On the 22nd January, following much planning and armed with the necessary official clearances, 17 members of Holmesdale Lodge No. 874 in Royal Tunbridge Wells joined their Junior Warden Jean Baptiste Puyraud on a visit to a meeting of his French Lodge, Benjamin Franklin Lodge No. 52 – held at the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) in Paris
The visitors were treated to exceptional hospitality throughout their visit. French brethren organised a lunch, ahead of an initiation ceremony worked in the Scottish Rite.
An exchange of gifts took place with Neil Scott, Worshipful Master of Holmesdale Lodge, presenting an engraved firing glass commemorating the occasion to Fabrice Huet, Worshipful Master of Benjamin Franklin Lodge. The English brethren each received a bottle of champagne bearing Benjamin Franklin Lodge’s own label.
The evening concluded with a reception and dinner in a Parisian restaurant where representatives of both lodges spoke. Many distinguished brethren were present including the Provincial Grand Master of the Ile de France Province Denis Martial and, representing the GLNF, Gérard Icart.
Holmesdale Lodge in the Province of West Kent is the oldest Lodge in Royal Tunbridge Wells and celebrated its sesquicentenary in 2012.
Benjamin Franklin Lodge was consecrated in 2005, reviving the name of a lodge formed in 1956 by Americans based in central France.