In celebration of the 250th anniversary of the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset, nearly 100 Freemasons paraded through the centre of the City of Bath on September 30th 2018
Starting at the Masonic Hall, Old Theatre Royal, members paraded under the banners of Royal Cumberland Lodge No. 41 and Lodge of Perpetual Friendship No. 135, finishing at the Friends Meeting House building in York Street, which was the original Masonic Hall from 1819 to 1842.
The Provincial Grand Master Stuart Hadler, accompanied by the Leaders, full Provincial Team, Ruling Masters and members from all parts of the Province, all in full regalia, paraded along the route in two columns and were well-received by the public.
Upon arrival at the Friends Meeting House, Stuart Hadler presented representatives of ‘The Friends’ with a cheque for £1,000. Dignitaries in attendance included: The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset - David Medlock; The Lord Lieutenant’s representative - Annie Maw; The Chair of Bath & NE Somerset Council - Councillor Karen Walker; and The Mayor and Mayoress of Bath - Councillor Patrick and Deirdre Anketell-Jones.
Provincial Historian Malcolm Toogood then presented a fascinating history on the formation of the Province, following which the members and their guests returned to the Old Theatre Royal for welcome refreshment.
This soon-to-be annual event was organised by Professor William Hughes, Lodge of Concord, No. 632 – a senior lecturer at the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries at Bath Spa University.
The building had previously been the Bath Theatre Royal and a Catholic Church, but has been home to Bath Freemasonry for 140 years. Students were ‘enlightened’ by Trevor Quartermaine, Royal Cumberland Lodge, No. 41. In the past year, 1,400 tourists have visited, promoting Freemasonry in the city.