challenge. A fortifying hip flask is offered around the group before they dare tackle the ascent – a dose of liquid encouragement for the heroic fundraisers.




Members of Baglan Lodge, No. 6079, take the gavel through Kenfig Nature Reserve

‘If your family ever needed to use the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital, you know they’d be in safe hands.’ John Bendall

There are just three days left before the Walk Around Wales campaign comes full circle. Today, it falls to the Port Talbot lodges of Afan, No. 833; Baglan, No. 6079; Celtic Eagles, No. 9132; Margam Abbey, No. 5257; St Theodore, No. 8536; and Ynys, No. 8274, to complete the penultimate stretch. For Paul Haley, Worshipful Master of Services Lodge, No. 7139, this is the pinnacle of many months of careful planning. In January, inspired by a friend who had trekked the Welsh coastal path in just sixty days, Paul set about organising a fundraising event that would see lodges from across Wales come together to cover the same 1,000-mile stretch in relay. ‘The idea had a fantastic reception from the masons at Services Lodge,’ explains Paul. ‘So we started to build up the schedule with the idea of enrolling a different lodge to complete each leg of the coastal path.’ Paul eventually managed to get twenty-six lodges to commit to the challenge, with members of his own lodge offering to fill in the gaps along the north coast. He also appropriated a mascot, a travelling gavel that would be carried through each stage of the journey by the participating walkers. On Sunday, 25 May, the first group left Penarth Masonic Hall on a counter-clockwise adventure around the Welsh border. Their aim was to raise £12,000 for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity, which supports the only children’s hospital in Wales. But the campaign quickly surpassed its target with the total now standing at £12,678.

FIRST-CLASS CARE For John Bendall of Baglan Lodge, the walk was a fantastic opportunity to give back to a worthwhile cause. ‘The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital is first class,’ he says. ‘Obviously, you hope your family would never need to use it. But if they did, you know they’d be in safe hands. It’s a reassuring presence in the community.’ While Noah’s Ark is a familiar Welsh charity, less well known is the vital role Welsh Freemasonry had to play in the hospital’s establishment, with Freemason Lyn Jones launching the Noah’s Ark campaign in 1990. ‘It took ten years of knocking heads together,’ Lyn explains. ‘But finally, in 2000, the public appeal got the green light.’ Since then, the charity has raised £10 million and overseen the successful completion of a state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Cardiff that treats over 100,000 seriously ill children every year.


In 2008, an appeal for a further £7 million was launched to fund the building of the second phase of the hospital, which will include two additional operating theatres, a new Critical Care Unit, and a hydrotherapy pool, as well as various improvements to its existing facilities. With completion due in 2015, this latest donation from the Walk Around Wales campaign is essential to helping the hospital reach its target. For Alan Bolger of Ynys Lodge, the walk was as much about enjoying the camaraderie of the day as raising money. ‘It’s a great way to meet other lodges and get to know people who you might never have spoken to before,’ he smiles. ‘The reward of making lifelong friendships is enough for me. If we raise awareness about a good cause – that’s even better.’ Word spread about the walk via social media. Paul created his own hashtag, #circlecymru, which he used in tweets to local organisations and councils, encouraging their support. The campaign even drew the attention of Welsh TV personalities, including weather presenter Sian Lloyd, and The One Show host Alex Jones. ‘It’s a great way of connecting with the community outside of Freemasonry, which is something I hoped this campaign would achieve,’ explains Paul. Back in Glamorgan, the midday heat has coalesced into an orange haze as the army of masons amble along the cliffs at Ogmore Bay. It’s the home stretch and, after scaling Merthyr Mawr dunes followed by some tiptoeing across the stepping stones by Ogmore Castle’s enchanting ruins, it’s safe to say all are now firmly focused on closing the gap between themselves and The Three Golden Cups pub in Southerndown. Even DJ Jazzy Jenks has gone quiet. A crowd of family and friends cheer the masons across the tavern threshold. Having walked non-stop for ten and a half hours, a pint or two is well deserved. However, the real celebrations won’t take place until the following Saturday when the masons cross the final finish line at Barry Rugby Club. ‘The highlight for me has been seeing how willing everyone was to get involved,’ Paul beams. ‘The dedication of the lodges has helped to raise awareness of both Noah’s Ark and Freemasonry, which is fantastic.’ To donate to the Walk Around Wales campaign, visit

Kenfig Nature Reserve


Gareth Jenkins, aka DJ Jazzy Jenks, takes the lead along the coast to Ogmore Bay

ON THE MOVE Special mention goes to the Provincial Wardens John Roberts and Rex Plowman, as well as the following Freemasons from Services Lodge, No. 7139, who spent a considerable number of days on the walk: Allun Jones and Alun Punter (ten days); Steve Hill (eight days); Mike Rudall, Clive Thomas and Martin Flanigan (four days). The following lodges took part in the walk: Afan, No. 833; Baglan, No. 6079; Beehive, No. 6265; Breaksea, No. 8358; Celtic Eagles, No. 9132; Industria Cambrensis, No. 6700; Dinas Powis, No. 5997; Gnoll, No. 5057; Ionic, No. 6626; Llanilltud Fawr, No. 8644; Lodge of Three Pillars, No. 5857; Margam Abbey, No. 5257; Old Barrians, No. 6671; Penllergaer, No. 5567; Porthkerry, No. 6299; Preswylfa, No. 5792; Services, No. 7139; St Cecilia, No. 8748; St Quentin’s, No. 4778; St Theodore, No. 8536; Striguil, No. 2186; Wenvoe, No. 9038; Windsor, No. 1754; Wings, No. 8651, and Ynys, No. 8274

In the shadow of Ogmore Castle, the masons had to walk across fifty-two stepping stones

Recreating Chariots of Fire on Ogmore Beach Tony Thomas sells looms made by his daughter



TALK OF THE TOWN A city lawyer by profession, Sir David Wootton is the new Assistant Grand Master. He talks to Luke Turton about his time as London’s Lord Mayor and why he likes to perform

You’ve been an alderman, chairman, Liveryman, almoner, chancellor and Lord Mayor of London. Would it be fair to say that you like to keep busy?

Most really good things that have come my way haven’t come from some master plan, but because I’ve said yes to something that has led on to something else. I do say no to a lot of things, but I always think twice because you’re not just turning down that opportunity, but all the things you can’t see down the line that it could lead to. What connects all the different kinds of activities you’ve been involved in?

If I try and work out a pattern to my life, it’s where there’s been a job that involves performing in some way – whether it’s masonic ritual, making speeches as Lord Mayor or talking to clients of the law firm. I’m less successful at debating in a big crowd, so I wouldn’t be particularly good as a Member of Parliament. How do you balance all your responsibilities?

I’ve had a career as a city lawyer in the field of corporate transactions. That requires you to operate on a tight timescale, invariably set by other people, which is often halved. In comparison to that high-pressure environment, the collection of jobs I have now is fairly relaxed because on most occasions the dates of things are known in advance. I’ve got masonic events in my diary for the next five years. That’s a great help and far easier than my life as a city lawyer, where most meetings in my diary are suddenly cancelled or come out of nowhere. You operate on a different level. We all have a normal level at which we live – I’m a solicitor with a family living in Sevenoaks. We go to the shops and plan holidays. If you envisage that as living on the twentieth floor of a building, being Lord Mayor is like being put in a lift and being sent up to live on the eightieth floor for a year, where people operate on an entirely different plane. The people who work on the eightieth floor have normal concerns like everyone else, such as worrying about whether their ties are straight or not, but they’ve also got something special about them – an ability. Moving at that level was an interesting experience, but I’m really happy being back at the twentieth floor again.




What was it like being Lord Mayor?




‘When I was elected in 2002 to the City Council, someone said that I‘d have to come to Guildhall Lodge, No. 3116. There have been close connections for a long time between it and Freemasons’ Hall, with the Rulers attending. I liked doing ritual and I must have been noticed.’ As Lord Mayor of London, in the wake of the recent financial crisis, did you want to help change perceptions about the City?

The City isn’t good at fighting its PR battles. City businesses don’t like getting involved in public arguments; they don’t like politics and prefer to do things quietly behind the scenes. Therefore, when there’s a big crisis, other people who are much better at getting their story over heap all the blame for everything on the City, which is weak at replying. Part of the job for me as Lord Mayor was to try and re-address that, to help recognise that part of the criticism was rational and objective, but also to see that part of it was emotional. How did you counter the emotional arguments about the City?

With the emotional part, there’s nothing that you can do – you can’t rebut it with a rational argument. If you say the City’s good, that’s not going to convince people. You also look a bit foolish if something else comes out in the press. When I was in office, the story about Libor came out, which was portrayed as an attempt to rig interest rates. Subsequently, there have been revelations about misconduct in the foreign exchange markets, where things were going on that shouldn’t have been. So if you mount a full-throttle defence of the City as being a very good place, and that’s followed by bad publicity, then you lose credibility. You therefore have to be careful about picking your ground, so I decided to draw attention to the

good things that the City was doing – pointing to things like the jobs outside of London that depended on it, and hoped that, in due course, I could change the climate. Why did you become a Freemason?

I rowed at university and in my last days there I was asked by one of the rowing coaches if I was going to work in London. He said that there was a society that I should consider joining. It turned out to be Argonauts Lodge, No. 2243, which was a rowing lodge. They met in the Lloyds Building in the City, which wasn’t too far from my office. Most of the people there had coached me on the river at university; I think the Craft works well when there’s an outside interest shared between its members. How did you become Assistant Grand Master?

I went on for years only being a member of Argonauts Lodge as I didn’t have enough time to do much else. It’s only in the past ten years that I’ve been able to become more involved in Freemasonry. When I was elected in 2002 to the City Council, someone said that I’d have to come to Guildhall Lodge, No. 3116. There have been close connections for a long time between the lodge and Freemasons’ Hall, with the Rulers often attending. I like doing ritual and I must have been noticed. I was offered the chair of Guildhall Lodge, started to get to know people and became aware that the then Assistant Grand Master David Williamson wanted to retire. One thing led to another and I was asked if I wanted the position.

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‘The principles of Freemasonry are very useful – they provide strong guidelines about your life. At the most basic level, they teach you that if you say you’re going to do something, then you should do it. Life operates better if you follow those rules.’ How does Freemasonry connect with the rest of your life?

