arena ISSUE 8
London Masons come together for the Annual Meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge - March 2012
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Editorial: Letters page "A Younger mason speaks..." The Masonic Charities and London part II - The Masonic Samaritan Fund The Men at the Top – Michael Ward Many call it Rose Croix Continuing our "So what’s .... all about then?" series on the other orders beyond the Craft The Metropolitan Office; part 1 of an introduction to who does what in the office... Sports and Social - a roundup of part of what's going on in London... Opinion - a new series of thoughts, views and ideas from senior masons The R3M project for London – Part III : Mentoring Charity News from in and around London The Men at the Top: Keith Tallon The Men at the Top: Timothy L'Estrange What is special about Lodge No...2076? The next in our series about distinctive Lodges/Chapters in London Masonic City – The Bank of England - its masonic connotations. The third in our series of articles by the distinguished masonic writer W. Bro. Yasha Beresiner Continuing the correspondence between W. Bros. Warren Peace and Phil. E. Stein Founding Editor: Bryan Green Editor: David Roberts-Jones General enquiries: email@example.com Journalists: Chris Starnes; Vaughan Williams, Michael Buras Graphics and layout: Greg Smith Photography: Vaughan Williams, Julian Lewis, Chris Christodoulou and Dennis Ramsey
To contact the Editor with features or letters for the next edition of arena, please contact by post to: arena, MetGL/MetGC, PO Box 29055, London WC2B 5UN or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org © Metropolitan Grand Lodge/Metropolitan Grand Chapter. All rights reserved. For editorial matters, please contact the Editor. Comment and articles reflect the writers’ own personal views. The Metropolitan Grand Lodge and the Metropolitan Grand Chapter, as well as the United Grand Lodge of England may not subscribe to, or agree with those views. The publishers cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to any unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.
elcome back dear Readers to the latest and largest-ever edition of arena. Don't worry, it will not get any larger than 36 pages in future editions but there was just so much material that we wanted to bring to your attention! Call it a bumper edition to toast the beginning of the year! Perhaps the first thing to say about the increase is that arena calculated that, based on the average tenure of an AMetGM or MetGInsp, we would not be able to feature all of them in the magazine during their period of office if we stuck to our original schedule of one per issue! This would rather defeat our objective of making them better known to London brethren, and thus in this issue we include the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, RW. Bro Michael Ward PJGW and the Second and Third Metropolitan Grand Principals, respectively E. Comp Keith Tallon PGSoj and E. Comp The Rev. Timothy L'Estrange PAGChap. We report on the flagship event of the Craft Masonic Year in London with an article looking at the work done at the Metropolitan Annual Meeting and SLGR Investiture which took place on the 1st March. Whilst many Lodges lived up to their obligation to send a representative, there will have been some unable to make it and we dedicate the article to them. It is a genuinely interesting and visually impressive event which all eligible London masons should get to see!
Where would we be without the staff of the Metropolitan Office? arena took a look behind the scenes at what they do (apart from organising the flawless Annual Meeting and Investiture highlighted in the previous paragraph!) and readers will be impressed with the amount of work done by so few - so much so, that the article will need to be spread over two editions. Timed to perfection, with formal ratification by Grand Lodge of the Lodge Mentor's role, is our concluding article on the R3M project where we focus on the "M" of mentoring, speaking to Metropolitan Grand Inspector, W. Bro. Colin R Woodcock MBE, PSGD, on this topic, now taking real root in London lodge practise. We hope to follow up on this with some more information on the active offices and the brethren occupying the posts in a future edition. Another London event, although clearly a "one-off" by its nature, was the re-dedication by the MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, of the "Peace windows" which are above the roll of honour and the two staircases leading from the Tower entrance of Freemasonsâ€™ Hall. Not only have the beautiful stained glass windows been refurbished; the lighting has been greatly improved to illuminate them, including the figure of Peace which is also the central focus of the Hall Stone jewel worn by some Lodge Masters. It is pleasing to note that the driving force behind raising the money for this initiative was the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter No. 9812. We highlight another very interesting London Lodge - No 2076 in our succession of "why should I visit...?" articles and, as ever, in this
series, that Lodge Secretary awaits your call, should you wish to put our information to the test and visit the lodge yourself. We also invite Secretaries to contact arena should they consider their Lodges to be a fitting successor in this series! We start a new occasional run of "Opinion" articles, where we invite all of you senior masons to write a short article on a topic of London masonic life (or a more general masonic issue that is particularly relevant for London) where you feel you have something to say! The first article raises an interesting issue and whilst it may seem somewhat controversial, it is the writer's own opinion. Do you agree with him? All this is in addition to the usual bill of fare: Charity, Sports and Social news from in and around London; a look at how the Masonic Samaritan Fund operates in London; pre-notice for a special Sports-related event timed for the Olympics; an article on the Masonic City from the worldrenowned masonic scholar Yasha Beresiner; a look at Rose Croix as the latest part in our series on the other Orders beyond the Craft; "a Younger mason speaks"; and lastly, the continuation of the correspondence between two somewhat grumpy masons, W. Bro. Phil. E. Stein and W. Bro Warren-Peace, which we trust will bring a smile to your faces as we wait for Spring to truly kick in! As ever, your thoughts, views and any news or events you wish to highlight in advance should be sent to email@example.com! With fraternal good wishes to you all, Editor
Letters to the Editor Sir, I recently visited Honor and Generosity Lodge No.165 for the initiation of seven candidates at the same time in a most dignified and uplifting ceremony. I am aware that certain provinces/university lodges may have been doing this for some time, but it is the first time I have seen/heard of it in London. Is this a record and do your readers agree with me that it bodes well for the vitality of the Craft in general and this lodge in particular? Yours faithfully W Bro Alexander Malmaeus IPM, King's College School Lodge No. 4257 JD, Paviors Lodge No. 5646 Thank you brother for the mail and for highlighting this splendid but unusual occurrence - does a reader have the answer to Bro. Malmaeus' question? Editor
Sir, It took me until issue 7 to obtain a copy of arena a magazine of which I was previously unaware. "Bliss, no adverts" - the informative articles clearly and concisely
written. I am sure had 4 and 5 been published they would have been equally as good! I was particularly interested in the stories about Mark Masonry and The Metropolitan Grand Stewards. I wish the new centre at Clerkenwell every success, but note that it may be available for weddings and other occasions. Whilst it may be desirable in helping to offset running costs, if it becomes like Freemasonsâ€™ Hall at times when shows, launch parties etc. along with the accompanying TV and film crews and the like causes considerable disruption and denies the membership the use of what it was originally intended. As for the Golf Society "WON'T PLAY", "DON'T PLAY" and "CAN'T PLAY" but I know a man who does! W. Bro M. Farrell LGR PPSGD (East Kent) Bank of England Lodge No. 263
Dear Sir, I have now had a good look through arena and must say that I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read. You ask for views on what is not working in it and I really cannot pinpoint anything. All of the articles seem to me relevant to us as Masons and should be of interest to a wideranging age group and to people at differing stages in their Masonic career. I shall be a regular reader in future and should anything strike me as worthy of comment I will let you know, Yours faithfully and fraternally, W Bro Anthony Tilly LGR Middlesex Lodge No.143
In response to this kind letter, I have somewhat "disappointing" news that this and future editions will carry some advertising! Sorry Brother! We want to try and offset some of the cost of arena's publication - Editor
Dear David, It was good to meet you the other day and, on your recommendation, I took the opportunity to read the arena Magazine published on Porchway. I found it both interesting and informative. I will in future highlight the magazine to the members of the units I visit, (both officially or otherwise) to ensure the magazine reaches a larger audience. Kind regards, W Bro Andy Mayes SLGR SLGCR Visiting officer-Craft and the Royal Arch
Thanks for this kind letter, Bro and yes, please do write again if you see anything worthy of additional comment!
Dear Brother Roberts-Jones, Although the arena article was extremely interesting and informative on Freemasonry within the Guildhall of London, I must 4
however draw your attention to the fact which is per normal, everyone mentions the Guildhall Lodge or Installed Masters, but forgets that there is a third Lodge which meets there, and is known as the Londinium Lodge No 4208. It was created in 1921 for Guildhall staff members. Although it may be at present, small in numbers, it is slowly increasing. The Lodge does not mind being "Little Brother", however, it would be appreciated if we were mentioned occasionally! Yours fraternally W Bro John Sibley LGR Secretary Londinium Lodge No 4208
there is a willingness to mention other orders, such as the Mark, and I do hope this is a continuing trend; although by the same token, I did find it a little surprising that there was very little mention of MetGC or the Royal Arch in general in the most recent issue. One suggestion, especially in light of the recent PR drive and the publication of 'The Future of Freemasonry' report: is there any reason why this publication could not be featured on the external website, as it would
seem to be a wonderful tool in educating the public (and those who may be thinking about joining) about the MetGL and its many activities and diverse membership? Yours faithfully Bro Oliver Coddington Phoenix Lodge No. 173 Thank you for your letter brother. There's nothing secret about arena's contents, so we may very well link up to the external website in due course!
Well brother, fair's fair! Londinium Lodge now duly mentioned!
