A unique event in a Dorset Lodge
For the first time ever in a Dorset Lodge the assembled Brethren witnessed the passing from the Installing Master to the newly Installed Master a Collarette to which was appended a Hall Stone Jewel.
In 1920, letters were sent from the Grand Master the Duke of Connaught KG and the Grand Secretary to all the Lodges under the United Grand Lodge of England regarding the Masonic Million Memorial Fund set up to raise money to build the current Freemasons' Hall in Great Queen Street as a memorial to the fallen of the Great War.
There were incentives in the scheme which included that any Lodge in which the members raised more than 10 Guineas per head (£523.82 in today’s money) would qualify for a special jewel to be passed from Master to Master for ever more. 1321 Lodges eventually qualified for the Hall Stone Jewel.
We have records of the letters being read out in open Lodge in Dorset. However, at the time these letters were received, Dorset was in Festival mode for the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls. Therefore, whilst individual members did make contributions and attend Masonic Million Memorial functions in London, no Dorset Lodges qualified for the Hall Stone Jewel because their main efforts were concentrated elsewhere.
However, our newest arrivals, Carnarvon Lodge No.708, late of Middlesex, now of Lyme Regis in the Masonic Province of Dorset, did meet the challenge and were one of the Lodges awarded a Hall Stone Jewel.
So, today 4th May 2022, roughly 100 years since the Hall Stone Jewels were awarded, for the first time ever in Dorset, the ceremony of the Hall Stone Jewel being passed from the out-going Master to his successor was witnessed in our Province.
Carnarvon 708 is a day time Lodge. Their meetings start at 11.00. The next Lodge meeting is in September. But the Master wears the jewel at all meetings he attends, so if you want to see the jewel before September, have a word with your Lodge Secretary and make sure Carnarvon 708 is on your list of official visitors.
Mark Hinsley Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, Visiting Officer Carnarvon Lodge 708.