The principles in Freemasonry are very useful – they provide strong guidelines about your life. At the most basic level, they teach you that if you say you’re going to do something, then you should do it. Life operates better if you follow those rules. I deal with people on the basis that I’ll come across them again and I want to be thought of in a positive way. In the business world, people often perceive that it’s to their advantage to do something that another party won’t like. I don’t want a reputation like that. I think this approach is largely down to Freemasonry. What do you hope to achieve as Assistant Grand Master?

I’m encouraged to attend the major events at the Hall, the Quarterly Communications, the Annual Investiture and


the Festivals. I’ll take over the Universities Scheme next year, as well as looking after overseas districts, but those are the set tasks. What I also want to do is to make sure that Freemasons outside London, outside the Hall, feel they are part of a United Grand Lodge. I’d like to make a contribution to improving the relationship between masons and non-masons, to counter the idea that people who practise the Craft are somehow a little bit different. There are also masons who are hesitant about admitting it as they’re worried others might not think they’re normal. We need to address both these internal and external perceptions. I’d also like to help with improving recruitment and retention, to get younger members to join and to keep them. It’s a big undertaking, but I’m not alone and I see it as a fantastic opportunity – I’m looking forward to getting out and about in the country.


Pipe dream The restoration of the Grand Temple pipe organ at Freemasons’ Hall is helping to preserve a vital piece of this Art Deco building’s history. Charles Grace tells Sarah Holmes how the project came about


temperature and humidity levels as well as its dedicated maintenance. Nevertheless, eighty years of accumulated wear threatened to irreparably damage the tonal accuracy of its pipes. But now, thanks to funding from the Supreme Grand Chapter’s reserves, the organ will be restored to its former glory with roughly half of the money being spent on cleaning, repairing and re-voicing the existing mechanisms, which include an astounding 2,220 pipes and forty-three stops. The remainder of the funding will be spent on mounting a new case of some four hundred pipes on the east wall of the Grand Temple.

Charles Grace is overseeing the restoration of the Grand Temple’s pipe organ

ROUSING QUALITY The result of all the renovation work will be a clearer, louder sound, and a focal point from which the organist can lead the Grand Temple’s 1,700-strong congregation in song. It’s a rousing quality that the present organ peculiarly lacks. ‘This is quite an unusual design,’ explains Charles. ‘Most organs have a focal point, but the present instrument comprises two cases of pipes that shout at each other across the dais. When the Grand Temple is full and everyone’s singing lustily, it’s difficult for those in the west to hear the organ, so the new case will make a huge difference, as well as giving the Grand Temple an extra visual wow factor.’ The craftsmen undertaking the restoration are from Durham-based organ builders Harrison & Harrison – a company responsible for rebuilding and




ith a firm grip on the scaffolding in front of him, Charles Grace takes a moment to appreciate the elevated view over the Grand Temple. Behind him, a golden wall of freshly gilded organ pipes stand caged in a rigid rig of steel rods and orderly wooden planks. It’s been a particularly busy year for the senior Freemason, who has been overseeing the restoration of the Grand Temple’s pipe organ. Although the work has been progressing steadily since January 2014, few masons will have noticed anything different going on at Great Queen Street. For Charles, this is a good thing. Despite the size of the project, he has gone to great lengths to make sure that the renovation work doesn’t disrupt the normal running of Freemasons’ Hall. As a long-serving member of the Committee of General Purposes, Charles played a central role in the decision to renovate, rather than replace, the Grand Temple’s eighty-one-year-old organ. ‘It’s part of the heritage of Freemasons’ Hall, so we have a duty to protect it,’ he says. ‘This building pays tribute to more than 3,000 Freemasons who lost their lives in World War I, so it’s apt that the organ is being restored during the centenary year of that terrible conflict.’ The idea for restoring the organ first came about in 2009 when an inspection by the organ consultant, Ian Bell, revealed the need for extensive repairs. With most organs requiring a professional overhaul every twentyfive years, the Grand Temple’s organ had survived three times longer than that thanks to the constant


‘I’d love to get a series of subscription concerts going as we’re transforming a good organ into a magnificent one.’ Charles Grace

ABOVE: Robert Woodland, master gilder, adding finishing touches to one of the cases. The new pipes will be made from a tinand-lead alloy

maintaining some of the UK’s most famous organs, including those at the Royal Festival Hall and Westminster Abbey. Their experience of working with traditional organs is reassuring to Charles, who is eager that the new section remains consistent with the look and sound of the original. The new pipes will be made from a tin-and-lead alloy in keeping with the design of Brother Henry Willis, who built the organ in 1933.

MUSICAL CHAIRS It’s an extensive undertaking for Harrison & Harrison, who also face the added challenge of working around the Grand Temple’s busy schedule of events. ‘It’s been quite a juggling act to make sure we don’t interfere with the day-to-day running of the Grand Temple,’ explains Charles. ‘We’ve relied on the occasional spare periods of time to carry out some of the work. But from mid-December, when the Temple is quietest, we’ll be able to get the bulk of the work done.’ Fortunately, much of the early work has been completed in Durham, where the existing organ and console were moved for cleaning and repairing in January. ‘It’s a vitally important part of the renovation process,’ explains Andy Scott, head voicer at Harrison & Harrison. ‘As soon as the dirt starts to build up, it can dull the pitch and sound quality of the pipes, and adds to the deterioration of the worn mechanism, causing notes to stick on or not play at all.’ The length of the pipes, as well as the material they’re constructed from, both play a fundamental role in

determining their pitch – so it’s important that the correct techniques are used to clean them. The longer, wooden pipes, which create the deeper notes, can reach up to sixteen feet in length, and have to be vacuumed and varnished. Meanwhile, the shorter metallic pipes, which create the higher notes, and can be as short as a few inches, have to be soaked and scrubbed in soapy water. The pipes will then be returned to the Grand Temple and divided between chambers hidden in the opposite walls of the eastern dais. The case containing all the new pipes will be mounted on the east wall above the console, facing directly down the Grand Temple. Like the other two cases, the new case will be decorated with the same elaborately carved Art Deco motifs and poly-resin embellishments. A grille of eighteen pipes, all gilded in gold leaf, will be visible at the front. ‘It takes three different crafts alone to build its case,’ explains Charles. ‘That’s how complex a pipe organ is. It’s more than just an instrument – it’s an actual fixture of the building.’

TONE CONTROL As well as the pipes, Harrison & Harrison must also refurbish the whole mechanical structure, including the enormous wind chests that sit underneath the pipes. By driving pressurised air through the pipes, the wind chests help to produce the organ’s distinctive, multitonal sound. Electric blowers located underneath the Grand Temple supply the wind chests with air.




‘It takes three different crafts to build the case. That’s how complex a pipe organ is. It’s more than an instrument – it’s an actual fixture of the building.’ Charles Grace ‘Each pipe produces a single note,’ explains Charles. ‘All pipes are arranged in ranks of common sound and pitch, and when the organist wants to play a particular rank, he selects the corresponding stop. This releases air from the wind chest to a particular rank of pipes. The keys on the main console then control which pipes the air passes through.’ It’s a thoroughly complicated system, and one that has taken Charles hours of surfing the web and scouring YouTube videos to understand. As part of the renovation, a new electronic feature will be fitted that allows the organ to store digital recordings of the music played on the keyboard. This means that a wide range of pre-recorded music will be able to be played on the organ at the touch of a button. It’s something that will add impact to the public tours of the Grand Temple, and is a key example of the way in which the latest renovations not only safeguard the heritage of the Freemasons’ Hall, but also enhance it. With all things going to plan, the restoration work is due to be completed by March 2015 and Charles hopes that the new organ will become a symbol of celebration not just for United Grand Lodge’s approaching tercentenary, but for everyone who visits the Hall.

The organ is being restored during the centenary of the outbreak of World War I

‘I’d love to get a series of subscription concerts going, as we’re transforming a good organ into a magnificent one – so I’d hope a few great organists would play here,’ says Charles. In keeping with this vision, Charles hopes to establish a partnership with the Royal College of Organists to give aspiring musicians an opportunity to rehearse and perform on the Grand Temple’s amazing instrument. ‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to open ourselves up to the public, and to get this incredible organ being played more than ever,’ says Charles. ‘We need to make the most of it.’


Debra Miller, master gilder, at work. Applying gold leaf is a delicate process


A pipe organ produces music through a vast array of real pipes placed in different locations around the room, effectively making it one of the first surround sound systems. In contrast, electronic organs only simulate the sound of the pipes from a central loudspeaker. The result is noticeably flatter and lacks the true fullness of many individual pitches blending together.

BUILDING TOGETHER Covering everything from grand temples to local masonic halls, The Masonic Mutual offers the opportunity not only to reduce the cost of insurance, but also to explore who owns what when it comes to masonic heritage



he challenge is getting people to understand that change can be a good thing,’ says Robin Furber, sitting on the top floor in the Supreme Council’s central London premises. Robin is the chairman of The Masonic Mutual, a new company that went live on 1 July. The Masonic Mutual offers cover for owners and users of masonic buildings and organisations against traditional risks such as fire, flooding, accidental damage and theft, as well as employers, public and products liability. However, due to the way that The Masonic Mutual is set up, it can offer cover at a competitive price that will potentially decrease as the membership increases and, if income exceeds claims and expenses, can even return the resulting surplus back to its members. With no shareholders to pay, and being owned by its members, the Mutual already has three big clients on its books: the United Grand Lodge of England and its properties around Freemasons’ Hall in London; the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and all its care homes in England and Wales; and the Supreme Council, with its properties in London’s Duke Street. However, the cover hasn’t been designed solely for large estates, and Robin is now keen to reach out to the Provinces. Any owner of a building used for masonic purposes will be likely to enjoy real benefits from joining the Mutual.