Dear Bro Editor, As a natural cynic I must admit a pre-conceived notion that arena would be a somewhat dull or frankly, an uninteresting publication. However, over the past few issues (having only been in the Craft a short while I have only had the pleasure to see the most recent issues) I have been consistently impressed by the content, layout and style of the magazine. The last issue was a case in point and I thought that the broad range of articles on the many charitable activities of members of MetGL were most interesting, as too the continuing feature on 'Those at the Top'. Equally I found the articles on more 'esoteric' parts of MetGL such as the Golf Society, a society I am sure many were unaware of, just as enjoyable, even if I am truly awful at golf! I also commend the fact that in a publication produced by MetGL SPRING 2012
A younger mason speaks ‘K
ids’ are only interested in three things – Aliens, Gadgets and finding out about things that they are not supposed to know about. This is a given, just like time, tax and the guarantee that you will spill something on that brand new tie. Now ignoring aliens and gadgets for the moment, nothing has stirred the public’s imagination as far as secrets go, and particularly Freemasonry, quite as much as the novels written by Dan Brown. We take his books with a pound of salt and know that they are, in the final analysis, fiction. That being said and being an impressionable lad who had read The Da Vinci Code, something stirred in me. Like nearly everybody at the time, I launched on to the internet in search of the ‘facts’ behind the book, well knowing that Freemasonry was trying to take over the world. Well, disappointed was not the word when all I could find were a few poorly written conspiracy theories and that Freemasonry was apparently, of all things, pretty much a large charity! I wasn’t settling for this, I searched until my eyes hurt but couldn't find anything apart from a fair amount of nonsense and those bits about Esoteric knowledge, Charity, brotherly love etc. I mean really?! Inevitably I carried on reading; it was far too humorous not to! After a certain amount of what some would call research, things started to add up. Sure, these chaps might have a few quirky bits about them, but brotherly love seemed to be no more than just trust and this appealed to me. Charity was a huge driving factor throughout and that appealed to me as well. Trouser legs? Well that is its own kettle of fish but as far as ritual goes, well this simply reminded me when I was in the air cadets practising drill. Taking the plunge I thought that I was just what this group had been
looking for! How could they possibly think any differently? With hindsight, maybe if I had read something on the joining 'requirements’ I wouldn’t have been so disappointed when I finally got in touch with my local lodge. Having contacted the Secretary I asked him what I had to do to become a member; I was greeted with something very similar to “well it's simple, go away and ask someone who you know to be a mason and he will introduce you”. Now common sense would dictate that had I known someone at that point, I wouldn’t be phoning for information.... Chance would have it that out of all the Freemasons in the UK I knew none of them. Not one! The damage had been done and what I thought to be a great opportunity had been broken by one short sentence. Years passed, and every now and then I would think of trying again, maybe the old secretary had moved on or something? However, the one thing that finally got me wasn’t a member at all but simply a building. I side-track again, but history is a great passion of mine and in particular the history of British architecture. I mean real architecture, not the eyesores they build these days – the Bank of England, St Paul's, the list is, unfortunately, not endless. Now the more interested among you will know the above were designed by Freemasons, (well maybe only probably in Wren's case!). The building that got me interested again in becoming a mason was, quite fittingly, Freemasons’ Hall. Taking the guided tour sparked what was a rollercoaster ride back to where I had been. Hooked again, I started reading; however, when I enquired this time it was a friendly fellow by the name of David Spencer-Phillips who came to my aid. David sat me
down and talked me through all I would need to know – he explained that as I hadn’t been introduced by a mason things would be slightly breaking from ‘tradition’ but this would be fine. “This would be FINE”, a phrase that, would it have been used the first time I made contact, would have seen me no doubt in the Grand Master's chair by now... ok perhaps not, but a young man is allowed to have dreams, right? Moving swiftly on, months passed and after various meetings with someone who, at the time was a complete stranger to me, I found myself standing outside of the double doors of 5233 Lodge, St Thomas of Acon, trouser leg rolled up, shirt half undone and feeling a right pilchard. The stranger whom I had met was now sitting,’ in the Chair 'and according to this chap who everyone kept calling "the Tyler", he was the "Master". Great. So the chap I have been having coffee with for the past month turns out not only to be "the boss", but is now going to see me half naked. Priceless. From that moment on, and I mean literally the moment the first knock on that door rang out, everything changed. The stranger who I had been meeting, W. Bro. Ian Drakesmith, I can now, without a moment’s hesitation, call brother. I’m an only child; calling someone brother was as natural to me as sitting on the lawn at Buckingham palace and discussing the weather with the Queen. Now, thousands across England are my family. Brotherly love before was what seemed like trust, now it is more than that. To know a Freemason is to know a Friend without a word being exchanged between you. Bro Vaughan Williams Saint Thomas of Acon Lodge No. 5233
THE MASONIC CHARITIES AND L O N D O N PA R T I I :
The Masonic Samaritan Fund Your health in their hands: The Masonic Samaritan Fund has been providing health and care support for 21 years. Gemma Stroud of the MSF looks at how it has helped London Freemasons and their dependants in times of need.
his time last year 86-year-old Gerald Gordon was sleeping on a tiny camp bed in the lounge. He’d been there for four years, caring for his disabled and diabetic wife, Lillian, who had had a special hospital bed provided following a leg amputation. “It was an incredibly difficult time,” says Gerald of Beaconsfield Lodge No 1662. “and as a fulltime carer I was constantly exhausted.” With minimal support from the local authority, Gerald thought he had nowhere else to turn – until he found out about the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF). Established in 1990, the MSF provides grants for those who have an identified health or care need and, unable to finance their own treatment or care, face long NHS waiting lists. It’s available to all Masons under the English Constitution as well as their wives, partners and dependants, including those of Freemasons who are now deceased. There is no age limit, no qualifying period of membership and no requirement to be still active SPRING 2012
within the Craft. Most importantly, all applications are dealt with in the strictest of confidence. With the help of his Almoner, Gerald applied for a home adaptation grant. Six weeks later building work began on a downstairs double bedroom and wetroom. “Everything fell into place very quickly,” he says. “We couldn’t believe how soon work started.” Financed by donations from
Freemasons and their families, the Fund provides assistance across five key areas: medical, dental, respite care, mobility aids and home and vehicle adaptation. Applications are not restricted in number or area of need. The Gordons have also received grants for residential respite care and a new electric wheelchair for Lillian.
Gerald & Lillian Gordon 7
The London Link
he Fund owes much of its early success to the help and support it received from London Masons. Supported by the Grand Master, MW Bro His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, The London Festival Appeal was launched in 1993 and raised over £10m to help provide care for members of the Craft and their families. Over the years the MSF has allocated over £50m to those most in need, £7.2m of which went to eligible applicants from London Lodges and London Masons continue to give generously each year – even when they themselves are in need of a helping hand. Jim McGinley, of King’s Colonials Lodge No 3386, turned to the Fund when doctors told him a painful hernia was not a priority for surgery. “I was told to wait until I was moved up the list,” says 60-year-old Jim, who regularly donates to Masonic charities. “Two years later, I was still waiting and my hernia was becoming more noticeable and more painful. “It was embarrassing – I couldn’t wear T-shirts and my sevenyear-old granddaughter kept asking if granddad was having a baby. Going private wasn’t an option for me and I was left in limbo.” Six weeks after approaching the MSF, Jim was in surgery. “The MSF treated me with dignity and respect and I was able to get back to full health quickly and with peace of mind,” he adds.
nd it’s not just Freemasons who can benefit – wives, widows, partners and dependants are eligible for grants too. Debbie Bullen regularly visited the dentist and was shocked when a routine check-up uncovered advanced gum disease. “I had a wobbly tooth,” says 42-year-old Debbie. “I was gobsmacked when they told me without expensive specialist treatment I would lose all my teeth. “I couldn’t stop crying,” she adds. “It completely shattered my confidence and I became withdrawn and stopped going out.” When Debbie, whose husband Mark
is a Freemason, discovered the MSF could help cover the cost of treatment she was elated. “It was a dream come true,” she adds, “and as someone who has a phobia of dentists I was thrilled my choice of care wasn’t limited and I could choose the specialist who would treat me.” Two years on Debbie has her smile back. “I feel like a million dollars and grin like a Cheshire cat,” she says. “My friends and family have the old Debbie back – you can’t put a price on that.”
Wheels of motion
he MSF continues to extend the support it offers to Masons and their families, most recently with a vehicle adaptation fund. Terry
Croker, of Southern Lodge No. 1158, received a grant to fit power steering to his car after suffering partial paralysis in both arms. Having not been a practising Mason for several years, 78-year-old Terry was originally apprehensive about contacting the Fund. “I was slightly embarrassed,” he says. “But everyone at the MSF was incredibly helpful and told me once a Mason, always a Mason.” The Fund went on to pay for a hydraulic boot device for Terry’s car, opening it at the touch of a button and allowing him to load his walking rollator with greater ease. He adds: “I’m an avid walker so being able to get out in the countryside and enjoy the fresh air again is wonderful. It’s given me back a huge sense of freedom and independence. I only wish I’d known about it sooner.”
The Masonic Samaritan Fund Key Facts • Provide grants for medical, dental, respite care, mobility aids and home and vehicle adaptation needs • Available to: - All Freemasons regardless of age, length of membership or whether they are still active in the Craft - The wives, partners and dependants of Freemasons or deceased Freemasons • Since 1990, the MSF has allocated a total of £52.2m with £7.2m going to eligible London applicants • In 2011 £643,782 was allocated to 110 London members • Helped applicants aged 6 months to 104 years
After more than twenty years there are still those who are unaware the MSF is on hand to help with health and care support. As part of the Freemasonry Cares network, the MSF is available to all Masons and their dependants who have a diagnosed health or care need and, faced with a long wait for treatment or care, are unable to afford to fund their own private provision. Staff at the Fund treat each applicant, regardless of their level of need, equally and the utmost confidence, integrity and respect. “I can’t tell you the difference it’s made to our quality of life, ” says Gerald Gordon, who along with wife Lillian, has left the living room behind in favour of a purpose-built bedroom. “Thanks to the MSF, we’re back to being a normal, loving couple again. Our lives are almost 100% better.” The MSF logo is a pair of caring hands. If you or a loved one has a healthcare need, put your care into their hands. To find out more about the Fund contact your Lodge or Chapter Almoner or, for confidential advice please call the Fund on 020 7404 1550 or visit www.msfund.org.uk.
T H E M E N AT T H E T O P :
MICHAEL WARD It will be of little surprise for readers who are aware of RW Bro Michael Ward's work as part of the team that in recent years has helped to shape the c. 40,000 member Metropolitan "unit" to which we all belong, to learn that he was a Managing Partner with responsibility for two global businesses in Accenture plc (a $20b management and technology consulting firm employing 200,000 in 50 countries). Complex management and business issues are right up his street!
ichael was born in Coventry but now lives in Cheshire with his wife Jane and young family. He attended Bablake School locally where he was interested in both academic subjects and sports. He did well at both, although he was forced
Above: RW. Bro. Michael Ward PJGW around the time he was initiated into Freemasonry
Below: RW. Bro. Michael Ward PJGW today
to take a few months off school at the age of 14 when his eyesight failed. This prevented him from playing rugby for a year which meant that he had to focus on academic work! In due course he applied to Oxford University to read
1968 Initiated into Apollo University Lodge No. 357, whilst a student at Oxford 1979 Joined London Warwickshire Lodge No. 3846 1979 Exalted into London Warwickshire Chapter No. 3846 1987 Master London Warwickshire Lodge No. 3846 1998-2005 did several years each as Treasurer, DC, Secretary at Lodge 3846 1990 MEZ London Warwickshire Chapter No. 3846 1991 Joined Oxshott Lodge No.7622 in Surrey 1984-2005 did several years each as Treasurer, Scribe E at Chapter 3846 1994 Joined Warwickshire Installed Masters Lodge No. 4538 1996 LGR, LGCR 1999 SLGR, SLGCR and joined St Barbara Lodge and Chapter No. 4930 (Warwickshire) 1999 Master Oxshott Lodge No. 7622 2002 MEZ St. Barbara Chapter No. 4930 2003-2005 Metropolitan Senior Grand Warden 2005 PAGDC, PGStB 2007 PGSwdB in Grand Lodge & Supreme Grand Chapter; Joined Britannic Lodge No. 33 2007-2009 Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master 2009 Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master; PJGW Is a member and honorary member of several other lodges and holds Craft Provincial Grand Rank in Surrey and RA Provincial Rank in Warwickshire as well as holding high rank in many other orders including most recently Grand Rank in Royal and Select Masters
Mathematics. At his interview, it was suggested that Engineering may be a better option and consequently he accepted a place at Wadham College, Oxford in Engineering in 1966. Michael's masonic career began in his second year at university. His father, who was a keen Warwickshire mason (as was his grandfather), had sat next to a member of Apollo University Lodge at a Festive Board in Birmingham. The suggestion that his son join the University Lodge was duly passed on and he was Initiated in May 1968. As a footnote to our history, it is worth recording that Michael's initiation was done as part of a quadruple ceremony, which included the now RW Bro Dr Malcolm Aish PJGW and the now VW Bro His Honour Judge Richard Hone, QC, PGSwdB - quite a haul for one ceremony! On leaving Oxford, Michael was accepted as a general management trainee with Procter & Gamble in Manchester (making Fairy Liquid, as he modestly describes it), Whilst this was the right choice at the time, he realised he was waiting to fill dead men's shoes. In 1974 he successfully applied to join Arthur Andersen Administrative Services who were looking for consultants for Moscow and moved to London. Although he had joined a Lodge in Sale in 1974, he left it shortly afterwards once he had moved jobs. He then joined the London Warwickshire Lodge No. 3846 thus maintaining his links with his home county. He also was surprised to discover that not all lodges met on a Saturday … he had preferred to play rugby on Saturdays which meant that he had a relatively slow start to his masonic career. The Management Consultancy side of Andersen's eventually became independent as Accenture plc and Michael stayed with them for the next SPRING 2012
28 years, moving upwards from post to post (including stays in Egypt, the old Soviet Union (but that is a different story!) and the US). He finally became Managing Partner for their Asia Pacific Resources Business (ie: Energy, Chemicals, Utilities and Natural Resources industries) with overall global responsibility for Outsourcing and Market Making in those industries. In 2002 faced with the excitement of a new family - he has 4 young children: Daniel (11), Eve & Rebecca (9 year old twins) and Ellen (7 years), he decided to take early retirement. He explains that life is the wrong way round … you need time and money to get the most our of family life and he was lucky to have a second chance to enjoy his new family growing up. Most recently he has spent 4 years as a non-Executive Company Chairman for a sales and marketing services company and is currently enjoying a role as a mentor/coach for CEOs/Main Board Directors. Michael has been a keen rugby player and supporter throughout his life (he was President of the Andersen Rugby club) and continues to enjoy watching the sport, skiing and good food. As can be seen from the masonic cv shown alongside, Michael's masonic activity has been primarily Londonbased since 1974 (although we note he holds Provincial rank in both Surrey Craft as well as Warwickshire RA) and that everything has flowed from his (own words) somewhat serendipitous choice to assist in "making up the numbers". Clearly no-one gets promotions without hard work and ability but Michael stresses that he has also been lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.
