During the English Civil War, Royalist Generals Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle fought bravely whilst enduring hardship and famine in the three-month siege of Colchester. Following surrender to the Roundheads they were executed in 1648 by a firing squad at Colchester Castle and laid to rest in St Giles Church which is now Colchester’s Masonic Centre where Lucas and Lisle Lodge No. 8456 meets
The Essex Freemasons were approached with a special request from The Queensman Lodge No. 2694, which meets at Freemason’s Hall in Great Queen Street, the London Headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England. Based on the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment which includes the former Queen’s and Hampshire’s Regiments, in 2018 over 1,000 watched Johnson Beharry VC and Daniel Keighran VC undergo their joint Initiation into Freemasonry.
With a waiting list of new members to Initiate, the Queensman Lodge asked Lucas and Lyle Lodge if they could perform the Third Degree, also known as the Ceremony of Raising, for Reece Snowball to be made a Master Mason in this historical building where the two Royalist generals lay buried in the vault.
At the regular meeting of the Lucas and Lisle Lodge the Worshipful Master, Michael Lappage, invited the current Master of Queensman Lodge, James Burgoyne to perform the Ceremony with the help of Queensman members Paul Dove, Ian “Chelsea” Hall and Nick Savin together with Dave Barrett and Eric Sigsworth, who are also members of Claudius Lodge No. 8700 which also meets at St Giles, as is James Burgoyne.
The Ceremony held on Friday 12th November 2021 was described by one visitor as 'A ‘Festival of Freemasonry’ with an outstanding performance by the Queensman Lodge members and complemented with the equally word-perfect and sincerely delivered 'Traditional History' by Tony Flint, the Secretary of Lucas and Lisle Lodge'.
Tony Flint said 'Reece Snowball was overwhelmed with happiness on the day and that ‘candidate-experience’ is one of the reasons why we work so hard. It was one of those fantastic evenings that do not come along often enough'.
The Lucas and Lisle members also voted to donate £2,500 from their Lodge Relief Chest to the Essex Freemasons 2022 Festival to achieve Patron status. The Festival has already raised over £4.5 million for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) with six months still to go. The MCF is the Freemasons’ Charity which gave over £51 million to other Charities and good causes in the Community in 2020 alone.
Having a good time with a focus on charity together with its other core values of integrity and respect is what Freemasonry is all about. As the photograph shows, after having taken his Third Degree in Freemasonry at the resting place of the two famous Royalist soldiers, Reece Snowball, the new Master Mason of Queensman Lodge No. 2694, joined his fellow Freemasons as 'Brothers-in-Arms'.