PRIME MOTIVATOR While quality of cover, claims handling and response times are all important factors, Robin accepts that the prime motivator for people changing their insurance will be price: ‘What we’re doing is cutting out a huge amount of cost and we aim to be able to reduce premiums paid to the commercial insurance market by around ten per cent at least. The Mutual has to pay for someone to manage the cover, but it’s nothing like the cost that would be retained by an insurance company to underwrite a risk. The cover wording is also extremely broad, so it should easily accommodate all the usual insurable exposures that the owner or user of a masonic hall is going to face.’ Unlike a normal commercial policy holder, a Mutual member pays into a fund – one that will pay out claims up to a certain level. The fund also pays for a manager’s fee and top-up insurance in the commercial market for any claims that are in excess of the retention that the fund will take. In other words, if any claim or an accumulation of claims goes above a certain level, the excess amount will be covered by a commercial insurance company.

‘Any owner of a building used for masonic purposes will be likely to enjoy benefit from joining the Mutual.’ Currently, any single claim up to the value of £50,000 is underwritten by the Mutual. To protect the Mutual’s fund from an unexpected series of individual losses, or a single large additional loss, extra protection is bought from the commercial insurance market. ‘As membership of the Mutual increases, our reliance on the commercial market will go down as our buying power increases,’ says Robin. ‘The bigger the bucket, the greater the Mutual’s control of its financial destiny.’

POTENTIAL MARKET In terms of the potential market, Robin understands that there may be about eight hundred masonic buildings around the UK that are being used for masonic purposes. The launch of the Mutual is also a fantastic opportunity for Provinces to do an inventory of the masonic buildings and other assets in their area. ‘This is going to be an interesting exercise as it encourages those responsible for buildings to look at what they’ve got. We don’t always know who owns the halls and buildings – some are owned by lodges, some by collectives, some by trusts and some by individuals,’ says Robin. ‘I think it will be very useful for Grand Lodge to find out what’s owned by the masonic family.’ With The Masonic Mutual now live, the cover is being marketed to all potential members throughout the Provinces in England and Wales. ‘We don’t expect them just to come to us,’ says Robin, ‘but we’d like them to give us the opportunity to quote for their insurable risks. Stage two will be to offer protection to individual lodges that do not own their own premises.’ Robin is keen to stress that the Mutual is being launched for the benefit of masonry as a whole by providing a good-quality product at a good price by a company that is not shareholder driven. ‘It’s for everyone,’ he says. ‘If we have a good year, we can increase the retention and not pay as much to the commercial market, which will make the cover cheaper. ‘At some stage in the future, it’s also our intention to pay out surpluses based on the amount someone has paid in. It’s a win-win situation.’



Attending members of the MFG Back row (l to r): Ray Reed Chairman of the MFG and Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes, Malcolm Aish President of the Committee of General Purposes and member of the Board of General Purposes, Shawn Christie Assistant Grand Secretary Front row (l to r): Stuart Hadler Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, Peter Taylor Provincial Grand Master for Shropshire

Other members of the MFG Sandy Stewart Provincial Grand Master for Staffordshire, Michael Ward Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, Paul Gower Provincial Grand Master for Hertfordshire, Gareth Jones Provincial Grand Master for South Wales, Marc Nowell Representative from the Universities Scheme, Jeffrey Gillyon Provincial Grand Master for Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, Robin Wilson Provincial Grand Master for Nottinghamshire

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Open forum


As Freemasonry approaches its tercentenary in 2017, the Membership Focus Group has been established to consider how best to attract, recruit and retain good men. In July, five members of the group met to discuss why the strategy for the future of Freemasonry in the Craft must be a collaborative exercise involving all its members

Why was the Membership Focus Group (MFG) formed? Ray Reed The objectives of the MFG are to advise the Rulers and the Board of General Purposes of how best Freemasonry can focus members, lodges, Provinces and staff to work in a collaborative manner to create and implement a strategy that will assure the long-term successful future of both the Craft and the Royal Arch. We want to look at the whole organisation as well as its ceremonial structure to identify what’s really worked for the past three hundred years, what’s good to keep and what we need to modify. We especially need to consider how to attract and retain the ‘modern man’ and future leaders in this fast-changing world. Peter Taylor When we looked at the numbers from the ADelphi database, which contains the masonic life histories of our members going back to 1984, there were some very telling statistics. In many areas around the country we’re attracting new members in good numbers, yet total membership is still going down. The group wants to discover why and find solutions to reverse this trend. Malcolm Aish We found that for every age group, the length of time before members resigned was the same. The more we looked at the statistics, the more we felt that it wasn’t just an issue of how to make Freemasonry more attractive to young people as they make up a relatively small proportion of our membership. They are still very important to us, as they could be joining for forty to fifty years, but the big recruitment age is around forty, so we need to discover why fortysomethings are just as likely to resign as twentysomethings. Ray Reed Our biggest strength and greatest opportunity is that we’re getting lots of people wanting to join. That number is on the increase at the moment, so we’ve got to make sure that when new people join, their expectations match with what we have to offer.

What sort of questions is the MFG asking? Shawn Christie The United Grand Lodge of England is a very special organisation. We can rightfully be proud of our past and our present, but it’s important to look ahead and plan for the future. This is the reason why we’re asking about the kinds of things we can do better. We’ve analysed membership statistics, identified key focus areas and established working groups to develop those areas further. For example, I’m chairing a working group looking at recruitment, and there are other groups focusing on areas such as governance and the image of Freemasonry. Moving on from our initial analysis, we’ll soon start surveying the membership to make sure that we have an accurate understanding of their feelings. Stuart Hadler I’m concerned that we provide very little formal leadership development in Freemasonry, whether that’s progressing to become Master of a lodge or a senior Provincial officer. I think that Freemasonry is poorer for not having the opportunity to develop those skills – we could actively promote it as one of the opportunities offered by our society when attracting new members. Malcolm Aish My interest in the Royal Arch means I’m very happy to be involved in the MFG, because success in the Craft will lead to greater success in the Royal Arch. We’ve found out from the statistics that when masons go on to join another lodge or the Royal Arch – the ‘multiple members’ as we call them – then their membership longevity extends significantly. That’s something that we need to analyse. We could find out if people who join their second lodge are more selective about the kind of members they team up with. If that’s the case, then we might be able to improve overall retention. Stuart Hadler Another point we’ve identified is that there’s no clear external perception of what Freemasonry is and why


‘In many areas around the country we’re attracting new members in good numbers, yet total membership is still going down. One of the aims of the MFG is to discover why and reverse the trend.’ Peter Taylor



‘We need to think about our image, and the MFG can be about offering a range of choices, perhaps saying that it’s fine if a lodge decides to wear jackets rather than full regalia.’ Stuart Hadler

people join. We haven’t prepared members in how to communicate clearly and consistently. If we’re going to attract people in the right numbers and keep them, then we have to find good examples in simple, modern language about what Freemasonry offers. Malcolm Aish We don’t want to be seen to be intrusive; it’s quite difficult for someone outside the Province to ask quite personal questions, but we have to be able to find out the real reasons why someone has left a lodge. Was it because they didn’t feel welcome or had an argument? The whole process we’re undertaking aims to open everyone’s minds to consider doing things differently. Is Freemasonry set for big changes under the MFG? Stuart Hadler We have many cherished traditions, but we should be prepared to question their continuing importance to our principles and image. In recent years, for example, there have been more cases of Freemasons parading in public, which is great – it’s a return to where we left off in the 1930s. But are gentlemen of a certain age walking through the streets, parading their regalia, the only images we want to portray? We need to think about the kind of image we’re trying to put across, and the MFG can be about offering a range of choices, perhaps saying that it’s fine if a lodge decides to wear jackets and ties rather than dress in full regalia. Malcolm Aish The fundamentals of Freemasonry are not going to change. Why would we want to modify the core ceremonial and ritual traditions of a highly successful organisation? But how we communicate among ourselves – how we formulate the ideas and direction that we are going to take, as well as organise ourselves – is an opportunity for members to make a major contribution. Peter Taylor I hope that the membership will be pleased to see that the MFG comprises members from around the country. We’re looking at the wider aspects of Freemasonry from an inclusive standpoint, and will be surveying views taken from a wide range of geographic areas that have different socio-economic challenges.

‘We’re listening to all our members, we want feedback, and before we come to any conclusions, we want to understand what the membership has to offer and what it can improve on.’ Malcolm Aish

Ray Reed We’re a bottom-up, not top-down member organisation. If you want to have your views on the future of the Craft reflected, then you must get involved with the surveys. This is all about meeting the needs of both existing and future members in today’s society in order to ensure the future of Freemasonry. How will the MFG communicate its findings? Shawn Christie The MFG will use various channels to keep the membership informed, including Freemasonry Today and communication through Provincial and District Grand Lodges. Whatever the findings, we hope to identify and share successful practices and approaches throughout our society. We want to work with Provinces, Districts, lodges and members rather than simply communicating in only one direction. Ray Reed Communication is going to be continuous. The strategy document might prove to be substantial, but we’ll need to summarise it and allow everyone at every level to understand. We’ll always take our conclusions to the Board, Rulers and PGMs first because we want them to be the first ones to know – we can’t let magazines like Freemasonry Today know something before the PGMs do. The information route will be focus groups first; then surveys; followed by findings and talks with the Board, Rulers and PGMs. Finally, there’s communication with all our members. Malcolm Aish Having this roundtable article is a great starting point in reaching a wide proportion of our membership, but we’ll have to feed back what we’re doing in order to be as effective as possible. We don’t know what the outcomes are going to be yet, but we’re listening to all of our members, we want their feedback, and before we come to any conclusions, we want to understand what the membership has to offer and what it can improve on.

HAVE YOUR SAY During the next six months, the Membership Focus Group will be seeking the assistance of members by way of several short surveys. Many of the subjects on which we shall be seeking views are mentioned in this article. 32 38

If you wish to have your say and are willing to help, then please email your details as indicated below. UGLE members can only register at: Your registration will be confirmed by us asking for your name, lodge number, masonic rank and years of membership




Fraught with fate Diane Clements, Director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, considers the impact of the outbreak of World War I on the Craft in England



ritain entered World War I on 4 August 1914. When the Grand Lodge held its regular Quarterly Communications less than a month later on 2 September, French and British armies had delayed the German advance in the south of Belgium, but their success at the first Battle of the Marne was still uncertain. Alfred Robbins, the President of the Board of General Purposes, later described the atmosphere at that meeting as being fraught with fate. ‘Not only for the British Empire and her Allies, but for all that English masons held dear,’ he wrote. ‘Darkness was descending on many a soul.’