Five things you didn't know about RW. Bro. Michael Ward:
1 Climbed to the top of the Great Pyramid in Egypt at dawn without permission and was fined by the Egyptian authorities for his trouble! 2 A keen caver in his younger days although he adds, he is now "retired" because his power to weight ratio seems to have changed. 3 Played Rugby at Junior First Team level against a South African police team in 1994. 4 Loathes brussels sprouts but is occasionally ‘encouraged’ to eat a token sprout to encourage his children. 5 Only recently joined the City of London Lodge of Installed Masters … wished he had joined it years ago. 11
Many call it Rose Croix arena travels west to “The Grand East” to reveal more...
ew can fail to be struck by the strong visual imagery of the symbol of the 33rd Degree, or to give it its full and proper name, “The Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas”. Indeed, an entire article could be spent just considering the rich symbolism embodied within it. The symbol as normally depicted, however, does not prepare one for the impact of seeing the carved and painted version which greets the visitor to The Grand East hung high on the wall above the portraits of the nine members of Supreme Council. A picture of this is inset for the reader’s information. arena’s Chris Starnes, was met there by Robin Furber, Grand Secretary General, who kindly gave up his time to explain some facts about the Order, its ceremonies and its building. In its present form the Order can be traced back to King Frederick II of Prussia, who formulated the Grand
The symbol of the 33rd degree 12
Constitutions of 1786. The Supreme Council for England and Wales was constituted in 1845 receiving its warrant from the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the USA. An important historical source document for the ritual is the Francken Manuscript, written by Henry Francken who received some of the ritual material in 1769 in Jamaica from Etienne Morin. Prior to the introduction of the 33 degree system, Morin had a system of 25 degrees often referred to under its French name ‘Ecossais’ Masonry. On 1 December 1910, Vesey Dawson, 2nd Earl of Dartrey, the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander, in the presence of Supreme Council, laid the Foundation Stone of No 10 Duke Street, St James’s which remains the headquarters of the Supreme Council for England and Wales. The HQ of a Supreme Council is referred to as “The Grand East”. A picture of
the Grand East is inset on page 13. Inside the building, there are two sets of Rose Croix rooms, including the Grand Temple and a very well appointed smaller temple. All London Rose Croix Chapters meet here as well as some Craft Lodges, Royal Arch Chapters, Mark and several other Orders. The basic unit is the Chapter, which is presided over by a Most Wise Sovereign (the equivalent of Worshipful Master in the Craft). Chapters are organised into Groups in London and Districts elsewhere, which are the responsibility of an Inspector General (similar to a Provincial or District Grand Master albeit with a far fewer number of units under his care). Whilst there are 33 degrees in total, these can be broken down into the following groupings. a) The first three degrees – which are not worked as they are the domain of UGLE. b) Degrees 4 to 17 - which are bestowed by name in a Chapter. c) The 18th degree “Sovereign Prince Rose Croix” is conferred within a Chapter. It is referred to as a candidate’s “Perfection”. The perfection ceremony takes place in three separate rooms and is a beautiful and yet simple ceremony which is as profound in its meaning as it is impressive in its visual and experiential unfolding. It links the 3 Craft degrees through various stages to an appreciation of some of the key teachings of Christianity. Once perfected into the 18th degree the member stays at this level until he has successfully gone through the Chair completing the necessary work. Then, if recommended by his Chapter, he can be put forward to be considered by Supreme Council for ISSUE 8
arena The 18˚Collar of the Order
promotion to the 30th degree. All degrees above the 18th are conferred only by Supreme Council at meetings in the Grand East. d) Degrees 19 to 29 are conferred by name. e) Degrees 30, 31, 32 and 33 are worked individually and are progressively harder to attain. The order is open to all Master Masons of one year’s standing who profess a belief in the Christian Trinity. It has a double bond, combining the Masonic and Christian fellowships. For most members, the regalia is simply a colourful collar with attached jewel (see picture). This is worn from the night of joining the Order until after having served as Most Wise Sovereign and being promoted to the 30°. There is a separate sash or collar and jewel for each of the degrees 30 to 33. On the night of joining the Order, the newly perfected Sovereign Prince Rose Croix is handed the usual reading material and also a Handbook of the Intermediate Degrees. These contain some detail about each of the degrees 4 to 17 which are conferred by name. Whilst these degrees are not worked by Chapters, they are demonstrated regularly by the King Edward VII Chapter of Improvement. In 2012 the 15th degree “Knight of the Sword or of the East" and the 16th degree “Prince of Jerusalem” will be demonstrated on 30th April at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street. The demonstration ceremonies are very impressive and easily tick the box for being that day’s “daily advancement in Masonic SPRING 2012
knowledge”. They are, of course, only open to members of the Order! The 2012 year book lists the 161 members who currently hold the 33rd degree. Amongst these are some names well known to arena readers such as HRH the Duke of Kent (who is also the Grand Patron of the Order), HRH Prince Michael of Kent and the MetGM Russell Race. The second person to have received the 33rd degree was none other than Dr Oliver, whose injunction features on many a Craft Lodge summons, thus illustrating the interconnectedness of the Order with the Craft, Royal Arch and Mark degrees. The Head of the Order is the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander, Dr. John Lawson William Wright. He is also Past Grand Sword Bearer in Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter, Grand Senior Warden in the Mark degree as well as holding high office in many other Orders. A noteworthy aspect of the
Order is that all decisions of the Supreme Council have to be made with the consent of all nine members. Consequently, until nine, such as they, do meet and agree no decision can be made. Within London there are 88 chapters organised into five separate Groups each led by an Inspector General. The Chapters range from Grand Metropolitan Chapter No 1 whose Warrant is dated 24 June 1846 through to Tria Juncta in Unitate Chapter No 1198 whose Warrant is dated 14 October 2010. Our readers will note that the picture of the Grand East shows the door open. We hope that we have brought back from our trip through that door some interesting Masonic information for both those who are members of the order and those who are not. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org can be used to request further information about the Order.
The Grand East at Duke Street 13
The Metropolitan Office F
The Metropolitan Office in Freemasons’ Hall
or those readers who are not Secretaries, Scribes or Treasurers, involvement with the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter offices in Freemasons’ Hall may be limited although enquiries from all masons, whether they hold these offices or not are most welcome as the Office's core value is to provide a top-quality service to all. It may therefore be timely for arena to provide an article on who does what, both for general interest and to aid those with specific enquiries. We also underline the very wide range of activity covered by those working in the office on both the strategic and support level, that the office coordinates on behalf of London. The Secretariat Office is a busy place and administers around 40,000 individual Masonic "member registrations". If one compares masonry in London with a standard “membership” organisation, then we can be pleased with its having such a ”lean” nature. arena is aware of other non-masonic membership organisations whose secretariats are five times the size for fewer members! W Bro Stuart Henderson, PAGDC, Metropolitan Grand Secretary/Scribe E, is responsible for the management of the Secretariat which provides the support services to our members, lodges, chapters and the Executive. The Executive, comprising the Metropolitan Grand Master , the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent, the Assistant Metropolitan Grand Masters/Assistant Metropolitan Grand Superintendents, the second and third Metropolitan Grand Principals, the Metropolitan Grand Treasurer, the Metropolitan Grand Secretary and as ex-officio members the Metropolitan Grand Charity Steward and Metropolitan Grand Almoner, sets the strategy for
London freemasonry as well as agreeing policy matters. The implementation of the strategy set by the Executive has been delegated to a Management Committee (the MetGM, DepMetGM, MetGTreas and MetGSec). This has oversight of the day-to-day operations of MetGL/GC and will also make recommendations to the Executive on policy issues. Stuart’s deputy, W. Bro John Wood, PAGSwdB oversees the day-to-day operations of the office and staff, getting involved as and when required by colleagues or as necessitated by the complexity of a particular situation. John manages Porchway and office communications such as Second Risings, Annual Returns reminders and Groupmails etc., but not the content of Porchway. He also organises and leads seminars for Secretaries / Scribes E and deals with petitions for new Lodges and Chapters. Whether in for a meeting, to pick up some forms or to deliver documentation, the first person one usually meets at the offices of MetGL/MetGC (which are at the back of the central corridor in FMH), is Monique Jermin who is the Receptionist. Monique handles telephone enquiries or puts the calls through to the relevant members of staff and is also responsible for Lodge Centenary, Bicentenary and Amalgamation letters. She also updates UGLE records from the Installation Returns. Monique and the Office in general, are assisted by Anne Chan, Administrative Assistant who also manages MetGL / MetGC data and statistical information. Rachel Kelly-Burt provides administrative support to the volunteers who assist the office on a variety of duties (and about which arena will write about in the next edition). This includes the distribution of summonses to the ISSUE 8
summons scrutineers, as well as some summons checking. Dispensations are administered by Rachel who either prepares the dispensation for signature by the Metropolitan Grand Secretary or makes application to UGLE for those that need the approval of the Grand Master. Rachel is responsible for the production of the MetGL / MetGC yearbook and rule 158 enquiries sent to London by Provincial Secretaries with Rachel also assists George Henderson, one of the part-time staff members with by-Law approvals. Caroline Sauret provides administrative support to the Assistant Metropolitan Grand Secretary, W. Bro Norman Good PAGStB and his team in the disciplinary office. This includes preparation of case files and filing of completed cases. Linda Mesher has been working with freemasonry for 25 years having started in the Grand Lodge offices as a data entry clerk. Linda, who reports directly to Stuart Henderson, is responsible for the London Masonic honours infrastructure in London as well as the Active Metropolitan Officers and together with her assistant Tracy Taylor, also organises the London Rank, London Grand Rank Investiture; the MetGL Annual Meeting; the Senior London Grand Rank and Metropolitan Grand Chapter investitures as well as the Annual Convocation and corresponding investitures of Metropolitan Grand Chapter including the associated luncheons for those days which accommodate several hundred people each time. One of the most satisfying parts of her job is knowing that deserving people get wonderful surprises when SPRING 2012
their honours letters drop through their letterboxes! Carole Hunt works as the Finance Manager for the Met Office and is responsible for a full range of financial duties, keeping track of all financial affairs as moneys come in and out of the Met Office. The duties range from doing the Banking and associated reconciliations; Petty cash records; monthly salaries; VAT returns as well as the monthly management accounts amongst a whole host of other finance work for MetGL, MetGC & the Metropolitan Masonic Charity. Kathy Chisnall handles the London part of the registration process, from the first registration of a mason to documenting joining memberships. The work is, according to Kathy, “very satisfying”, especially when the work stretches her detailed knowledge of the Book of Constitutions with a very obscure point of order! Kathy also handles the Metropolitan element of Annual returns and is likely to be the person most directly involved with Lodge Secretaries or Chapter Scribes E. Kathy stressed to us that, like all of the Met secretariat, she is here to assist. Ben Jennings is the extranet and MetGL public site webmaster and gives technical support to members. Ben also arranges IT equipment for seminars, workshops and other meetings such as those for Secretaries, Almoners, Mentors etc., held in Freemasons Hall. He also gives support to John Wood on MetGL office events such as new officers’ briefings. Elaine Faux is Stuart’s PA supporting him directly with the full range of normal PA duties but also taking responsibility for organising
the Metropolitan delegations for all Provincial Annual Meetings and Convocations, liaising with all members of the Metropolitan Executive and Inspectors to arrange Metropolitan delegations as well as a host of other duties. Elaine also administers the MetGL staff records and reports to Stuart directly. It’s clear that the range and scope of the office’s activities have substantially increased since the inauguration of MetGL and MetGC and whilst it is true that the office has recruited additional voluntary support (an article on these volunteers will be in a future edition of arena), the range of tasks being undertaken are now more complex than ever. Perhaps the final word should go to its head: Stuart Henderson, who comments: “Remember that the office is here to help. We know that Masons lead busy lives so we are structured, not only to assist our Lodges and Chapters, but also to help them administer their units in accordance with the Book of Constitutions to ensure our brethren enjoy their Masonry by making the best use of current technologies with a human approach underlined by a strong service-led ethic!”
