Celebrating 300 years

An unusual turn of events has resulted in the Stroke Association becoming the recipients of a £1,000 donation from London Freemason Ted Jennings

Ted became an honorary member of his lodge 10 years ago, but forgot to cancel the standing order for his subscription – and now his oversight has benefited the Stroke Association in London to the tune of £1,000.

Trevor Sherman, Treasurer of Zetland Lodge No. 511, explained: ‘Ted had a balance of nearly £900 on his account so I asked him what he wanted to do with the money. Ted suffered a stroke himself a few years ago and is now unable to attend lodge meetings.

‘He was very grateful at the time for the support he got with his recovery from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich. Without hesitation Ted said he wanted to donate the money to charity and specifically, to the Stroke Association.’

The lodge topped Ted’s donation up to £1,000 and presented it to Heather Clifford, Community and Events Fundraiser for the London region of the Stroke Association.

In accepting the cheque, Heather commented: ‘Thank you for the generous donation to the Stroke Association. Please pass on my thanks to Ted Jennings for selecting to support our charity.

‘Thanks to supporters like yourselves we are able to continue our work providing vital services, campaigning for better care and investing in research to find better treatments for stroke.’

Heather gave a presentation to members of Zetland Lodge and their guests about the work of the Stroke Association. She explained that stroke continues to be one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and can happen to anyone at any time.

There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK with 100,000 strokes happening in the UK each year. Most strokes are preventable and having a heart test is really important because it helps people to know if they have high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation (AF), conditions which mean you're are at much greater risk of having a stroke.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 01:00

Pro Grand Master's address - June 2014

Quarterly Communication 

11 June 2014 
An address by the MW the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes 

Brethren, over the last year or two there has been a certain amount of correspondence in the various masonic magazines regarding the pros and cons of reading rather than reciting our ritual.

One correspondent suggested that as ritual was read throughout European Grand Lodges, we should follow. I am not sure all our politicians would agree with that! Certainly it is true that reading ritual is prevalent in many European Grand Lodges, however it is not universally so, and, in any event, there surely is no good reason for us to follow their example. Indeed, I have many friends in European Lodges who envy the way we deliver our ritual.

You will note, brethren, that I said that they are envious of the way we 'deliver' our ritual and, in my experience, ritual that is recited has much greater meaning to the candidate than ritual that is read, although I am pleased to say I have not been present on many occasions that it has been read.

I entirely accept that learning ritual is time consuming and time is at a premium in today’s hectic schedule of life. But how often is it true that the busiest people are those who find the time to learn it. I am not going to pretend that I have ever found ritual learning easy, and, as time goes by, dare I say, I find learning new ritual more difficult, but, nonetheless, I shall never forget the satisfaction of carrying out a second degree ceremony at the first meeting that I was in the chair of my mother lodge. To be told by an extremely demanding DC that it had been adequate was as good as it gets! I should add that this was a great deal more complimentary than anything he ever said to me during the year that he taught me classics.

By definition reading means looking at the book and, if the deliverer is looking at the book, he is not looking at the candidate or the brethren to whom he is speaking. To read a text well is in itself a skill that not everyone has. Good reading needs preparation and unless our ritual is understood by the deliverer, what chance is there that it will be understood by the recipient. For the reader to have a good understanding of what he is saying he will have had to have read through the text on several occasions and it is most certainly not a case of turning up, opening a book and reading.

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

One of the prime reasons that lodges are being encouraged to share the workload is so that members should spend time really learning and understanding what they are delivering and not just reciting ritual parrot fashion. It is inevitable that some members will find ritual easier than others and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that as much help as possible is given to those who need it, thus giving everyone the opportunity to take pride in their delivery, however short a piece it may be.

I don’t expect what I have said today to be universally accepted, but I would be surprised if the majority do not agree with at least part of it.

Letters to the Editor - No. 28 Winter 2014

All in the delivery

Sir,

With regard to the June address by our Pro Grand Master, Peter Lowndes, there is no doubt that the candidate deserves to experience the ritual without the deliverer needing to read the text from a book. I was greatly impressed by the sincerity and meaning thus offered. At one time I could comfortably deliver the Second Degree Tracing Board as well as preside over a lodge or chapter with similar confidence, but now, with the years advancing and being into my seventies, such standards of delivery are now virtually impossible. The reluctant answer, where appropriate, is to delegate, but sometimes reading the ritual is just unavoidable. I do try to impart appropriate emotion with my delivery.

Barry Mitchell, Zetland Lodge, No. 511, London

Published in Speeches
Sunday, 19 April 2009 15:48

Dramatic Masonry

Trevor Sherman on the Northants and Hunts Provincial Demonstration Group 

The mandate was clear from the start: in May 2008, Derek Young, then Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, asked me to set up a Provincial Demonstration Group, requesting that I, ‘Research for material that can be presented in dramatic form to inform, inspire and entertain Brethren regarding the history, origins and meaning of Craft Freemasonry and the Royal Arch’.

Published in Features

ugle logo          SGC logo