DISRUPTED MEETINGS Calls for lodges to stop meeting were dismissed by the Grand Lodge, but two of them with the closest German links, Pilgrim Lodge, No. 238, and Deutschland Lodge, No. 3315, both ceased to meet for the duration of the war. Members of both lodges had been faced with the provisions of wartime legislation that had given ‘enemy aliens’ a matter of days to leave the country and forced all those remaining to register with the police. The activities

of other lodges were disrupted as members, including the Pro Grand Master, Lord Ampthill, went to fight or became involved in the conflict. By mid-September 1914, Lord Charles Beresford Lodge, No. 2404, based in Chatham in Kent, had all its two hundred and fifty members serving while forty-three of the forty-five members of Alma Lodge, No. 3534, in Hounslow, whose members were drawn from the Royal Fusiliers, rejoined for war service. The lodge meeting scheduled for September 1914 didn’t take place and the lodge members weren’t to meet again until 1918. Other lodges were forced to move out of their meeting places as buildings across the country were requisitioned. Several London lodges were forced to move from De Keyser’s Royal Hotel on the Victoria Embankment when it was requisitioned for the Military Aeronautics Directorate. The Lodge of Faith and Unanimity, No. 417, in Dorchester gave its hall to the Dorset County Hospital for use by wounded soldiers and met elsewhere. In May 1915, the lodge protested at their premises being used for ‘contagious and infectious diseases, or for enemy aliens’ and held the hospital accountable for

ABOVE: A recruitment advert for soldiers TOP: Pro Grand Master Lord Ampthill in full military uniform

J 41


‘disinfecting, re-decorating, and rendering the lodge’, but it was able to return to its hall in January 1918. An estimated 200,000 refugees arrived in Britain from Belgium, displaced by the war. The Grand Lodge made an immediate initial donation of £1,000, the equivalent of more than £40,000 today, to the Belgian Relief Fund. The returning refugees were dispersed across the country. Some were sent to Nottingham where they were housed in Chaucer Street properties that had been purchased shortly before the war for the site of a new masonic hall. Funds were regularly raised for them at Provincial meetings until they were repatriated in 1919. A £1,000 donation was made to the British Red Cross Society, where Sir Arthur Stanley, Provincial Grand Master of Lancashire, Western Division, was chairman of the executive committee.

A LADIES COMMITTEE IS BORN With many businesses closing down or reducing their activity at the outbreak of war, there were fewer employment opportunities for single women as servants and secretaries. When the Queen’s Work for Women Fund was established, the Grand Lodge

requested that the wife of the Pro Grand Master, Lady Ampthill, form a Ladies Committee to raise contributions for the Fund from the wives and daughters of Freemasons. An impressive £2,001 was raised. This was presented to Queen Mary in March 1915, with the funds divided between several bodies providing training and support for women. Women soon began to replace men in clerical and manufacturing roles as the war continued, especially after the introduction of conscription in 1916, and the need for the Fund was much reduced. Many organisations and communities established Rolls of Honour in the early months of the war. These were originally intended to record the names of those who had volunteered, but they also quickly became a record of casualties. The idea of a Masonic Roll of Honour was first considered by the Grand Lodge at its meeting in December 1914, its second meeting after the outbreak of war. Documents sent by the Grand Lodge to lodge secretaries asked for the name, military rank and masonic rank of brethren known to have died. The first list appeared in the 1916 Masonic Year Book – it was thirty pages long with five hundred names.

The Library and Museum has a new, free temporary exhibition called English Freemasonry and the First World War, which opens on Monday, 15 September 2014 and runs until Friday, 6 March 2015. A richly illustrated book to coincide with the exhibition has been published and is available from Letchworth’s Shop at Freemasons’ Hall, priced £15.


ABOVE, FROM TOP: Lady Ampthill, who formed the Ladies Committee and helped raise an impressive £2,001 for the Queen’s Work for Women Fund; Sir Arthur Stanley, then chairman of the executive committee of the British Red Cross Society; the Roll of Honour form sent to lodges asking for details of members who had died in the conflict



LIFTING THE WORRY Each year, the Masonic Samaritan Fund and individual lodges contribute to prostate cancer research. The moving story of Freemason Ian Mcilquham and his family shows why this support is so vital, writes Andrew Gimson



n January this year, Ian Mcilquham saw some posters about prostate cancer. He had no symptoms, but his father and another member of his family had suffered from it, so he decided that it would be a good idea to go for a blood test. The result showed that he had a raised level of PSA (prostatespecific antigen), which can indicate the presence of the disease. A biopsy, carried out at the University Hospital of Wales, later confirmed that Ian had prostate cancer. As he was only fifty-two years old, Ian decided to undergo a radical prostatectomy – the removal of the prostate gland. However, the NHS in Wales only offers this procedure as an open (more invasive) operation, and Ian was told it could have bad side-effects – including incontinence, erectile dysfunction and being unlikely to be able to go back to work. His consultant advised him to have a robotic (less invasive) operation that is available from the NHS in some hospitals in England. Because Ian lives in Wales, the only way to have this procedure in England would be at a private hospital, which would be very expensive. A member of Juventus Lodge, No. 8105, in South Wales Province, Ian works as a radiographer, and his wife, Penny, is a specialist nurse. They have three children: Kinsey, aged seventeen, Jourdain, aged fifteen and Kai, aged eleven – who at first was worried his father would die from the disease. Ian approached the Masonic Samaritan Fund for help. On the day he telephoned, the Fund emailed him back with authorisation for a private consultation in Bristol.

In Ian’s words, ‘The relief was unbelievable.’ The MSF then swiftly approved the funding application for his operation. ‘It wasn’t just the financial support from the MSF that helped, it was also the emotional support offered to me and my family. Lifting this worry was of greater importance, in some ways, than the financing of the surgery – they helped the entire family unit.’

COMPLETE SUCCESS With his lodge providing support, Ian remembers that it was ‘weird’ having a major operation while feeling fine, but he knew that the longer he waited for treatment, the more likely it was that the cancer would spread. Five weeks after having the operation, laboratory analysis of his prostate tissue revealed that the surgery had been a complete success. Ian will now be monitored by an NHS hospital and his GP, meaning that he can focus on getting strong enough to return to work. Richard Douglas, Chief Executive of the MSF, explains his charity’s approach: ‘We fund people who have a positive diagnosis, but can’t get the treatment they require on the NHS in a reasonable timescale.’ The MSF helps masons and their dependants, aiming to respond quickly in order to alleviate the anxiety of waiting. The charity is able to fund the cost of treatment for most eligible applications, and is also able to consider requests for research funding. To save the lives of men with prostate cancer, early diagnosis is essential. Unfortunately, the PSA test


‘It wasn’t just the financial support from the MSF that helped, it was also the emotional support offered to me and my family… they helped the entire family unit.’ Ian Mcilquham



‘With over 10,000 men dying each year from this disease, it’s time to give the experts the resources they need to beat prostate cancer.’ Richard Douglas does not always turn out to be correct. ‘Accurate diagnosis is the starting point to help men survive and have a better quality of life post-treatment,’ explains Richard. ‘With over 10,000 men dying each year from this disease, it’s time to give the experts the resources they need to beat prostate cancer for good.’ The MSF has donated £34,625 to Prostate Cancer UK and has helped fund a research project at Cambridge University by Dr Hayley Whitaker, lead scientist of the Biomarker Initiative. She explains that the PSA test can detect lots of things that aren’t cancer, such as an enlarged prostate gland or inflammation. Moreover, only one in four cancers will become aggressive. Whitaker and her team of four researchers are trying to find new markers they can use to improve the PSA test. Their aim is to come up with half a dozen markers that will help provide a more accurate diagnosis. It may then be possible to avoid having a rectal examination, and, for some men, to avoid having a biopsy. The team at Cambridge have found a number of markers that are very promising, including two that identify patients who are more likely to relapse following surgery. ‘This means we can watch these patients more closely and attack the cancer harder,’ Whitaker explains,

adding that the donation from the MSF has made a huge difference. ‘It’s given us such a great opportunity to do the work and we’re incredibly grateful.’ Gabriella Bailey, head of community fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, is keen to raise the awareness of the disease, which has been far less intensively researched than many other forms of cancer. ‘Every one of the masonic lodges that’s raised money for Prostate Cancer UK is part of this movement for men, and we’re incredibly grateful for the support,’ says Bailey. ‘Since 2005, local masonic lodges have raised £476,000 for Prostate Cancer UK – a fantastic contribution to the work we’re doing.’ Between one hundred and one hundred and thirty lodges a year support Prostate Cancer UK, which employs a group of specialist nurses to provide support through a free telephone, email and web chat service and who are able to answer questions about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. In the UK, around one in eight men will get this disease. If you have any concerns, the Prostate Cancer UK website is a great place to start. For more information about the disease and giving support, please visit

Ian Mcilquham and his wife Penny with their three children



INDEPENDENT THINKER Embracing tolerance and approaching life with an open mind, it’s no coincidence that the Duke of Sussex played such a pivotal role in shaping modern Freemasonry, writes Malta Grand Inspector Dr Lawrence Porter


he Duke of Sussex, Grand Master from 1813 to 1843, is a towering figure in the history of English Freemasonry. He played a pivotal role in the unification of the Premier and Antient Grand Lodges to form the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of his influence on the structure and status of modern English Freemasonry. Without his vision, energy and, above all, his sense of tolerance, the United Grand Lodge of England would not exist in its present form. Just imagine if we still had two competing Grand Lodges and how this would dampen the effectiveness of English Freemasonry throughout the world. Augustus Fredrick was born a Royal Prince on 27 January 1773, the ninth of the fifteen children of George III and Queen Charlotte. On 27 November 1801, at the age of twenty-eight, the King made him Duke of Sussex.

PROGRESSIVE REPUTATION Augustus had a reputation for open-mindedness and was considered the most liberal of his siblings, being something of a social reformer. He was educated abroad, entering the University of Göttingen in 1786 at the age of thirteen. He was the only one of the princes not to pursue a military career, although some commentators have attributed this to the fact that he suffered from asthma rather than his well-known liberal propensities. In opposition to the views of some of his older brothers, in particular the Duke of Cumberland, Augustus favoured Catholic Emancipation. He was also, despite his devout Christianity, a strong supporter of the Jewish community. In 1815, the Duke accepted patronage of the Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum, which survives to this day as the charity Norwood. He also lent his influence to promote various benevolent schemes and was once referred to as ‘the most charming beggar in Europe’.