Sports and Social News Metropolitan AGM a
rena joined a crowded Grand Temple of brethren for the flagship Craft event in London - the SLGR Investiture and the Annual Meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, held on March 1st. This is a visually stunning event combining Masonic ritual and pageantry with called-off sections open to nonMasons and is split into two halves divided by a lunch, so is effectively an all-day event in the grand tradition and very much worth attending. The morning was given over to the Investiture of those brethren receiving Senior London Grand Rank and because this is an event open to the wives and partners of those to be invested, creating a truly "family" occasion, it was necessary to open Metropolitan Grand Lodge in a separate temple , following which the Lodge was called off and the processions formed for entrance into the Grand Temple. The three processions (Visiting VIPs followed the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Superintendent and Second and Third Metropolitan Grand Principals with full escort, followed by the RW Metropolitan Grand Master's escort and procession) entered the Grand Temple â€“ a most impressive sight, particularly for those non-masonic friends and family! After a warm welcome to all from RW Bro Russell Race, the investiture began with 157 candidates being appointed to SLGR. This was followed by an address from The Metropolitan Grand Master, which we hope to produce in the next edition of arena. Following an alms collection in aid of the Metropolitan Masonic Charity the National Anthem was sung and the three processions
retired from the Lodge together with the newly invested brethren and their families to take a celebration luncheon at the Grand Connaught Rooms (as pictured, right). After lunch the processions formed up again with the addition of a separate procession for London's SVOs. Once seated and welcomed and the business of the MMC completed, an address was given via a question/answer session with Mr Robert Nastrucci, recently personally treated by "our" Cyberknife and his attending oncologist W. Bro. Ian Sabin. This was a fascinating and moving "true life" discussion about Mr Nastrucci's successful treatment and again underlined how useful and important the Cyberknife donation made by MetGL and MetGC has been. Once non-masonic visitors had left and the Lodge called on, business proceeded as normal through the minutes, addresses, accounts approvals , re-appointment of auditors Chantrey Vellacott, reelection of the Met Grand Treasurer and inevitably, a small increase of 70p to MGL annual dues. The Metropolitan Grand Inspectors and the other Metropolitan Grand Officers for the year were then formally appointed and invested by the RW Metropolitan Grand Master who also shook hands with a delegation of newly made Master Masons before giving his second address of the day! Following a collection, Metropolitan Grand Lodge was closed with solemn prayer and the National Anthem sung. The brethren stood to order whilst the several processions left the Grand Temple. This is a huge, multi-event
masonic/non-masonic occasion and doubtless a real logistical nightmare where every small detail needs to be just right, but it was flawlessly executed. Thanks are due not only to the RW Metropolitan Grand Master and the Executive (on duty effectively for the whole day) but to Ms Linda Mesher, her assistant Ms Tracy Taylor and the other members of the Metropolitan Office team under the direction of W. Bro Stuart Henderson PAGDC, Metropolitan Grand Secretary, and also to the ceremonial team led by W. Bro. Simon Duckworth PAGDC MetGDC. Either part of the day is well worth seeing, so brethren who are able to take a morning or afternoon off should try to do so. It is a ticketed event, so for those who were not able to make it this year, you should diarise a reminder to book via Porchway in February 2013! For those who wish to see Metropolitan Grand Chapter's equivalent flagship event, the next Convocation is very soon - on March 29th - and booking is available, again via Porchway.
Inter-Provincial Bowls Competition goes from strength to strength!
ollowing the inaugural match of this new charity-based Bowls competition at Watford last August, when over £3000 was raised for the Metropolitan Cyberknife Appeal, we are delighted to announce that host Provinces have already come forward to guarantee the running for the next 3 years: Gloucestershire 2012; Cambridgeshire 2013; Somerset 2014. These Provinces all have the strong support and involvement of their PGMs, which should ensure great success in raising funds for their own local Charities. There has been enthusiastic support from the twelve Provinces which competed last year,
and this promises well for even more teams entering this year. The venue is the Cotswold Bowls Club GL5 3 HQ on the outskirts of Stroud, Gloucestershire, which is well placed for many tourist attractions. The date for your diaries is Friday 10th August. The PGM for Gloucestershire, RW Bro Adrian Davies, plans to host a White Table Dinner on Friday evening after the Competition, thus providing a full programme for those with distances to travel, which will surely make MACE 2012 a memorable weekend. More immediately for your diaries, the 60th Anniversary Dinner of the
London Masonic Bowls Association will be held on Thursday March 15th at 18:30 at the Blue Cheque Restaurant, Bushey. For further details, on any of the above or for membership enquiries, please contact W. Bro Ian Keech on 01707 659656 or at email@example.com or see www.macebowls.org
Official London delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2012
delivery of the Prestonian Lecture for 2012 "Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?" by W. Bro ADG Harvey PPrGReg, Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire, will be hosted by Authors Lodge No. 3456 on Wednesday 16th May at 17:00 at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ.
Kent Club The Kent Club, targeted at 35 to 49 year old London masons recently held its AGM at Freemasons Hall. The Club had a dynamic year culminating in the Annual Dinner attended by RW Bro Russell Race MetGM as Guest of Honour. Bro. Scott Dunn, Chairman thanked the outgoing Chairman W. SPRING 2012
Bro Tony Harvey is uniquely qualified to deliver a Lecture on this topic, being a National Volunteer with The Scout Association and having served for some years as the liaison between the Kindred Lodges Association, The Scout Association and UGLE. He has undertaken extensive new research into the relationship between these two valuebased organisations, and suggests how they might both benefit from a
mutual understanding. His Lecture will interest all Freemasons who have been Scouts, as well as those concerned with Freemasonry's future and especially its links with local communities. For more details please see www.prestonian2012.org.uk or contact W. Bro. Ron Selby LGR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bro. Kimon de Ridder and his committee stating “2011 had been a year in which the committee laid a solid foundation to support club growth in future years. It is now well placed to deliver a number of new initiatives and quality events throughout 2012”. On the 12th of April the Club is cohosting with the Utilitas Chapter and the Metropolitan Grand Chapter Stewards Demonstration Team a live exaltation ceremony in the presence of the Third Metropolitan Grand Principal, Excellent Companion The Revd. Timothy L’Estrange PGStB.
Being held in the main Temple at 10 Duke Street, the Festive Board will be held at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall. Costs are £2 Lodge Fee plus £45.00 per head, (dining not necessary). Royal Arch members wishing to attend this not to be missed event should contact W. Bro David Luckins, Event Coordinator at email@example.com or Bro. Scott Dunn on 01708 555338. For further events and details visit www.kentclub.org or visit the dedicated Porchway Page. 17
Groundbreaking report examines the future of Freemasonry
them, while a further 20% would definitely say nothing, wrongly believing Masons are not allowed to talk about their membership. VW. Bro Nigel Brown, Grand Secretary since 2007 and leading the plans for the tercentenary celebrations, says: “The results of the research are encouraging, though we clearly still have some way to go to change people’s perceptions. This is just one step in our ongoing efforts to demonstrate our openness and transparency, and to inform people about the role we play in society. The tercentenary is a significant milestone for Freemasonry and while we're keen to celebrate our first three hundred years, it’s also crucial that we look forward to ensure that we remain relevant and continue to grow our membership over the next three hundred. This report will form an important part of our discussions as to how best to ensure that Freemasonry continues to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of its members and also of wider society, while at the same time retaining the distinctive character and intrinsic values that have attracted members for centuries and continue to appeal to people today.”
