Globe Chapter milestone
The sesquicentenary celebrations of Globe Chapter, No. 23, have taken place at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street. The chapter started life in 1865 as Panmure Chapter, No. 720, but in 1914 was unusually allowed to change to its current name and number.
Everyone present at the celebration received a copy of the chapter’s history written by member Richard Gan, who also gave a talk, after which the 50 or so companions dined together in Globe tradition at one very large table.
During its long existence the chapter has had 373 members, only 33 of whom have come from Panmure Lodge and 77 from Globe Lodge. The remaining members have had no affiliation to either, which has been one of the chapter’s strengths.
Victorian snuff box returns home
Mark Littler is an auctioneer and valuer at Tennants Auctioneers in Yorkshire. He was consigned a Victorian silver snuff box with an inscription relating to Phoenix Lodge of Saint Ann, No. 1235, in Buxton, Derbyshire, which was given to its first Master, John Millward.
Thanks to Mark, of Thornborough Lodge, No. 6434, Leyburn, Phoenix Lodge of Saint Ann Secretary Henry Kukuewicz came to the auction and successfully bid for the item. In its archives, the lodge has the minutes from the meeting when the box was presented to Millward. The snuff box features his name and the date of the expiration of his year in office, 19 February 1870.
Remembering fallen brethren
This year’s church service for the Province of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, was held at York Minster during evensong when a commemorative plaque was blessed. The plaque marks the service of 54 brethren from 22 of the Province’s lodges who died while in the service of their country in World War I.
Hundreds of brethren in full regalia then walked from the Minster to St Saviourgate, accompanied by Provincial Grand Master Jeffrey Gillyon; the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Sonja Crisp; and many civic and Armed Forces dignitaries. The PGM unveiled a newly mounted plaque at the masonic hall, which was dedicated by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, Rev Trevor Lewis.
Sci-fi convention supports little havens
Nick Joseph has presented a cheque for £1,200 to Little Havens Hospice in Essex on behalf of Leyton Grange Park Lodge, No. 5473. The money was raised during the Romford Essex Sci-Fi Charity Convention in July, which was organised by Nick with help from members of the lodge.
Blind veteran spreads the word
Blind Veterans UK, the national military charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women, has thanked two fundraisers for their efforts in raising more than £2,000. Peter Phipps, a blind veteran who has been supported by the charity since 2013, and Roger Hampshire, Provincial Grand Charity Steward for Oxfordshire, have raised money over the past year by travelling to lodges in the Oxfordshire area and talking about the work of Blind Veterans UK.
Peter, 86, wanted to raise money for the charity to express his thanks for the life-changing support it has provided him. Peter’s long-standing friend Roger drove him to almost all of the talks around the county, always joined by Peter’s dog Misty.
Hereford marks Anne Frank Day
National Anne Frank Day took place at Saxon Hall, Hereford, with a multi-faith service of thanks and celebration, as well as the consecration of a memorial tree and a service of dedication led by Rabbis Danny Rich and Anna Gerrard.
Dean Waterfield Lodge, No. 8089, which meets at Hereford, contributed financially to the Saxon Hall Community Garden, which was largely created by students and staff of The Hereford Academy. Members of the Academy’s choir sang three songs during the celebrations, which were linked with a Forces’ Memorial Gardens ceremony introduced by Peter Cocks, chairman of the Saxon Hall Committee, and a service led by Rev Phillip Brown.
Warwickshire support for Acorns
Every year for the past five years, Warwickshire Freemasons have donated £150,000 via the Masonic Charitable Association to around 120 non-masonic charities, including Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham. Founded 27 years ago, Acorns offers a network of specialist palliative care and support across the West Midlands for babies, children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Over the years, support for Acorns from Warwickshire masons has included technical help with computer equipment that was installed at the Selly Oak hospice by Lifelites, a charity backed by the masonic community.
Token of thanks
Hertfordshire Freemason Keith Townsend of Ravenscroft Chapter, No. 2331, has presented a cheque for £1,300 to Luton and Dunstable Hospital Trust in thanks for the care he received following two heart attacks. Since 2014 Keith has been attending the hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation unit, which works to build heart strength following cardiac arrest.
Online safety education
Children’s educational centre Warning Zone has received a £10,000 donation from Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons towards an interactive experience highlighting the dangers of the internet. The new E-Safety Zone is based on a trip to the fairground and aims to educate Year 6 children (ages 10-11) about online safety, including learning about internet security, cyber bullying, grooming, digital identity and unsuitable material. It was opened by Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire Sir Clive Loader, with PGM David Hagger, Provincial Almoner Anthony Molyneux (both pictured) and other members of the fraternity in attendance.
Director of Special Projects John Hamill discusses the appeal of formal dress for younger masons
A wide variety of questions and comments are received daily by email via Grand Lodge’s website. A recent one gave me pause for thought. The writer queried why we continued to insist on white shirt and black shoes with either morning dress or a dark suit as our standard dress for lodge meetings. He went on to say that because of the very relaxed attitudes to dress in the modern workplace, it could be embarrassing for an individual on lodge days to turn up to work formally dressed, and would certainly lead to questions as to why.
As with so many things in Freemasonry, there is an applied symbolism to the way we dress.
As has always been said, whatever an individual’s circumstances in life, within Freemasonry we are all equal. Certainly in the past one thing that showed an individual’s place in society was the cut and quality of his clothing. When, in early Victorian times, men’s clothing began to become less colourful and more standardised, Freemasonry began to adopt a particular style that gave little indication of the individual’s social standing.
Pictures of style
In masonic halls and collections around the country there is a wealth of photographic evidence from which we can trace the development of masonic dress. When evening dress (white tie and tails) became standard, it became the uniform of lodge meetings up to World War I. Similarly, when morning dress (frock or tail coats) became common, it was the dress normally adopted for daytime masonic events such as processions, church services and the laying of foundation stones.
‘As with so many things in Freemasonry, there is a symbolism to the way we dress. As has always been said, whatever an individual’s circumstances in life, within Freemasonry we are all equal.’
Because of the scarcity of material and rationing of clothing, both World Wars had their effect on masonic dress. During World War I, dress was relaxed to a dinner jacket and black tie, or uniform for those on active duty. After the war many lodges returned to evening dress but others preferred the more comfortable dinner jackets.
During World War II air raids became a nightly feature in many cities and ports, so Grand Lodge suggested that, where possible, meetings should be held during the day or late afternoon so that the brethren could get home safely before the air raids started. As normal day dress for those in the professions, clerical and service industries was a morning suit (short jacket), that soon became the unofficial dress for meetings and has continued to this day, particularly for those rewarded with Metropolitan, Provincial or Grand ranks.
The wearing of dinner jackets still continues in some lodges today, but from the 1970s when the wearing of morning suits dropped out of general usage, the wearing of a dark suit became acceptable in most lodges.
When Freemasonry began to look at ways of attracting younger men into the Craft 20 years ago, a regular comment was that formal dressing for lodge meetings would be seen as evidence of Freemasonry being somewhat ‘fuddy duddy’ and for older men. Surprisingly, the opposite has proved to be the case. Talking to many of those who have come into the organisation in the past few years, one of the attractions for them was the idea of formality both in meetings and dress, which is something they do not otherwise meet with in their daily lives.