Augustus was a prominent supporter of the arts and also of scientific research and progress. He became president of the Society of Arts in 1816 and president of the Royal Society in 1830. An active president of the Royal Society, Augustus hosted many parties at Kensington Palace, often at great personal expense.

GLITTERING CAREER Augustus was initiated into the Lodge of Victorious Truth in Berlin in 1798 while studying in Germany. He took rapidly to masonry, eventually occupying the Chair of his German Lodge. Back in England, in 1800 Augustus joined his brother George’s Prince of Wales Lodge, now No. 259. The Duke joined the Lodge of Friendship, No. 6, in 1806 and Antiquity, No. 2, in 1808. In 1814, he was instrumental in the resuscitation and, later, amalgamation of several lodges to form Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16 – which was the Grand Master’s personal lodge and remains so until this day. In 1813, Augustus was elected Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge while his elder brother, the Duke of Kent, became Grand Master of the Antients, and they became involved in the completion of the negotiations for the unification of the two Grand Lodges. The Articles of Union were finalised at the end of 1813 and on 27 December 1813, the Duke of Kent graciously stood aside for his younger brother to take the reins of the new Grand Lodge. Augustus remained Grand Master for thirty years until his death in 1843. He referred to the union of the two Grand Lodges as ‘the happiest event of my life’. Augustus was a very hands-on Grand Master, resolving ‘to rule as well as to reign’. He attended some of the meetings of the special Lodge of Reconciliation (1813-1816), personally chaired the Board of General Purposes and was involved in the detail of all of the major Board decisions. The Union did not proceed quite as smoothly as it might appear from our vantage point,



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Kensal Green Cemetery, the final resting place of the Duke of Sussex; Queen Victoria’s wedding; Augustus as Grand Master

‘Augustus astounded the nation by becoming the first royal to be buried in a public graveyard. After his death in 1843, he was laid to rest in Kensal Green Cemetery.’ two hundred years further on. Indeed, Augustus faced significant resistance to the changes necessary to bring together two proud organisations with similar aims and ceremonies, but with important differences. Demonstrating his independent thinking, Augustus astounded the nation by becoming the first royal to be buried in a public graveyard. After his death on 21 April 1843, and following the instructions recorded in his will, he was laid to rest in Kensal Green Cemetery in North London. Such a choice of burial place by a royal prince required the permission of Queen Victoria. He had been the Queen’s favourite uncle and gave her away at her wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. The Spectator of 29 April 1843 wrote: ‘Her acquiescence in his selection of a place of burial may be received as an indication that she understood as well as loved him.’ A visit to the Kensal Green Cemetery is worthwhile. After the Duke’s burial there, and later the burial of his sister, Princess Sophie, the cemetery became fashionable and many famous people followed suit. However, the inscription on the tombstone is now difficult to read and I believe that Freemasons would do well to pay more attention to the final resting place of our Grand Master.



Around three hundred and fifty Freemasons volunteer regularly at RMBI care homes across England and Wales. Tabby Kinder meets the people who help residents combat loneliness, remain active and retain a sense of identity

SIDE BY SIDE They each regularly visit the home to put on events for residents, escort them on trips to the pub, ballet or the theatre, and raise money. Each year, the volunteers raise around £20,000, which is spent hosting functions and buying new equipment to enhance the residents’ lives.

SWEET MEMORIES Last year, money raised by the Association was also used to purchase twenty-eight new adjustable beds and a 1950s-style shop for the home’s Dementia Unit (complete with glass jars of sherbet lemons and an old manual till). Through its sweets and memorabilia, and giving residents the chance to work there, the shop helps re-create a bygone era and stimulates happy memories. ‘It’s not easy for the residents when they first arrive – some of them don’t want to be here,’ says Frank. ‘It’s so important to me to make moving in easier for them and to ensure they settle in and come to feel safe here.’ As well as fairs, fetes and grand dinners on St Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Burns Night and St George’s Day – as well as a popular hog roast in July – Frank and his team hold regular coffee mornings, bingo and film nights. ‘It’s about making sure they don’t get bored,’ Frank laughs. As a testament to Frank’s commitment to making sure residents are happy, his wife Dot keeps leaving our conversation to greet the ladies who live here, all of


‘Freemasonry and volunteering go hand in hand. The residents keep me coming back… it’s our job to make sure they are happy and secure.’ Frank Lee




alking through the corridors of James Terry Court, the RMBI care home nestled in a quiet corner of South Croydon, Frank Lee and his wife Dot are in great demand. Residents stop to say hello to Frank and to hug Dot – and to ask after the couple’s many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After eighteen years of volunteering here, Frank and his wife are part of the home, and the residents greet them as warmly as they do their own families. Frank is Chairman of the home’s Association of Friends – a group of volunteers who dedicate time each week to provide support to the care home staff, as well as friendship and entertainment to its residents. Each of the seventeen RMBI care homes across the country has its own association to provide extra support and friendship beyond the homes’ core services. ‘Freemasonry and volunteering go hand in hand,’ says Frank, who has been part of the Craft for forty years. ‘It’s the residents that keep me coming back each month, though. They’re the most important people in the home, and it’s our job to make sure they spend the last few years of their lives feeling happy and secure.’ Frank has been Chairman of the Association of Friends of James Terry Court for five years, running the committee that consists of twelve men and six women.




‘Freemasons should look after our elderly and do everything we can to help them. I’m very happy to be part of an organisation that makes sure this happens.’ Frank Lee


whom are overjoyed to see her. ‘I’ve always been a big believer in getting family involved,’ explains Frank. ‘Dot and I are able to count many of these residents among our close friends, now.’

‘I’ve been running the home shop for a long time now. It’s open every Tuesday morning and we sell sweets, crisps, chocolates, biscuits, toiletries, drinks and birthday cards. We have some of the residents to our home at Christmas time and Ted, my husband, still plays carpet bowls with them – something that started eighteen years ago!’

Meet a few of the volunteers who regularly give their time and energy to help improve residents’ lives

FESTIVE PHILANTHROPY Each year the committee hosts Christmas dinner for the residents of James Terry Court. ‘Freemasons should look after our elderly and do everything we can to help them,’ he says. ‘I’m very happy to be part of an organisation that makes sure this happens.’ The Association of Friends also holds a yearly Ladies’ Night for female residents who miss going to masonic events with their husbands. ‘They all look forward to it, queuing up for the salon months in advance and getting dressed up beautifully on the night,’ he explains. Frank was recently awarded the prestigious Order of Mercy for his volunteering in the community by the League of Mercy Foundation, a royal body that recognises and rewards up to fifty volunteers nationwide each year. But he’s still modest about such recognition. ‘There are no individuals in the Association of Friends. I received the award for the time I’ve spent here, but I accepted it on behalf of the entire team.’ Charles Knowles, a new resident at James Terry Court, stops to talk about how the work being done by the volunteers has eased his transition into living there. ‘They come along here all the time and they treat me beautifully. You can’t ask for more than that,’ he says.

Vi Melber Patron of Lord Harris Court, Wokingham and Association of Friends member for 38 years

Frank Lee (left) with one of the residents at James Terry Court in Croydon

‘The home provides excellent nursing care to residents and the role of the Friends is to provide those things that aren’t part of the home’s remit, but that add hugely to their quality of life. We raise around £10,000 a year. If the home needs a wheelchairconverted mini bus, whenever it’s requested, we try our best to provide it.’ David Lathrope Chairman of the Association of Friends of Devonshire Court, Leicester and Association of Friends member for 12 years

‘We’re trying to make the living experience far more enjoyable at Scarbrough Court, and the funds raised by the Friends mean we can redecorate with vintage furniture and decorations – things that remind our residents of their younger days. A lot of the Friends have had loved ones here, so they’re aware of what’s needed.’ Lesley Dawson Home Manager of Scarbrough Court, Northumberland for two years



PUTTING AUSTRALIA ON THE MAP Few men in history can claim to have named an entire country, but Freemason Matthew Flinders is one of them. With July 2014 marking two hundred years since Flinders’ passing, Kevin Gest explores how this navigator ended up down under


hilosophers who lived two thousand years ago knew the Earth was a sphere that rotated on its axis with a slow, gentle wobble. The limit of their geographical knowledge was centred in the northern hemisphere on the land masses and cultures they knew. They reasoned that, in the southern hemisphere, there had to be a land mass of equal size to balance the axial rotation, otherwise the wobble would be far more acute. The philosophers named this mythical land mass Terra Australis Incognita – the south land, as yet unknown.



Captain Matthew Flinders is little known in Britain, but in Australia he’s a giant in the history of British settlement. Flinders ranks with the achievements of other great seamen such as Captain Cook, who was killed in Hawaii; and Bligh, known for his misadventure on the Bounty. Cook learned his navigation skills the hard way, Bligh learned from Cook, and Flinders learned how to sail from serving with Bligh on HMS Providence on the second voyage to transfer breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies. But Flinders took his seafaring skills to a whole new level.