Cheshire’s Premier Masonic Showroom The Bond, Godstall Lane Chester CH1 1LN Telephone and Fax 01244 342 124 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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1,202 UK adults, 20-23 June 2011), which revealed a significant level of interest in the organisation. Key findings include: • While half of those questioned said they did not know what Freemasonry is all about, more than one in three (35%) were aware of its charitable role. • Nearly half (49%) wanted to know more about Freemasonry, while a quarter of male respondents (26%) would consider joining. Of these, 68% were attracted to the idea of belonging to a group and making new friends and 58% would like to do more in the community. • Of those men who would not consider becoming a Mason, the single biggest response (given by 40%) was the misconception that “it’s not for people like me”, although as brethren will know, Freemasonry is actually open to all men regardless of race, colour, religion, political views or social or economic standing. • More than a third (37%) of all respondents said that, if they met someone they knew to be a Freemason, they would be hesitant to raise the subject with
GLE have published a groundbreaking, independently commissioned report that sheds new light on Freemasonry, its role in society and its relevance today. “The Future of Freemasonry” report is the first ever independent study conducted by a non-Masonic body, and was commissioned as part of the build-up to the United Grand Lodge of England’s tercentenary in 2017. Produced by the highly respected Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in Oxford, the report suggests that, contrary to some misleading commentary, Freemasonry actually demonstrates genuine openness and transparency and it concludes that it is arguably more relevant today than ever before. In particular, the report highlights that Freemasonry acts as a ‘constant’, providing members with a unique combination of friendship, belonging and structure, with many Masons saying they have made lifelong friendships. The report also highlights the importance that Freemasonry places on charitable giving, the part that many Freemasons play in their local communities and the central role of the family. As well as instilling in its members a moral and ethical approach to life – including thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things – Freemasons are the largest charitable givers after the National Lottery, and also make major contributions to international disaster relief funds. The role of ritual is shown to be an important part of Freemasonry for many members, with the report concluding that it provides both structure and familiarity, in just the same way as the normal rituals of daily life do for many people. Alongside the report, the United Grand Lodge of England also commissioned a quantitative survey among non-Masons (utilising a sample group of
A celebration of Freemasonry and sport
rethren and their friends and families who are interested in Sport and Freemasonry will be delighted by this initiative, which aims to combine the excitement of this special sporting year with freemasonry. Whilst centred in London, the organisers hope that it will mirror other national sporting events in attracting many visitors to share in the experience. arena highlights the event in good time so that those of you who wish to book can do so! ROYAL YORK LODGE of PERSEVERANCE No. 7 and SPENCER PARK LODGE No. 6198 are delighted to announce a celebration of ‘Freemasonry and Sport’, to be held on two separate days in 2012. The original idea for a celebration started with the aim of simply running a Masonic Meeting for all those visiting London for the Olympic Games. Over the years of planning and discussions, the ‘two event’ concept emerged as the favoured way forward. This will enable Craft Members not only to enjoy a superb dinner and dance in the company of family and friends, but also to celebrate in the more traditional way as Freemasons on the second day, when the presentation of a lecture on 'Freemasonry and Sport’ will maintain the theme of the celebration. The first event includes tours of the Grand Temple and the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, who are featuring a ‘Freemasonry and Sport’ Exhibition. These tours will take place on the afternoon of Saturday July 21st 2012, and will be followed by a Reception and Charity Gala Dinner and Dance to be held next door to Freemasons’ Hall in the Grand Connaught Rooms. The second SPRING 2012
event will be a Masonic Meeting for all Masons under recognised jurisdictions on Friday 10th August 2012. It will be held in the famous and beautiful Temple No. 10, (the ‘Egyptian Temple’), and will be hosted jointly by both Lodges. It is hoped that Masons from all parts of the Country and beyond will come to Great Queen Street and celebrate the long-standing and strong connections between the Craft and Sport, and join with Londoners in this most auspicious sporting year in London since the Olympic Games were last held here in 1948. Profits made from the event will be divided between two charities: The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and "Wheelpower". The RMTGB has been involved in supporting young disabled athletes in their efforts to compete in the Paralympics, as well as supporting youngsters in learning craft skills. ‘Wheelpower’ is The British Wheelchair Sports Foundation’s charity. The two Lodges are jointly sponsoring the Meeting, and Officers from both Lodges will play a part in the proceedings. It is hoped therefore that members from as many areas of the Country, and indeed abroad, will attend, and make this Meeting the memorable occasion it should be. A booking form and information pack is available on the Porchway extranet, or can be obtained from W. Bro. Mike Winch SLGR at www.6198.co.uk or on 07801080-469 or by email to email@example.com
W Bro Mike Winch SLGR
Four new Metropolitan Grand Inspectors
s mentioned in the Report on the recent Annual Meeting of Metropolitan Grand Lodge on page 16, four new Metropolitan Grand Inspectors were formally appointed and invested on the 1st March. W. Bros. Robert Grant, Ray Ride, David U Thompson and Eddy Holding (not shown). Bros. Grant, Ride and Thompson will focus on the Craft and have taken over from W. Bros. Brian Waldy PSGD, Michael Singleton PSGD and Bob Hancock PSGD respectively; Bro. Holding's primary responsibility will be on the Royal Arch side and he will be succeeding W. Bro. Ken Beckett PSGD. Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Russell Race commented "I would like to express my warmest thanks, on behalf of all London Masons, to the Inspectors who are retiring. They have made an enormous contribution to our development over many years and their dedication as Inspectors has been an example to us all. I am sure that they will continue to be much involved with London masonry and I wish them well in their retirement."
n the last quarter, the Connaught Club continued its tradition of mixing educational evenings with social evenings with a splendid Christmas dinner on the 2nd December 2011 at the Cavalry and Guards Club in the presence of RW Bro. Russell Race, Metropolitan Grand Master. Dinner was eaten with the vigour that is to be expected from the youth of Freemasonry, working through the delicious five-course menu. Contrasting with this, a well-attended blue table was held on 27th January, hosted by Duke of Cornwall Chapter No.1839, about which a report will be filed in the next edition of arena. Brethren may wish to note that future events for the Club over the next few months include:
Thursday 29th March Connaught Club AGM & Members Dinner email firstname.lastname@example.org Friday 6th April Monthly Drinks at Freemasons Arms email email@example.com Saturday 14th April Burgoyne Lodge No. 902 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday 19th April Seminar: The 1st Degree Free to members email email@example.com Friday 4th May Monthly Drinks at Freemasons Arms email firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday 17th May Connaught Club Open Reception at Freemasonâ€™s Hall Free to members Friday 1st June Monthly Drinks at Freemasons Arms email email@example.com
Candidates and Lodges R
ecently I was attending an initiation in a Lodge where the candidate had been browsing the internet and “googled” the word Freemasonry and after reading the various article and websites had applied to UGLE to become a Freemason. On arrival at Freemasons’ Hall, the young man was referred to Metropolitan Grand Lodge and then finally arrived at the Lodge I was visiting. He had been interviewed several times along the line and having satisfied all the criteria was allowed to apply for membership of this particular Lodge. After the ceremony ended and we all repaired to the bar, I was able to chat to the candidate about his application, expectations, and all sorts of matters that were relevant to his membership. I was struck by his interest and keenness, and as a result I began to worry. I remembered my own initiation about fifty years before and how carefully my father, who had introduced me into Freemasonry, had fostered my interest and had taken me to visit other Lodges to allow me to gain a greater idea of what was available in the Craft, rather than just from one Lodge. My worry was: who was responsible for maintaining the interest of the new initiate? I had no worries in the Lodge I was attending as the Lodge Mentor is outstanding and has an excellent track record with helping young men and encouraging them to learn their ritual. But I have visited other Lodges where the emphasis was on Charity or Ritual and very little thought was SPRING 2012
given to the intellectual needs of the members. If we put somebody into the wrong Lodge, where the candidates’ needs are not addressed, they become disillusioned and drift away and in the end we lose them. Is this the role of the Metropolitan Mentor? Rather than training others, perhaps Metropolitan Grand Lodge should lead by example, and their team of Mentors should attend the meetings of the Lodges when they interview potential candidates. They could then arrange interviews with other Lodge committees so that candidates could appreciate that not all Lodges are the same, and experience the wide variety there is in London Masonry. Old Boys’ Lodges, Theatrical Lodges, Research Lodges, Livery Lodges, Red Apron Lodges, University Lodges, Military Lodges - the list goes on. We are very lucky in London that we have such a wide diversity of Lodges so that if a
candidate finds that the Lodge he was directed to is not what he expected then never mind, let us find one for him where he feels at home and can enjoy his Freemasonry. In the past brethren joined Lodges where they had family members, friends or business colleagues and it was the responsibility of their proposer and seconder to guide them in their masonic career. In the modern world, many members come into the Craft by a different route and they are not always so well acquainted with their sponsors. Future recruitment has to be innovative and new methods of retaining candidates must be tried. I feel that this should be a Metropolitan responsibility as well as that of the individual Lodge in which the brother is placed. W. Bro Gordon Davie PSGD Chelsfield Lodge No. 6405
arena Advertising Sales Manager Wanted arena, the official Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter magazine for London masons is looking for a keen London mason to volunteer to assist the team in the promotion of paid-for advertising within arena. Ideally the brother will be an experienced, advertising sales professional or will have good sales experience. Despite the fact that our potential readership of 38,000 London masons should make us an attractive option for selected advertisers, we are keeping rates low for the first issues to help establish the opportunity, so it would be an ideal time to volunteer your skills to help! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the matter further.
T H E R 3 M P R O J E C T F O R L O N D O N â€“ PA R T I I I :
Looking at Mentoring Following on in our series on R3M London's Recruitment, Rejuvenation and Retention initiative (and appropriately timed, given the formal endorsement at the recent Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge), we focus in this edition of arena on the "M" of the R3M, that is, Mentoring. It is aptly summarised in the memorable phrase ..."if we are building a strong brick wall with the three R's of the 3RM project, then Mentoring is the cement that holds it together!" With three years having elapsed since Mentoring was officially introduced in London, arena met W. Bro Colin Woodcock, MBE, PSGD, Metropolitan Grand Inspector, to get an update on its progress.
olin began by saying that a Mentor should work with brethren to help them to enjoy their Freemasonry to the full, and highlighted the hard work done by the team in bringing the topic into focus. With Bro. Colin in an advisory and supervisory role and reporting to Peter Reynolds PGSwdB, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master, the team consists of W. Bro. Andrew Manasseh PGStB as MetGMentor with W. Bro Geoff Ellis PAGDC as his Deputy, supported by five AMOs (Assistant Mentoring Officers) and forty MLOs (Mentoring Liaison Officers). Whilst there is still work to be done, the overwhelming fact is that most London masons now see Mentoring as part of the normal fabric of masonic life and lodges and chapters have raised their game accordingly. Most lodges now accept that, even if they have some kind of informal mentoring system, there is room for improvement and can see that mentoring is not just about someone going out of the lodge with the entered apprentices! It is not the remit of this article to write up the information that comes with attendance at a Mentoring Seminar, as that will doubtless be shared with lodge brethren by the attending lodge mentor and other interested brethren, through changes and suggestions. However, it is very heartening to know that the success of the Retention scheme is mirrored in this project through the positive response generated by the mentoring initiative. It is undoubtedly true to say that proper mentoring can prevent people dropping out after their third degree by identifying potential problems before they become insoluble. Similarly, many Past Masters who have worked very hard to reach the Chair occasionally lose a sense of purpose after completing their IPM year unless their talents are utilised to the full. It is important that Lodges should plan ahead, and careful thought on the progress of members is essential. Those responsible have been careful not to ram the concept down membersâ€™ throats but it is good to know that that the process of arranging a good mentoring framework within the lodge has been taken up widely and that there is recognition that masons need mentoring through all the Lodge offices, and not just in the early stages. It may be initially surprising to some to note an underlying ideal that all masons will need mentoring as they approach the Chair, but actually
running and "chairing" the meeting with its agenda management, balloting, minutes approval etc., takes a little training for those for whom it may be familiar to watch but not to do. Much of the effort will be based at the lately-apprenticed part of the lodge but it is clear that Wardens also need mentoring too! The Lodge mentor should consider all of the members of the lodge, not only providing support to brethren finding their feet but also giving assistance whilst they are working their way up to and beyond the Chair. A mentor is "an inexperienced personâ€™s advisor" [Oxford Dictionary]. Might not this turn into a full-time job if the Lodge mentor had to "advise" everyone who needed it? In fact, the Lodge Mentor must act only as coordinator, making sure that all brethren, whether experienced or not, have access to a mentor. In most lodges, one of the candidate's sponsors may often become his Mentors. However, if the sponsors are junior themselves, it will be necessary for a more experienced brother to be involved, focussing on the new Brother for the first two or three years and overseeing his Masonic education. Planned Mentoring has proved to be a highly successful way of making sure we nurture and develop the good men who are the future of our Lodges and Freemasonry in general. This surely, must be a driver for our more experienced brethren as they seek to assist others in making that daily advancement in masonic knowledge to which we all aspire. We close with a summarising quote from W. Bro. Colin... "Mentoring is a vital component of the Masonic structure; it is the means by which we hope to ensure good candidates, make them welcome members of our Lodges, develop their enthusiasm and enhance their long term interests. Success means that we will reduce the numbers who leave us early in their Masonic lives and will ensure happier and stronger Lodges." Those interested in attending one of the mentoring courses can find the dates on Porchway.
