Press talk comes to Beaconsfield
Bowen Lodge, No. 2816, which meets at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has hosted the 2013 Prestonian Lecture, ‘As we were seen: The Press & Freemasonry.’ Given by journalist and academic Paul Calderwood, the lecture was an historical account of Freemasonry’s relationship with the press over nearly three centuries. The event raised around £900 for various charities, including the National Autistic Society.
Belper aid for autism centre
Holbrook Centre for Autism, which provides specialist schooling for students with autism and learning disabilities between the ages of four and 19, has received £1,200 for teaching aids from Belper masons in Derbyshire. The fundraising was started by Brian Smith, Master of Lodge of St John, No. 8070, aided by the Belper Masonic Benevolent Association and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire.
Julian Scholefield, the centre’s head teacher, said the funds would be used to buy additional iPads and supporting software to enhance the existing technology portfolio available to all students.
Durham Scouts adapt
At a meeting of Quest Lodge, No. 7102, in Seaham, representatives of Durham Scouts received a grant to buy special adaptation kit to enable handicapped Scouts to participate in practical Scouting. The grant was presented by Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Kenneth Howe to Sheila Gibbon, assistant county commissioner for special needs.
Scout leaders, together with wives and friends, attended the meeting where they were invited into the lodge room to hear a presentation on the similarities between Freemasonry and Scouting. Quest Lodge Master Raine Gregson led the initial fundraising with a social evening, which raised £600, and Durham Provincial Grand Lodge added a further £1,000 to the donation.
Derbyshire lodge initiates first student
One year after Assistant Grand Master David Williamson accepted it into the Universities Scheme, Derbyshire’s Hartington Lodge, No. 1085, has initiated its first student candidate, 18-year-old Philip Tomlinson.
The meeting was attended by more than 80 brethren, including Provincial Grand Master Graham Rudd; Assistant Provincial Grand Master Steven Varley; and 12 Entered Apprentices, as well as two Fellowcrafts from other lodges.
The lodge has already secured six further candidates, having run a stand at the University of Derby’s freshers’ fair, followed by an open evening at Derby Masonic Hall.
On 14 October 2011, the Grand Lodge of Albania was formed by the Grand Orient of Italy from three lodges meeting there. The United Grand Lodge of England no longer recognises the Grand Orient of Italy, but it has publicly stated that it accepts the Grand Orient’s regularity of origin and that its lodges are working routinely.
The Grand Lodge of Albania has shown that it is of regular descent and that it conforms to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition. The Board of General Purposes therefore has no reason to believe that it will not maintain a regular path. At its December Quarterly Communication, Grand Lodge approved the recommendation from the Board that the Grand Lodge of Albania be recognised.
Historic milestone for prudence
It is quite a milestone when a lodge reaches its 1,500th regular meeting, but it is an event that was recently celebrated by Lodge of Prudence, No. 388, which meets at Halesworth in Suffolk.
Among the distinguished guests welcomed at the meeting by Worshipful Master Ian Ansell was Ian Yeldham, Provincial Grand Master for Suffolk, who witnessed an initiation ceremony.
The date of the lodge warrant is 23 June 1827, but research by lodge Past Master Charles Bedingfield uncovered an old Minute Book that referred to the first meeting of the Lodge of Prudence, No. 500, which took place on 12 October 1791. Records state that the meeting was held at the Three Tuns Inn, Halesworth, which is now a social club.
The Province of Suffolk itself was formally recognised in 1772 and now includes 66 lodges.
Seventy years in Suffolk
At a meeting of Babergh Lodge, No. 8122, which meets at Sudbury, Suffolk, there was a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the initiation of Lionel Bell by his father into Stour Valley Lodge, No. 1224. Suffolk Provincial Grand Master Ian Yeldham delivered a fitting tribute and a certificate recognising his achievement.
At the same meeting, Graham Pearce was initiated into the lodge and it was thought an appropriate gesture for him to present Lionel, a founder member, with a fine selection of red wine.
The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the official delivery of the 2014 Prestonian Lecture and has decided that it should be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). The lecturer, Dr Mike Kearsley, revealed the lecture title to be ‘1814 Consolidation and Change: the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England’.
Native Americans give masonic display
Hundreds of masons gathered at Wisbech St Mary, Cambridgeshire, to watch a colourful demonstration of masonic rituals by a group of Native Americans. The Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team was on a UK tour, and its visit to the village leisure centre at Fenland attracted 300 fellow masons from around the eastern counties.
Event organiser Brian January was fascinated by the display of how Native American tribes use masonic symbols and rituals: ‘They dressed in traditional costume and demonstrated some of their ceremonies. It was like a play, and was quite different from what we do. No one had ever seen anything like it in England. It was just out of this world.’
Letters to the editor - No. 26 Summer 2014
In an item on the Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team you quoted a comment, ‘No one has ever seen anything like it in England.’
I can advise you that one such display was received with enthusiastic acclamation in my own lodge, and I understand the team have demonstrated their unique ritual to lodges throughout the country.
Norman Speed, Lodge of Equity and Appleton, No. 1384, Widnes, West Lancashire
In good company
Royal Alpha Lodge celebrated the Grand Master’s fifty years in the Craft at an historic occasion in Freemasons’ Hall
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent was initiated into Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, on Monday, 16 December 1963 at a meeting held at the Café Royal. The then Grand Master, the Earl of Scarbrough, was his proposer and his seconder was Lord Cornwallis, Provincial Grand Master of Kent.
Although the Master was the Marquess of Zetland, it was the Assistant Grand Master, Sir Allan Adair, who took the chair for the ceremony. Adair was both a famous soldier and a well-known mason; not only had he heroically commanded the 4th Guards Armoured Division in World War II, he also went on to become Deputy Grand Master.
Fifty years on, members celebrated the anniversary at the December 2013 installation meeting of Royal Alpha Lodge. Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes presented His Royal Highness with a framed collage of pictures of past royal Grand Masters surrounding a picture of the current Grand Master. The Pro Grand Master pointed out that Earl Cadogan, who was present when he was Viscount Chelsea, had acted as Junior Deacon at the ceremony. Also in attendance was Sir John Welch whose father had also been present on that day.
The meeting was held in the Grand Secretary’s Lodge Room at Freemasons’ Hall, followed by dinner at Lincoln’s Inn, where His Royal Highness is the Royal Bencher. The members were delighted that the Grand Master was able to attend his lodge on this historic occasion and his health was drunk with much enthusiasm.