CALLING TO THE SEA Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Flinders had a calling to the sea. Even as a junior officer, he demonstrated an ability to think for himself and act independently. In the closing years of the eighteenth century, Flinders sailed to Sydney Town in the fledgling colony of New South Wales. His seamanship and cartography skills quickly came to the attention of the Governor through a series of pivotal short expeditions. Backed by the Governor, Flinders was appointed to command HMS Norfolk to survey the coast of Van Diemen’s Land, which, at that time, was believed to have been part of the mainland. Flinders discovered that it was an island, later renamed Tasmania. He returned to England in 1800 where he presented his discovery to the Royal Society. This event brought him into contact with Freemason Sir Joseph Banks, who had sailed into Botany Bay with Captain James Cook to discover what’s

‘Had I permitted myself any innovation of the original term, it would have been to convert it into Australia; as being more agreeable on the ear.’ Matthew Flinders


ABOVE: Flinders was a member of Friendly Cultivator Lodge

now known as the east coast of Australia, and he later recommended that to populate the area, convicts were transferred by sea to settle there. By the time of Flinders’ arrival in Sydney harbour, there were two coastal territories, 2,000 miles apart, noted on maps as New Holland and New South Wales, but there was uncertainty about what existed between them. Banks encouraged a new expedition to fully chart the territories and discover if this was the fabled land of Terra Australis Incognita, and Flinders was its commander aboard HMS Investigator. In the following years, Flinders produced astonishing charts of previously unknown coasts; he was the first to circumnavigate Australia, suffering great hardship at sea in the process. His mission fulfilled, and armed with his charts and logs, he began his journey back to England. He was shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef, almost losing all his records, and was later taken prisoner on Mauritius by the French and branded a spy while his charts were confiscated and copied. Some of his discoveries were also claimed by French explorers. Flinders returned to England in 1810, where he was celebrated by the Royal Society, and introduced by Banks to King George III, and the Prince Regent, who was to become a Grand Master. He was encouraged by Banks and the Admiralty to write down the details of his voyage, which he did in a volume entitled A Voyage to Terra Australis. In it, Flinders produced a map of the outline of the land he had been sent to explore. He wrote: ‘Had I permitted myself any innovation of the original term, it would have been to convert it into Australia; as being more agreeable on the ear and an assimilation to the other great portions of the earth.’

FIRST TO USE THE NAME BELOW: The Chart of Terra Australis, South Coast, from 1802

Australian documents indicate that Flinders was the first to use that name, having written it in a letter to his brother in 1804. After his map was printed and released in 1814 with this new designation emblazoned upon it, the name slowly became accepted to such a degree that, a few decades later, when the first Governor General was appointed, the name was attached to his rank. Researchers have noted that in Flinders’ diaries, detailed after his return to England, there are several entries, at regular monthly intervals, stating that he was attending a meeting – but nothing else to disclose their purpose. There’s little doubt that these were to attend a lodge. According to the archives of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, Flinders was initiated into Friendly Cultivator Lodge while held on Mauritius. His journal entries for July 1807, 1808 and 1809 note that he celebrated ‘the fete of St John at the Freemasons Lodge established there’. Matthew Flinders died on 19 July 1814, aged forty years, from an illness he was believed to have contracted while imprisoned. He’s buried in what was once a large cemetery, but it has now been converted into a public park, close to London’s Euston Station. The headstone marking Flinders’ grave has also disappeared. He’s immortalised in England, along with other seamen, in a stained-glass window in Lincoln Cathedral, and in Australia by elegant statues in Sydney and Melbourne.




KNOWN AND YET NOT WELL KNOWN Past Grand Chaplain and member of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree, Rev Dr John Railton explores the origins of the Unknown Warrior


t the west end of the nave of Westminster Abbey, covered by a slab of black Belgian marble, is the grave of the Unknown Warrior. The body was brought from France to be buried here on 11 November 1920 and, in the week after the burial, it is estimated that over one million people visited the Abbey. Now one of the most visited war graves in the world, my father’s cousin David Railton first conceived the idea when he came across a grave marked by a rough cross, which bore the pencil-written legend ‘An Unknown British Soldier’. David volunteered as an army chaplain when he was just thirty-one. Leaving his position as a curate in Folkestone, he went out to the Western Front on 11 January 1916 and served with the ‘Tommies’ in the trenches for the duration of World War I. His faith, compassion and courage are all evident from what survives of his wartime correspondence with his wife, Ruby. It was in the late summer of 1916 that he was awarded the Military Cross for his part in saving an officer and two soldiers from certain death in the High Wood action on the Somme. A month later, the idea of a tomb dedicated to an unknown soldier was planted in David’s mind and his vision began to take shape.

DIVINE INSPIRATION In an article published in Our Empire in November 1931, David describes vividly how the notion came to him: ‘I came back from “the line” at dusk. We had just laid to rest the mortal remains of a comrade. I went to a billet in front of Erquinghem, near Armentières. At the back of the billet was a small garden, and in the


RIGHT: The tomb in Westminster Abbey

REMEMBERING WORLD WAR I RIGHT: Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who helped to turn Railton’s idea into a reality

garden, only about six paces from the house, there was a grave. At its head, there stood a rough cross of white wood. On the cross was clearly written in deep blackpencilled letters: “An Unknown British Soldier”, and in brackets underneath, “of the Black Watch”. ‘It was dusk and nobody was near, except some officers in the billet playing cards. I remember how still it was. Even the guns seemed to be resting, as if to give their gunners a chance to have their tea. How that grave caused me to think! Quietly and gradually there came out of the mist of thought this answer clear and strong: “Let this body – this symbol of him – be carried reverently over the sea to his native land.”’



The idea stayed with David throughout the war and after the Armistice, but he was reluctant to do anything about it – mainly because he thought that an idea from a humble padre would be unlikely to find favour with those in authority. After the war, David returned to his curacy in Folkestone and was then appointed vicar of St John the Baptist in Margate. For a long time he contemplated writing to General Sir Douglas Haig, but never did. It was with the encouragement of his wife that eventually, in August 1920, David wrote to Bishop Herbert Ryle, Dean of Westminster Abbey. He suggested that the remains of an unidentifiable serviceman be buried in Westminster Abbey as the representative of the thousands of soldiers who had died in the war. Ryle appears to have embraced the idea and approached both Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Prime Minister David Lloyd George received it enthusiastically because it fitted so well with his own vision of a ‘national memorial’, which Sir Edwin Lutyens had been commissioned to design and which we all now know as the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Once the proposal had been adopted and a formal announcement made on 19 October, a Memorial Service Committee under the Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon was established, arrangements were made swiftly and orders were issued. On Sunday, 7 November 1920, four individual parties of soldiers were sent out to the four principal battlefields – Somme, Ainse, Arras




‘The flag covering the coffin was the one used by David, both as an altar cloth for services on the battlefield and as a shroud for fallen soldiers.’ The Union Flag covering the coffin was the one used by David throughout the war, both as an altar cloth for services on the battlefield and as a shroud at the battlefield burial of soldiers killed in action. After unveiling the Cenotaph, the King laid a wreath on the coffin and then walked in procession behind it to Westminster Abbey. The Unknown Warrior was buried at the west end of the nave and the grave filled with soil brought from France.


and Ypres – to exhume four corpses. They were identified as British by their boots and buttons, but their ranks were unknown. The corpses were sewn into sackcloth, taken to a swiftly built temporary Chapel at St Pol, laid out on trestles and covered with Union Flags under the supervision of Rev George Kendall – an army chaplain who had been sent out from London with two undertakers. Brigadier General L J Wyatt had succeeded Haig as General Officer Commanding British Forces in France and Flanders. According to his letter to the Daily Telegraph in November 1939, at midnight on that Sunday night, after the chaplain, the undertakers and the exhumation parties had all dispersed, General Wyatt entered the chapel with a member of his staff, Colonel Gell. He selected one covered body and then, with Colonel Gell, lifted it into a prepared plain deal coffin shell, before securing and sealing the lid. The chapel stayed under guard overnight. The coffin shell containing the Unknown Warrior was placed in a coffin of English oak and was prepared for transit back to England by train and a Royal Naval destroyer. On Thursday, 11 November 1920, the Unknown Warrior travelled by gun carriage from Victoria station via The Mall and Trafalgar Square for the ceremony to unveil the Cenotaph in Whitehall at precisely 11.00am.


ABOVE: A closeup of the tomb in the Abbey’s nave BELOW: The Union Flag that covered the coffin of the Unknown Warrior on its way to the Abbey during the 1920 ceremony

A year later, David carried his Union Flag to the altar in Westminster Abbey where it was dedicated to, and then laid up over, the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. The flag remained there for thirty-two years until 1953, when it was moved because it was obstructing the view of the cameras filming the Coronation. It has hung in nearby St George’s Chapel ever since. My father was in the Honourable Artillery Company during World War I, having signed up six months before his eighteenth birthday. However, being sixteen years younger than David, he didn’t get out to France. I do know from my conversations with my father that he and David were in frequent touch with each other during the immediate post-war years and met several times, probably during the mid 1920s when David was Vicar of St John the Baptist in Margate and my father was a schoolmaster in Essex. The impression I have is that my father found David to be a role model. The concept of a Tomb of an Unknown Warrior was picked up almost immediately by France and, later, by the United States along with many other nations. But the original idea came from David.

BIOGRAPHY David Railton was born in Leytonstone on 13 November 1884, the second son of George Scott Railton, the first commissioner of The Salvation Army. David graduated from Keble in 1908 and was ordained the same year, taking his first curacy at Edge Hill, Liverpool. It was there that he met his wife, Ruby. They moved to Kent in 1910 and their first daughter was born in 1913. David was appointed curate in Folkestone in 1914. He moved from Margate to take up a post as curate at Christ Church, Westminster, then took incumbencies in Bolton, Shalford and Liverpool, before retiring in 1945 at the age of sixty-one.



CURE AND CARE By funding groundbreaking medical research and supporting the care and treatment of cancer sufferers, Freemasons make a real contribution towards fighting the disease


very two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, and more than one in three people in the UK will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. In the words of Cancer Research UK, ‘One day we will beat cancer. The more research we do, the sooner that day will come.’ Having donated more than £3 million to cancer-related medical research, the Grand Charity has demonstrated that masons share this belief, too. Due to improvements in cancer detection and treatments, survival rates in the UK have doubled in the past forty years. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated researchers and their discoveries. The Grand Charity has funded pioneering research into the study of cancer at the molecular level, as precision targeting of individual cancers is a powerful weapon in the fight against the disease. Grants to Ovarian Cancer Action (£1 million, 2008-2012) and to the Institute of Cancer Research (£1 million, 2004-2014) are recent examples. Both organisations have made vital discoveries relating to genes and proteins that are particularly important in the understanding of the development of ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers. The Grand Charity has donated nearly £6 million to charities that offer the highest level of care to those affected by cancer. These grants have helped to improve the lives of thousands of sufferers and their families through expert medical, practical and emotional support provided by the funded charities. The Grand Charity gave £446,000 to fund three CLIC Sargent support workers over five years, providing an invaluable lifeline to children with cancer, and their families, whose lives have been turned upside down by the disease.