The MW The Grand Master, Bro HRH The Duke of Kent with RW Bro. Russell Race, Metropolitan Grand Master; VW Bro The Rev'd Dr John Railton, Grand Chaplain; W. Bro The Rev'd Timothy L'Estrange PGStB, 3rd Metropolitan Grand Principal and W. Bro The Rev'd Dr. Simon Thorn LGR Assistant Metropolitan Grand Chaplain
The Re-dedication of the refurbished Peace Window
he MW the Grand Master, the High Rulers, members of the Board and Committee of General Purposes, the Grand Secretary and other officers of United Grand Lodge of England came together with the Officers of Metropolitan Grand Lodge and other masonic dignitaries and guests on the 6th March to celebrate the re-dedication of the Peace Windows that form a set at the western end of the vestibules outside the Grand Temple. As brethren may know, whilst Freemasonsâ€™ Hall was originally named and dedicated as the Peace Memorial Building, as a memorial to the Masons who fell in the Great War, the central core of remembrance is this vestibule which houses the illuminated roll of honour, 24
recording the names of the fallen. Above the ornate glass-topped casket which houses the roll of honour is the central Peace Window, which, since it was put in place over eighty years ago, had suffered some significant deterioration from the vagaries of smog, exhaust fumes and the weather. In 2008 an appeal was launched, sponsored by the Metropolitan Grand Stewards Chapter and encouraged by the MetGSupt, to pay for its restoration and so successful was the appeal that enough money was raised to restore the six stairwell windows as well. A large number of Lodges, Chapters and private individuals from London as well as the Provinces and abroad contributed to the appeal.
The central window has the theme of "the attainment of Peace through Sacrifice" and is dominated by the central representation of the Angel of Peace holding a Temple dedicated to Peace which, in an elegant visual conceit, is represented by the Tower of the Peace Memorial Building, or as we now know it, Freemasonsâ€™ Hall. The Angel of Peace is flanked on both sides by the representatives of those brethren that made the supreme sacrifice of brotherly love and who have now gone to the Grand Lodge above. The six other windows represent the story of Creation. Although the re-dedication ceremony was specifically put together as a nonmasonic event, the dignified entrance procession of the MW the Grand Master and the Rulers together with the Metropolitan Grand Master brought an appropriate solemnity to the occasion which was witnessed by an invited audience of donors and senior masons, flanked by a guard of ISSUE 8
honour of Metropolitan Grand Stewards with wands. The Metropolitan Assistant Grand Chaplain gave the bidding prayer, and an address on the windows and their recent history and the need for restoration was given by the Grand Master, followed by an explanation of the symbolism of the windows by the Grand Chaplain prior to his solemn re-dedication of the windows. RW Bro.
Russell Race, Metropolitan Grand Master requested the Grand Master to unveil a commemorative plaque , and following this, the service of rededication was closed with a patriarchal benediction pronounced by W. Bro. Timothy L'Estrange, the Third Metropolitan Grand Principal. After the processions had retired, the MW the Grand Master received a representative group of donors who
had made the windows' refurbishment possible together with Stephen Clare, the stained glass craftsman who had been responsible for the execution of the restoration work. This was an excellent, interesting and at times moving event, reminding us again of the sacrifices made by our armed forces in preserving peace for us at home.
The Metropolitan Grand Stewards team officiating on the day SPRING 2012
Publicity for your Lodge
rethren should note that allied to the new media initiative highlighted on page 18, our own Metropolitan Information team headed by W.Bro. Geoff Gillo SLGR, Metropolitan Information Officer, is always on the lookout for events or matters to publicise outside Freemasonry. The team is W. Bro
David Neale, PPrDepGSuptWks (East Kent), W. Bro Mark Stollery PAGSwdB and Bros. James Hunt and John Ward. Has your Lodge or any member of it done something notable for the local community, such as a local fun run where there was a clear link with London Freemasonry? Are you planning any event for the external
community where Freemasonry is mentioned, for which you would like publicity? A good example of an event like this is the "Freemasonry in Sport" Charity Dinner being jointly organised by Spencer Park Lodge No. 6198 and the Royal York Lodge of Perseverance No. 7, as highlighted on page 19. If you are planning any such events or have any queries, please contact David Neale at email@example.com as well as arena at the usual address.
£100,000 donation from Golden Rule Lodge RW Bro. Russell Race, Metropolitan Grand Master receiving the cheque for the cyberknife fund from W. Bro. Lawrence Fenton LGR of Golden Rule Lodge No. 1261
olden Rule Lodge No 1261 recently made a £100,000 donation to the Cyberknife Appeal. It is not arena's practice to highlight individual lodge fundraising but this outstanding amount meant that rule just had to be broken! W. Bro Anthony Spencer LGR, a Past Master of the Lodge described what happened.... "Golden Rule Lodge no 1261 was established in 1869 in the City of London. The members at that time were mainly involved in the Insurance industry. Gradually as time went on the membership became more widely spread over London and the suburbs. Many of the members today are in Professions such as law and accountancy and most of the members belong to family groups as sons, sons-in-law and grandsons have 26
joined the Lodge over the years. In 2019 we will be celebrating our 150th Anniversary. Cancer is an emotive subject which afflicts every family in some way that is exposed to its misery. The members realised the importance of the Cyberknife Appeal and were informed of its benefits. The Charity Steward, W.Bro Richard Citron worked with the then Master, W. Bro Anthony Spencer LGR, to focus the Lodge's fundraising entirely on the Cyberknife. At each meeting we talked about the progress that London Masonry was making in fundraising, quoting the facts and figures and encouraged our Lodge to push the boundaries of giving, against a background of falling membership and economic difficulty. During the year in a comparatively short period
the lodge raised £3000. At the final working meeting of the year last November we made a final appeal for more money so that the Lodge could show a decent sum of money had been raised. One of our distinguished members W. Bro. Lawrence Fenton, a retired Chartered Accountant, was a joint trustee for the Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust, empowered to distribute funds left in her will. He was convinced that the Cyberknife Appeal was an appropriate way to distribute £100,000 from the trust This was a momentous occasion in the history of the Lodge and it was later honoured by a visit from the R.W. The Metropolitan Grand Master, Russell Race, who is pictured receiving the cheque from Bro. Fenton.” ISSUE 8
Masonic support for Scouting
he Freemasons’ Grand Charity has launched a five year funding programme of £100,000 to help develop Scouting across the Country. The funding has three distinct streams: £50,000 for activity grants, £25,000 towards programme resources, £25,000 for start-up grants. Each year, the Scout movements’ Development Grants Board, awards ten grants of £5,000 to counties in a different area of the UK. Activity grants will be awarded where a
substantial amount of money is needed to help counties expand their planned development and grow Scouting. Annabel Grout, Head of nonMasonic grants at The Grand Charity commented “The overall aim of the grant is to help expand and develop Scouting, especially in communities that have not previously had Scouting activities available for young people”. Said Steve Altria, A group scout leader, “We used it to buy uniforms
for three new Beaver Scout leaders as well as on new resources. The new colony was quickly filled with 23 young people” Beccy Martin, Kent County Project Manager added, “The Freemasons’ Grand Charity Grant enabled us to run a recruitment project. It has really helped us to develop Scouting in the county, and local Freemasons were very supportive from the start”.
London's Air Ambulance Charity
etropolitan Grand Lodge was recently invited to attend a recent sponsors reception by London's Air Ambulance Charity. arena will carry a more detailed interview on what went on at the presentation in a future edition, but WINTER 2012
in the meantime to whet your appetite, here is a quotation from Stirling Moss, who was recently involved in an accident and picked up by just such an Air Ambulance "As a recent recipient of the live saving service provided by London's Air
Ambulance, I am delighted that London Freemasons are giving them so much support. When we need them, rest assured they will be there, we will depend on their life saving skill and professionalism."