Marie Curie Nurses provide highquality care

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT In the wake of the deep emotional turmoil resulting from a diagnosis, and the debilitating side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, there is an urgent need for emotional support, counselling and complementary therapies. This range of vital care is available free for breast cancer sufferers and their families from The Haven charity. In 2008, the Grand Charity gave £250,000 to fund the development of one of its three therapeutic day centres (Havens) in Leeds, where visitors can build their strength to cope with and fight the disease. The Grand Charity also supports end-of-life care for people with cancer and other diseases. Putting patients and families first, Marie Curie Nurses provide high-quality care and support for the terminally ill at the end of their life, in the place of their choice. Currently, a £117,000 grant is funding the salaries of two Marie Curie Nurses for three years. During 2012-2013, Marie Curie Nurses provided more than 1.3 million hours of nursing to 30,080 patients, along with much-needed support for their families. The funding given by Freemasons is invaluable. It not only provides help for sufferers, but is also an investment in the fight to conquer this disease.

Professor Hani Gabra: director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre at Imperial College

CLIC Sargent support: Thomas Harman with nurse Jane Cope

Find out more about The Freemasons’ Grand Charity by visiting

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MASONIC SAMARITAN FUND Joan Richardson has been helped by the MSF

A BREAK FROM THE ROUTINE The MSF recognises how important it is for full-time carers to make time for themselves, both for the sake of their own health and to give them the energy to carry on caring


he MSF has been funding short care breaks, also known as respite care, since 2006 and has provided more than £2 million to support carers within the masonic community. Respite care is short-term support used as a temporary alternative to a person’s usual care arrangements. An MSF respite grant helped Neil Richardson manage full-time work while caring for his widowed mother, Joan, who has Parkinson’s disease. After two bad falls, she lost her confidence and has struggled to walk unaided. ‘The MSF has topped up the respite care already provided by the local authority by ten hours a week and it has made such a huge difference to Mum,’ said Neil. ‘She can now stay at home and be taken care of by her family and the four carers attending each day. The alternative would be her having to go into a home, which wouldn’t be ideal as she is so

attached to her house and all its memories.’ Neil said his mum was delighted. ‘I’m sure my late dad would have wanted us to seek help from his fellow masons, and Mum and I are both so grateful for the MSF’s assistance.’

HOW TO APPLY To apply for an MSF grant you first need to approach your local authority for a Carer’s Assessment. This will identify your needs as a carer and help to decide what support, if any, is available from social services. The best way to request a Carer’s Assessment is to write to or email your local social services department. If you face a wait of six weeks or more for this assessment, or you don’t qualify for an assessment, please get in touch with the MSF, who can provide short-term care after an interim assessment is conducted by the masonic charities’ Advice and Support Team.

To ensure you qualify to make an application for respite care, use the Fund’s new eligibility calculator at: Or simply call our Grants Team on 020 7404 1550 who will be happy to help. Did you know that after surgery or a period of hospitalisation, you are entitled to NHS care to assist your recovery at home? As such, the MSF can’t fund convalescent care, as it’s your statutory right to receive this from your NHS hospital. Your nurse can provide further information on getting the convalescent care you need.

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





Over the summer, the RMBI has refreshed its core branding. While retaining the familiar RMBI logo, some visual and linguistic elements of the brand have been subtly tweaked and updated. The fresh, new look will appear on all RMBI materials and channels in a phased rollout over the next few months. Key updates include: • A softer, gentler colour palette • A new strapline that reads: ‘Caring is our way of life’ • Strengthening of core values • A new linguistic style guide that captures the charity’s language and tone • A font refresh for improved clarity with a more modern typeface The first RMBI material to be refreshed was the RMBI Welcome Pack for new care home residents, which was introduced in July. We look forward to displaying the new look on all other RMBI materials in due course. Please share your thoughts about our new branding by emailing: marketing

RMBI care homes across England and Wales welcomed the public for vintage-style tea parties during National Care Homes Open Day


ow in its second year, National Care Homes Open Day aims to connect care home residents with their local communities and change the perception of care homes for good. On 20 June, vintage-style tea parties were held to encourage families, schools, care professionals and the wider community to meet the people living and working in their local care homes and to experience what vibrant and happy environments they can be. More than 1,000 cups of tea were served as residents, staff, volunteers and visitors came together to mark the campaign. Homes embraced the vintage theme with staff at The Tithebarn in Liverpool dressing up in 1940s costumes. Queen Elizabeth Court in Llandudno was decorated with

Sweet treats at Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court in Mid Glamorgan

original 1940s bunting and the post-war era was evoked with memorabilia, music and films. Several RMBI homes (including Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court in Mid Glamorgan; Shannon Court in Surrey; Prince Michael of Kent Court in Watford; and Cadogan Court in Exeter) served homemade cakes and a variety of treats made using traditional recipes taken from the RMBI cookbook, Recipes and Reminiscences.

JOINT ACTIVITIES Homes also planned joint activities with schools and community groups. Residents of Cornwallis Court in Suffolk were joined by local schoolchildren for a morning of cooking and baking. Members of the local Women’s Institute visited Devonshire Court in Leicester for

their tea party and Prince George Duke of Kent Court in Kent invited Age UK, local businesses and community police volunteers to take part in a putting competition. James Terry Court in Croydon, Ecclesholme in Manchester, Zetland Court in Bournemouth and Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court in Essex all laid on a selection of extra activities for residents and guests including arts and crafts workshops, several live music performances and a fun selection of quizzes and games. A few homes combined their tea parties for National Care Homes Open Day with other public events – Barford Court in Hove held an open day to draw attention to its brand-new Day Service and Connaught Court in York hosted its annual summer fete.

Residents, visitors and staff at Prince Michael of Kent Court enjoy a vintage tea party celebration

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WellChild team members ready for the task ahead


very child loves to play outdoors, particularly during the summer. However, for seven-year-old William, who suffers from autism and asthma, this simple pleasure hasn’t always been possible. William also shows violent and destructive behaviour when he’s frustrated, and has no awareness of danger, often running away from his mother when he can. To provide him with a safe outdoor space, a small team from the RMTGB recently participated in a scheme called Helping Hands, operated by the national charity WellChild. The team spent all day renovating William’s garden by installing new fencing and replacing the gravel with an artificial lawn.


Lara: one of the 2,000 children supported

Work underway in the garden


Around one hundred Freemasons and family members from the Province of Bedfordshire attended the twenty-ninth Annual General Court and General Meeting of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys on Saturday, 14 June. The meeting took place at the Luton Masonic Centre and was chaired by Michael Sawyer, PGM for Bedfordshire, whose 2015 Festival in support of the Trust concludes next year. Those present heard from the President, Chief Executive and members of council and staff about the activities and achievements of Freemasonry’s oldest charity. During 2013, the Trust supported over 2,000 children and young people from masonic families with more than £8.4 million in funding. Nearly 15,000 further children benefited from the Trust’s non-masonic grant-making scheme, Stepping Stones, which awarded £100,000 to local and national charities, and supported Lifelites (a charity for children in hospices). Michael said he looked forward to the successful end of his Festival appeal in 2015.

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For the previous two years, WellChild has received grants from the RMTGB totalling £45,000 to support projects such as Helping Hands. Those participating were happy to have had the chance to become more closely involved with the project. A bake sale was also held at Freemasons’ Hall to raise the required funds. Oliver Carrington, who manages the RMTGB’s Stepping Stones scheme, said, ‘Being able to meet one of the families we’re helping was really rewarding. I hope that William enjoys playing in his new garden.’ Since the scheme was first launched, more than £700,000 has been awarded to around forty nonmasonic charities by the RMTGB’s Stepping Stones scheme, which has helped to improve the lives of thousands of children across England and Wales.


FACES TO NAMES The extensive photographic collection at the Library and Museum adds another perspective on the history of the Craft and its members


hether in the form of paintings, engravings, prints or photographs, the Library and Museum has a wealth of images of people. Over recent years, these have been catalogued online, with captivating biographies of many individuals, including details of their masonic careers. The online catalogue now has details for over 2,700 images – including those in albums of photographs. Enquirers can request digital copies of images they are interested in and many are available for inclusion in lodge or chapter histories and presentations. The three images here all relate to the period of World War I. Sir Francis Lloyd, shown right, in his army uniform, was a career soldier. In World War I he commanded the Territorial Forces in the London District. He was also active in Freemasonry, serving as the Master of the City of London National Guard Lodge, No. 3757, in 1916. Ladislas Aurele de Malczovich, bottom right, was a Hungarian civil servant who became a member of the English research lodge, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, and published articles in its Transactions. As one of many ‘alien enemy brethren’, he was excluded from membership of his English lodges during World War I. The back of his photograph is inscribed to his friend, Frederick Crowe – a noted masonic collector. In June 1919, an Especial Grand Lodge was held at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the end of the war. Among the audience of over 8,000 were many overseas representatives. The formal meeting was one of many hosted by London lodges, including a visit to the Houses of Parliament where the photograph, top right, was taken.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry Freemasons’ Hall 60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ Tel: 020 7395 9257 Email: Shop:

TOP: 1919 masonic peace celebration, Houses of Parliament ABOVE: Sir Francis Lloyd, Master of the City of London National Guard Lodge, No. 3757, in 1916 RIGHT: Ladislas Aurele de Malczovich




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


Dick or Harry rather than brother Black, Brown or White. There are plenty of opportunities – in the bar and during informal conversation at the Festive Board – to establish informal relationships with not only those of one’s own lodge, but also with visitors. Even in this enlightened age of a little more informality, I feel this is a step which warrants very serious consideration.