T H E M E N AT T H E T O P :
KEITH TALLON D
id you know that Keith Tallon is related to HM The Queen and to her cousin, the MW The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent? This, one would think, would place him in a somewhat exclusive enclave but during our interview, it became clear that whilst Keith is as ordinary as the rest of us, he does have a seriously extraordinary talent and a very different life history. It is probably a good moment to point out immediately for those of you interested in his royal connections, that it is often said that we are all related to the Queen, but through his interest in genealogy Keith has taken the time and trouble to document his relationship. All of which underlines again, how varied the trail to becoming one of the "Men at the Top" of London masonry is and how enjoyable putting together this series of profiles has been for your Editor. Although born in Yorkshire, Keith's upbringing was in the Lake district and he attended Kendal Grammar School (at the same time as Dr David Starkey,
the well-known historian and polemicist). Keith recounts that he had little interest in school, preferring the topics of girls and snooker. He left at the age of 16 with 3 "O" levels and presumably a developed green baize skillset! This did not offer him a wide choice of employment but he was sure that he did not want to work at the local mill with his father and brother and it was with extreme relief that he fell into a job as a junior in a solicitor's offices. It was around this time that he became a Voluntary Warden in the National Park and a member of the local Mountain Rescue team After he had been with the solicitor's office for some time, Keith relates that he saw a discarded piece of paper describing how to qualify as a legal executive. This would at one stroke provide him with an A level equivalent entry to the profession, an opportunity which he grasped. Following success, he moved to London in 1965 to work for a firm in Wembley. Whilst there he
Masonic Career 1977 Initiated into Enoch Lodge No. XI. 1979 Exalted into Enoch Chapter No. XI. 1982 Master of Enoch Lodge (and in 1985, 1994 and 2004!). 1986 MEZ of Enoch Chapter (and in 1987 and 2001!). 1988 Joined London First Principals Chapter 2712. 1988-present Scribe E Aldersgate Chapter of Improvement 1998 Grand Standard Bearer (RA) 2003-2008 Deputy Group Chairman (Sussex Group) 2004 Past Deputy Grand Superintendent of Works 2004 Past Grand Sojourner 2007-2009 Metropolitan Grand Inspector 2009 Appointed Second Metropolitan Grand Principal 28
E. Comp Keith at about the time of his initiation into Freemasonry
attended the College of Law and qualified in 1972 as a Solicitor, since when he has specialised in children and families work with an emphasis on legal-aid work. He sees this as being the perfect work for a freemason lawyer: representing those who cannot represent themselves and taking a clear stance on the protection of the innocent. His masonic career followed a similar pattern: a chance introduction followed by a period of intense hard work. Via a friendly introduction from his father-in-law, he joined Enoch Lodge No. XI in 1977 and in the normal course of such events was persuaded to join Enoch Chapter No. XI two years afterwards where, he says, he immediately felt a special rapport with the ritual. Working through all the roles, he was MEZ in 1986, a role
he repeated twice more as can be seen in the abridged masonic cv attached alongside. Keen to build on this rapport he started to attend the Aldersgate Chapter of Improvement and worked sufficiently on his ritual that he was able to achieve the rarely-held honour of achieving a perfect rendition of PS, J, H and Z an extraordinary feat, as readers will doubtless agree. This led to further work on Chapter matters and, he says, to his being pretty well-known on the Royal Arch side of things, leading eventually to his being appointed to Deputy Chairman of the Sussex Group. When the Groups folded into the new inspectorate system, he became a Metropolitan Grand Inspector and most recently, Second Metropolitan Grand Principal. It's clear that his chance introduction to masonry has led him
to work hard to make sure that the Royal Arch is fully appreciated, but what does he see as the next step? "I have no plans for a "next step" but I would very much wish to continue to serve Royal Arch masonry in general and Metropolitan Grand Chapter in particularâ€?.
Five things you didn't know about Keith Tallon:
1 Holds an "Aldersgate" award for completing word-perfect demonstrations of PS, J, H and MEZ. 2 Left school with only 3 "O" Levels 3 Very keen amateur genealogist 4 HATES the texture of and will not eat onions, despite not minding the taste! 5 Did not drink G&T until aged 50 but has been on the slippery slope ever since!
E. Comp. Keith Tallon today SPRING 2012
T H E M E N AT T H E T O P :
TIMOTHY L'ESTRANGE Regular readers will have seen a pattern appearing in these brief pencil sketches of the men behind the position: that of an early interest and hard work in Freemasonry and subsequent recognition of talent. E. Comp. The Rev. Timothy L'Estrange PAGChap is no exception to this pattern....
imothy was born in Canterbury, grew up in Shepway and attended The Harvey Grammar school in Folkestone. His grandfather, uncle and father were priests and his mother a schoolteacher. One might think therefore that Timothy was preordained by nurture to be ordained as a priest himself, and following teacher training and seminary training at Roehampton and Oxford where he took his degree in Theology, he was duly ordained. Having been posted to serve as Youth Chaplain for three years in rural north Suffolk, he was then appointed to the position of domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Horsham (a sort of general factotum and adjutant). He remembers this position with great affection as it taught him several lessons as will
E. Comp Timothy at about the time of his initiation into Freemasonry
become clear. As the Bishop's effective diary secretary, he took a call asking for the Bishop to appear on a television programme to be interviewed by a young person on "youth matters". As the programme was to be on Channel 4 all seemed fine and Timothy cleared the opportunity and set up the diary accordingly. To those of us in the know or with hindsight, the fact that the interviewer was named Ali G, immediately puts us on guard, but at the time, no-one knew, least of all Timothy! It seems however that the Bishop took his vow to forgive seriously and despite Timothy's worries, he was not fired. It is even more noteworthy however that the interview featured as second in Channel 4's "Greatest Television moments" as voted for by the public!
Masonic Career 1990 Initiated into Apollo University Lodge No. 357, whilst a student 1991 Exalted into the Apollo University Chapter No 357, whilst a student 1996 Joined Lodge of Assistance No.2773 1998 Master, Lodge of Assistance No. 2773 2002 Assistant Grand Chaplain, United Grand Lodge of England (at the time the youngest Grand Officer!) 2003 Joined Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. 4 2005 MEZ of the Apollo University Chapter No 357 2007 Joined Royal Somerset House and Inverness Chapter No. 4. 2009 SLGR 2009 Deputy Metropolitan Grand Chaplain 2010 Third Metropolitan Grand Principal 2010 Joined Britannic Lodge No. 33 2011 PGStB, Supreme Grand Chapter Holds Grand Rank in all other Orders of which he is a subscribing member, and is Intendant-General (PGM) for Berks, Bucks, & Oxon in the Red Cross of Constantine. ISSUE 8
Moving on, Timothy became Rector of a country parish in 1998, moved to a London parish in 2008 and last year took on the Vicarage of St. Gabriel's North Acton, although not without some drama, since the vicarage was squatted in for the first six months of his incumbency to the chagrin of Timothy and his wife Elizabeth! Timothy's hobbies include Freemasonry, which we will explore further below; Railways, with some emphasis on narrow-gauge (he is a shareholder in the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway in Kent); cavies (guinea-pigs) - he is registered with the British Cavy Council as a breeder with the officially registered stud name of "Grand Temple Stud", having also run a cavy rescue centre in Sussex; Travel (he has visited 51 countries)
and has often combined his love of railways with travel by undertaking long distance railway journeys. Timothy was initiated whilst at Oxford into Apollo University Lodge No. 357 and has been an active mason ever since, joining Lodge of Assistance No. 2773 on coming down from university. He gained active Grand Rank in 2002 as Assistant Grand Chaplain and joined Royal Somerset House and Inverness lodge No. 4 in 2003. Although he holds Grand Rank in every order in which he is a subscribing member, having gone straight from light blue to Grand Rank as the youngest officer in UGLE, he is perhaps best known to Londoners for his work as part of the London "chaplaincy" team delivering Orations in many London lodges on their centenaries, banner dedications, consecrations etc. More
importantly, he has been the Third Metropolitan Grand Principal since 2010. As he says "although I began my life in the Province of Oxfordshire I now think of myself as a London mason. Becoming Third Metropolitan Grand Principal has presented me with a further and very welcome opportunity of service, having up until then concentrated on London Craft Chaplaincy. There are still many masons in London who have not joined the Royal Arch and thus I seek to be a keen ambassador for the Order, particularly for those who are still missing out!"
Five things you didn't know about W. Bro. Timothy L'Estrange:
1 Sells free-range eggs from his home-kept chickens to raise church funds 2 Is a webmaster several times over 3 Loves detective drama - favourite relaxation is a G&T whilst watching TV detectives 4 Has qualified as a Station Master 5 Is a qualified auxiliary nurse with St. John Ambulance
E. Comp Timothy Lâ€™Estrange today SPRING 2012
W H Y S H O U L D I V I S I T. . .
Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076? We continue our series of "unusual" London lodges with a look at Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the world's oldest Lodge of Research founded in1886 with a reminder to readers that all the lodges featured in this series would be delighted to have interested guests visiting them to examine at first hand their unique identity, character or other unique selling point. More details on this will be found below. arena spoke to W. Bro. Gordon Davie PSGD, Lodge Secretary, to ask the usual question..."Why should I visit your Lodge?"
Lodge jewels from Quatuor Coronati
eing first and foremost a lodge of research, each meeting is worked around lectures and talks by Masons and non-masons alike, with one underlying characteristic - all are very knowledgeable on their chosen subjects. Thus there is a lot less emphasis on the traditional workings of the Lodge and it does not initiate candidates. This sounds as if the meetings might be dull, one might reasonably opine, but Bro. Gordon is quick to point out that humour and good fun are deliberately a hallmark of the Lodge's activity and that whilst the topics are serious and the scholarship sound, the delivery and reception are kept interesting! As one might expect, there are a huge number of research areas covered, which for example might range from quasi-masonic organisations and ritual to all the other degrees and orders in Masonry! Membership is not confined to English Freemasons: there are also American, Scottish, Japanese, South African, French, Scandinavian, Israeli and many other Constitutions that are also recognised. The Lodge was founded in 1884 by nine Brethren who were intent on using an evidence-based approach to the study of Masonic history and research into Freemasonry. This innovative approach was intended to replace the often imaginative writings of earlier authors on the history of Freemasonry. This new style and approach was later to be referred to as the ‘authentic school’ of Masonic research. The lodge continues
to have a limited membership (currently 35) and members (who join by invitation only) must be acknowledged experts in some aspect of masonic matters. It is important to note that the Lodge caters for all kinds of masonic interests and that every year there are amusing, interesting and sometimes groundbreaking topics for every level of Masonic research and interest from the basic to the extremely intellectual! The last few meeting topics were: a) The study of Masonic symbolism and the interpretation of our ceremonies, and whether they have relevance today b) "Lord Caernarvon's visit to the Cape in 1887". This was during the lodge's visit to South Africa where a meeting was held in Cape Town by dispensation and twenty brethren from the Lodge and its associated Correspondence Circle had a 10-12 day tour including visits to South African Constitution Lodges. (The subject of the evening's lecture was Pro Grand Master at the time of his 1887 visit). c) In June there was a short meeting and after the Lodge was closed, ladies, gentlemen and non-masons were admitted into the Lodge when Professor Susan Mitchell Sommers, Professor of History at St Vincent’s College, Latrobe, PA USA delivered ISSUE 8
a paper on ‘Thomas Dunckerley, A True Son of Adam’. Susan Sommers concentrated upon the character and foibles of Thomas Dunckerley and brought a new perspective to masonic scholarship. As Bro Gordon says: "The Lodge meetings are held five times a year, and are very informal, There are no processions, no salutes, and anything not concerned with the talk or lecture is kept to the minimum necessary. The meetings always start at 5pm (including Installation) and finish at 6.30 with dining in the Kingsway Hall (cost £38.00 wine inclusive), there are no wine takings and no speeches, it is happy festive board where the visitors can chat to members, pick their brains, and enjoy a convivial atmosphere. We aim to close the dinner at 8.30 to 8.45 so that brethren coming from a distance can get home. It is also very important to note that whilst we are deeply serious about our scholarship, we are certainly not po-faced and that having an enjoyable and amusing time is the underlying ambition to every meeting." It is worth adding that those of us who cannot pretend to the levels of scholarship needed for regular attendance can keep up via the Lodge's associated "club", the QCCC (the Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle). Joining the QCCC (cost £28) entitles members to two Newsletters a year, the annual publication called AQC which contains all the lectures delivered during the year, book reviews, letters and members’ queries which are answered by the Lodge's experts. It also gives entitlement to attend the Lodge meetings without a specific formal invitation. SPRING 2012
Additionally, the Lodge hosts the annual Norman Spencer Essay competition. This competition was instituted to encourage all brethren, both in and out of London, to take a lively and active interest in masonic research and to encourage those who have not previously undertaken study of this kind to find a stimulating and satisfying addition to their normal masonic ritual learning. The competition is open to members in good standing in lodges on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England or of other Constitutions recognised by it. They may select their own subject which must be within the fields of Masonic History, Symbolism, Ritual, Biography, or Antiques (Regalia, Jewels, Glassware and Ceramics, Books, Documents and Press Comments on Freemasonry, Architecture or any subject deemed to be of general and particular historical importance). Ritual subjects, Lodge Histories and Local Masonic History are not generally acceptable (but not completely barred). There is even a prize of £100!