Sir, I have just finished viewing your UGLE video. Very nice! It was good to see and hear a young person give his opinions on Freemasonry, instead of ‘old folks’. It was something that we all can relate to – not too long, not too short – just a good, fresh look at an old institution. Well done. Charles Cameron, Orange Grove Lodge, No. 293, Orange, Grand Lodge of California, USA

Bruce Parker, Lodge of Probity, No. 61, Halifax, Yorkshire, West Riding


Sir, I am the Provincial Mentoring Coordinator for West Lancashire, and I’m being contacted by groups wanting to produce extra copies of the excellent DVD included in your last issue. They (and I) see it as a great recruiting tool, and would like to include it in their strategy to further advance membership. Giles Berkley, Peace and Unity Lodge, No. 3966, Thornton-Cleveleys, West Lancashire

SUMMONED BY NAME Sir, With reference to the letter from Paul Huggins in the summer edition of Freemasonry Today, I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. One doesn’t have much difficulty in remembering the first names of initiates into one’s own lodge, but in chapters it’s a different matter. In some of these, new members come from one or two Craft lodges, and are already known, but for those who join from other Provinces (and are approaching the top of the list) it’s impossible to remember anyone’s first name. I have been asking for first names to be included on summonses in my own chapter for years without success. It’s time that this policy is generally adopted in Freemasonry. Alan Sheath, Warden Lodge, No. 794, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire

ABOVE: Scenes from the cover DVD sent with our summer issue

Sir, Regarding the inclusion of forenames on summonses, the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding has already requested its lodges to consider doing so in future. My own lodge decided not to, as we felt there could be a lessening of the dignity and formality that is required – not only in lodge meetings themselves, but also in practices – Festive Boards and speeches. It could lead to brethren being addressed as brother Tom,

Sir, In my reply to the toast to Grand Lodge at our lodge installation meeting, I ruffled a few feathers by noting that there had been a steady decline in the standard of some lodge ceremonies in our Province. Books are open on the pedestal, crib cards used, and even whole ceremonies are read (often badly) from sheets of A4 paper. The latest innovation was an Installing Master using an iPad. Not everyone in our society is a perfect ritualist. We can forgive nervousness, but not trying is unforgiveable. Standards must be maintained by hard work and commitment. There is absolutely no shame in farming work out as there are plenty of older brothers willing to assist, support and encourage younger less-experienced brethren, and also have their fifteen minutes of fame. Now the dreaded mobile and iPad are openly used by brethren of all ranks at Festive Boards, even while a brother is speaking. This provides a poor example to junior brethren and is profoundly bad manners. Ceremonies in the Temple and Festive Board should be times of friendship, relaxation and a quiet sanctuary from the pressures of daily life’s stress. We should leave our messages and tweets at home. Dr Ken Harvey, Loyal Hay Lodge, No. 2382, Hay on Wye, Herefordshire




‘The bottom fell out of the UK organ market some years ago and high-end specification organs can now be picked up for relatively little outlay. Young people today want high-specification keyboards.’ David Hilton

more difficult to repair, if at all, whereas those that have been manufactured more recently use modern sampling technology and the instruments represented are the real thing. David Hilton, Concord Lodge, No. 1534, Breightmet, East Lancashire

ABOVE: Members of Standard Lodge, No. 6820, who also belong to the Reading Central Salvation Army band

THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC Sir, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your recent ‘Brass Standards’ article. Being a brother for the past twenty-seven years, as well as a professional musician, it was nice to see that the members put their time and talents to good use, and everyone in the group being brothers was just the icing on the cake. I congratulate them on their accomplishments and their desire to share their time and talents with the community. Philip Chapnick, Goldenrule Clermont McKinley Lodge, No. 486, Grand Lodge F&AM State of New York, USA

Sir, I refer to Bob Weeks’ letter in the spring edition on the matter of organs. I concur with everything he says. My experiences run along


very similar lines. I would add to what he says in that good-quality organs are available, mainly from private buyers. The bottom fell out of the UK organ market some years ago and consequently high-end specification organs can now be picked up for relatively little outlay. Young people today want high-specification keyboards. Lodges need to take advice when buying or accepting such an instrument as a gift because what might be suitable for somebody’s front room will sound terrible in a lodge room. In addition, when considering which model to buy, look for pre-set organ registrations – this will enable the less experienced organist to sound quite professional and the brethren to be more appreciative of the music. Remember that while generally reliable, organs that are older than twenty years are

Sir, I was very interested in John Hamill’s excellent article, ‘From the Nile to the Thames’, on the story of the transfer of Cleopatra’s Needle from Alexandria to the Thames Embankment. However, there are a few extra points I’d like to add to the story. Contrary to the usual tale, the famous queen did have something to do with the obelisk that bears her name. It was Cleopatra, and not Belzoni, who transferred the needle from Heliopolis to Alexandria to stand with its partner (now in New York’s Central Park) at the water gate of the Caesarium built by Cleopatra to honour the late Julius Caesar. The needle was reported as lying flat by an English traveller in the seventeenth century. The final impetus required to move it to Britain was a threat by an Italian landowner who owned the area where the needle resided – he planned to demolish the obelisk to free the site for further development. It was originally planned to be put in front of the Houses of Parliament, but fears about the safety of the District Line immediately below the site – rather than political squabbling – resulted in the decision to place the needle on the Embankment. As an interesting adjunct, when the plinth was built, several artefacts were encased beneath it, including a wooden pole found at the opening of one of the so-called ‘air shafts’ in the Queen’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid. Perhaps one day, carbon analysis of this piece of wood will settle the age of the pyramid once and for all. Brian Skinner, Lodge of Fraternal Unity, No. 7330, London




‘Cleopatra’s Needle was originally planned to be put in front of the Houses of Parliament, but fears about the safety of the District Line immediately below the site resulted in the decision to place it on the Embankment.’ Brian Skinner

LEFT: Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment

OPEN DOOR POLICY Sir, In a pub on the way to a lodge a couple of friends asked where I was off to and another one quickly said, ‘Can you not tell from his briefcase he’s a Freemason?’ They asked me what was in my case and I opened it and showed them my Craft, Royal Arch and Mark aprons. Later, someone said that I had been seen by another mason who objected to what I had done. They’d said that this was not how a mason should behave. But isn’t openness encouraged? Some people seem to positively want to perpetuate the impression of secrecy and aloofness as part of the Craft. Why? John Topping, Falcon Lodge, No. 1416, Thirsk, Yorkshire, North and East Ridings

Sir, John Hamill’s interesting article on Cleopatra’s Needle brings to mind another example of Freemason Sir William James Erasmus Wilson’s generosity. In his excellent book, Benevolence and Excellence, Alan Scadding states that in 1871 Dr Erasmus Wilson offered to the Royal Medical Benevolent College to build a house for the headmaster’s family and forty scholars. Thus was established in 1873 Wilson House, which ran almost independently of the college for a period – the headmaster

charging non-medical parents higher fees for their sons who would be educated ‘under the headmaster’s special eye’. In 1896, the Royal Medical Benevolent College changed its name to Epsom College and today, Wilson House stands in its original building as a boarding house for girls and a fully integrated part of Epsom College. The building stands on the Wilson terrace at the top of Wilson Steps, which access Wilson Pitch. Peter Dodd, Old Epsomian Lodge, No. 3561, London

Sir, Freemasonry is something that many people are curious about, but very few outside the fraternity know much about us. With this in mind, a group of Freemasons from Sheffield decided to hold an open evening for members of the public. An event at Tapton Masonic Hall in Sheffield was carefully planned and advertisements were placed in local newspapers. A full-page article printed in a local paper also gave information about Freemasonry in general. The evening was a big success with members of the public enjoying the free refreshments while listening to some short presentations about Freemasonry before being shown around the fantastic facilities and lodge rooms at Tapton. All those who attended the event said how interesting the evening had been and several have been in touch to express their desire to become Freemasons. The evening was the first step in a larger vision to make Freemasonry a significant and visible part of the Sheffield community and we hope that this message will spread further.

Ian Barnett, Ensor Drury Lodge, No. 3278, Sheffield, Yorkshire, West Riding



KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON Director of Special Projects John Hamill argues the case for a national scheme that would record how Freemasonry helped during World War II


uch has been the media’s concentration on commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I that those events rather overshadowed the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day Landings – probably the last major commemoration of that event, as its survivors are now all in their late eighties and nineties. World War II did not come as such a major shock as World War I. Indeed, to many of us, it was not a question of if, but of when war would break out. It was also to have a far more devastating effect on those who stayed at home, and had rather more impact on Freemasonry than its predecessor. In 1939, Grand Lodge still met on the first Wednesdays of the usual months, so a meeting took place within four days of war having been declared. A circular sent to all lodges then suspended all masonic meetings until further notice. There was a determination to ‘carry on as normal’ and, by the end of September, it was agreed to resume meetings. At the Quarterly Communications in September and December 1939, emergency resolutions were passed to cover the crisis – giving Masters the authority to alter the dates and meeting places of their lodges as circumstances required. As the war progressed, there were further changes, not least the suspension of paying subscriptions and dues by those who were on active service. Once aerial bombing began, it was suggested that lodges should meet during the day to avoid their members being exposed in the evenings. With the rationing of food and material, dress and regalia codes were relaxed, and it was proposed that postmeeting refreshments should be kept to a minimum. With the scarcity of all sorts of raw materials, not least precious metals, in 1940, Grand Lodge suggested that brethren might like to sacrifice their

personal masonic jewels to assist in the war effort. At that time, Stewards’ jewels for the Charity Festivals were solid silver, and founders’ and Past Masters’ jewels were usually gold. The brethren met the challenge, and in 1941, Grand Lodge was able to announce that £20,000 had been passed to the Treasury for the war effort. Freemasons’ Hall in London had been built as a memorial to those brethren who fell in World War I and was initially known as the Masonic Peace Memorial. It survived the Blitz largely undamaged as other parts of Holborn and Covent Garden were destroyed. Until the post-war rebuilding of London, the tower of Freemasons’ Hall was one of the tallest structures in central London and it was apparently used by German pilots as a landmark to help guide them across the London sky.

GOING UNDERGROUND During the Blitz, the people of London sheltered in the Underground at night. The workers from Covent Garden Market and the occupants of the local Peabody Buildings preferred the basement of Freemasons’ Hall, which had been cleared of all the archives and other papers, to Holborn Underground station. Whether this was connected with the fact that each morning the then Grand Secretary Sydney White and his Secretary, Miss Haigh, provided tea and sandwiches for them, history does not record. A greenhouse was even built on the Grand Temple to grow soft fruits and vegetables. Just as there has been a national scheme to record what people at home and in the services did during the war, should we not have a similar project for Freemasons? If so, we need to hurry; many of those who took part in World War II will not be with us for much longer, and their memories are irreplaceable.

‘World War II did not come as such a major shock as World War I. Indeed, to many of us it was not a question of if, but of when war would break out.’


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