Lodge meetings, pruning out the inessentials and enjoying a relaxed entertaining and educational atmosphere". Brethren who wish to attend the next meeting of QC on the 10th May 2012 should get in touch with Bro. Gordon on 020 8460 2975. The topic for the evening, "the earliest speculative working tools", is presented by W. Bro Bob Cooper who is curator for the Grand Lodge of Scotland and is about the recently discovered masonic tools from Scotland - likely to be the first time they have been south of the border!
So why come to the Lodge ? The obvious answer is that one can learn more about freemasonry and broaden one's horizons. Indeed, some have realised by joining the QCCC that masonic research is what they want to do themselves. It is however, as Bro. Gordon goes on to say before closing, "a perfect opportunity to come and chat to the experts, a sort of masonic Antiques Road Show, if you will! If you have any queries, problems or masonic conundrums you want answered, we may be able to help. You won’t improve your ritual by attending, but you will for example, learn how to streamline
A St. John's Day card from Quatuor Coronati Lodge 33
The Bank of England – its Masonic connotations by Yasha Beresiner
he imposing structure of the Bank of England is situated on the three and a half acre island site, at the busiest junction in the City of London. It has the massive ‘curtain’ wall as the most prominent architectural aspect of the building: an extended windowless wall that encircles it and separates, in effect isolates, the remainder of the elevation beyond it. Here lies the strongest Masonic link between the Bank of England and Freemasonry. The ‘curtain’ was built by the renowned City architect Brother Sir John Soane (1753-1837), who was also the architect who built the second Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street in 1813. There are similarities in the fate of both these magnificent structures, a bond in common that extends beyond the coincidence of a shared architect who was a Freemason. The Bank of England has been situated on the same site since 1734, when the then Clerk of Works to the Tower of London, George Sampson (d1764) was appointed Surveyor to the Bank and took on the
responsibilities for the erection of the first purpose-built bank in England. He was followed by the distinguished sculptor-turnedarchitect, Sir Robert Taylor (17141788). By the time Taylor’s new façade was completed in 1788, a dominant Rotunda had been created to allow maximum light into the building. Taylor is best remembered for this piece of outstanding architecture. Sir John Soane, next on the list of ‘Architect and Surveyor to the Bank of England’ dedicated the last 45 years of his working life to completing this work until his retirement in 1833. The building became known as ‘Soane's Bank of England’ and, notwithstanding the appointment of a number of architects in-between times, it remained unchanged until 1920. In that year the whole structure was entirely demolished, except for the ‘curtain’ referred to above. This demolition of Soane’s work has been referred to by the respected scholar Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘the greatest architectural crime of the 20th Century’. The similarity in circumstance to Freemasons’ Hall lies in the architectural history of our own
building. In 1775 the Premier Grand Lodge purchased two adjoining buildings in Great Queen Street. They invited the City architect and Freemason Thomas Sandby to build a Masonic Grand Hall between the two houses and The Freemasons Tavern as a frontage. This was the first Freemasons’ Hall and the one to which many innovative extensions were added by Sir John Soane when he rebuilt it, following the Union in 1813. Unfortunately when the architect Frederick Cockerill was invited, in 1860, to build the new Freemasons’ Hall, he chose to incorporate Sandy’s original Grand Hall of 1775, replacing completely John Soane’s work: an architectural crime in its own right – not unlike that of the Bank of England mentioned above. A devastating fire in Grand Lodge in 1883 led to the building of the third and present Freemasons’ Hall, built as the Peace Memorial building and completed in 1933. Returning to the Bank of England, the present ten-level structure seven above ground and three below - is by Sir Herbert Baker (1862-1946) built between 1925 and 1939. It is the culmination of a long history for ISSUE 8
both the Bank and British financial traditions. Prior to the formation of the Bank of England at the end of the 17th century, Lombard Street, now adjacent to the Bank, was the medieval financial and trading centre of Europe. Initially it was frequented by the merchant Jews who had arrived in England with William I. They were replaced, after their expulsion by Edward I in 1290, by Italian traders from Lombardy, hence the name of the street. When, in 1693, William Paterson and Michael Godfrey, active City merchants, founded the Bank of England, it was natural that they should set themselves up in this same area. The Bank of England thus began life in rented premises at the Mercers’ Hall, in Cheapside. A year later it moved to the more spacious Grocers’ Hall just round the corner in Princess Street and finally reached its current location in Threadneedle Street. This had been the site of Houblon’s original private residence until 1734. There are two further interesting Masonic associations with the Bank of England. A Bank of England Lodge No 263 was founded in 1788 to promote the Welfare of the Craft for the Benefit of all Mankind. It has a rich and long history to which justice cannot be made in this short article. It did have, among the many distinguished Brethren who were members, the famous Bro. Robert T. Crucefix who served as Worshipful Master in 1832. The symbolic badge of the Lodge consists of Britannia holding a sprig of acacia surrounded by the sun, moon and stars and other masonic emblems, with the allseeing eye above. As a side issue, the Lodge sponsors the famous Emulation Silver Matchbox award SPRING 2012
established in 1897. It is presented by the Emulation Lodge of Improvement No.256 to a Brother who works a Masonic Ceremony according to Emulation Ritual without prompt or correction. There have been 349 Silver Matchboxes awarded to date. The second item of curiosity is an article published in the March 1929, issue of The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street (Vol. V, No. 33), by W. Marston Acres concerning a foundation stone that was then discovered during the alterations being carried out at the Bank of England. Part of the entry reads as follows: In the course of the excavations on the site of the Pay Hall there was brought to light, on the 28th November last (1928), a relic of more than usual interest, the existence of which was quite unsuspected. Beneath the circular base of the most easterly pier in the front elevation of the Hall a block of stone was discovered inscribed:
Building reported to the Court of Directors: "That they had agreed with Messrs. Thomas Dunn and Co. to undertake the whole work of building a New Publick Office for the Bank for £13,153 7s. 9d., and the Undertakers to have the benefit of the old materials . . . The text is self-explanatory and an exceptional instance, in England at least, of the link between operative and speculative Freemasonry, bearing in mind that Anthony, 6th Viscount Montagu, who is named, was indeed Grand Master of our ‘speculative’ Society in 1732.
A view of the beautiful pedestrian pavement walkthrough at Tivoli Corner
Mr. THOMAS DUNN / /MASONS Mr. JOHN TOWNSEND / ANNO MASONEY 5732 Ld. MONTACUTE G. MASTER V the stone being so placed that the arrow-head pointed eastward. The measurements of the stone are 4ft. 4ins. by 3ft. 9ins. by 1ft. 9ins. Messrs. Dunn and Townsend were the contractors for the first buildings of the Bank, which were erected on the site of Sir John Houblon's house and garden between 1732 and 1734 from the designs of George Sampson. The decision to build an office for the Bank was made at a meeting of the General Court of Proprietors held on the 20th January 1732, and on the 24th February following, the Committee for 35
A N D F I N A L LY. . .
Musings from W. Bro. Warren-Peace In which we eavesdrop on the private correspondence between W. Bro. Warren-Peace and W. Bro. Stein, two long-retired, experienced and "free-thinking" London masons as they exchange thoughts on matters masonic....if you feel you want to join in or comment on any of their outrageous comments, please feel free to use the Letters column as always... Dear Philip, You're quite right to raise the issue of poor ritual delivery. It has been getting on my nerves too. However, I do seem to recall the somewhat 'alternative' Traditional History you delivered the first time you did it as a young scamp. I'm sure you won't admit recollecting it. Even I have difficulty thinking that far back! On another point, and to dismiss your slanders on the quality of my singing voice; my Elspeth says I have vocal skills comparable to none, other than Pavarotti. I often see her welling up with tears during my regular Sunday morning renditions of Con Te Partiro. She often disappears into the garden before I get to the second verse as the emotions it stirs up in her are too great. Some years ago, I too had the dubious pleasure of attending, as a guest, a Lodge in the Provinces. Let me tell you how surprised I was to get a phone call asking if the summons could be forwarded via this new e-mail postal system. As you well know, I've fervently refused to use this mumbo-jumbo, interweb, computer gibberish. I of course demanded a summons written on paper and sent though the Royal Mail, which is, always has been, and always will be the correct mode of sending any written communication. I'm sure you'd agree? After being promised that it would be sent by a first class post, I waited what seemed like an age to receive it. Even with my dodgy hip, I could have walked to the secretary's house to get it by the time it got to me. The Royal Mail certainly has slowed down with age - a bit like you, my friend! When I opened the letter, I must say that the volume of text was rather impressive. The list of members was as long as my arm but my main gripe was that to fit everything on a single sheet of paper (and poor quality paper at that, I must add) the lettering was
microscopic! To my dear Elspeth's annoyance, I had to rummage in my drawers to try to find my magnifying glass. Once found, I began the painstaking process of deciphering each sentence. Philip, are young people nowadays not taught grammar, spelling and proper punctuation at school? I was appalled to find the word 'you're' being spelled 'your' and a seemingly random use of full stops at the end of paragraphs. Now, I won't admit that I'm perfect in that department myself, and I must say that this letter too contains some purposeful mistakes, just to see if you're paying attention, but this is surely a matter of pride in the use of the Queen's English! I of course immediately rummaged in my drawers again, this time to find my red pen and began to highlight all the mistakes. After hours of commentary, I sent my acceptance to attend the meeting along with the corrected summons, which at that point looked like a dot-to-dot picture. On the day of the meeting, I turned up with 30 minutes to spare and the only two people there were me and the Lodge secretary, who had sent me the
summons. I had no qualms in reiterating to my red-faced host my disapproval of poor punctuation and spelling. He blamed it on something or someone he called his 'word processor', who apparently is responsible for checking spelling and grammar from his computer machine! All this new fangled-dangled techno-wizardry was surely meant to make things better not worse! I felt he was trying to hide something with his techno-babble so I made a quick exit to the bar. After a few (non-alcoholic) drinks, I realised we were sparse in numbers. Even the secretary was visibly in a bit of a tiz. He got out what looked like something that Captain Kirk would use and began frantically to call people. After a number of attempts he started complaining about not getting 'a reception indoors'. He then proceeded to hang out of the window, which seemed to solve his problem. It was already only a few minutes from the scheduled start time and even half an hour later with some people turning up, there were only around 10 of us at the meeting, most of whom were oldies like you. What transpired was that the sensible ones amongst us had avoided this e-letter system and had received summonses by post. The Secretary's computer machine had caught some sort of flu virus (and it wasn't even winter). It had apparently not sent out summonses to the vast majority of Lodge members. What happened to the time when people actually spoke to one another, Philip, and communicated in ways that wouldn't catch flu or required you to dangle yourself out of a window? There's simply too much reliance on these computer machines and too little common sense in the world today. Wouldn't you agree? S&F Sebastian
Published on Jul 4, 2012