As part of the celebrations of 25 years of Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons were invited to supply curiosities from their extensive museum at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester to form part of a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ at their birthday party in London
The event was held at the exquisite Two Temple Place in London which is one of London’s architectural gems, an extraordinary late Victorian mansion built by William Waldorf Astor on the Embankment.
The items on display were a jelly mould emblazoned with a square and compasses and a set of light bulbs with the square and compasses as filaments. The jelly mould is an interesting relic of days gone by. One of the most enjoyable features of a night at the Masonic Lodge is to sit together with your fellow members and enjoy a good meal after the ceremony.
This jelly mould would enable the members to have a very interesting (and no doubt tasty) jelly put before them for their dessert with the various symbols so familiar to them adorning its surface. It is likely that this mould came from the latter half of the 19th century.
The Masonic light bulbs were (and are) very popular for lighting the stations of the three principal officers in American Lodges. The usual Masonic symbols of the square and compasses are often used as the shape of the filament of the bulb.
These bulbs are quite collectable and rare examples of the bulbs illustrating various American Masonic associations for men and women can fetch high premiums. These particular bulbs are of a more standard type.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Dr. Andy Green, who took the items to the event, said: 'Our masonic items certainly stood well in the Cabinet of Curiosities and evoked a lot of interest with those attending the reception.'
Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, will be opening its doors on Saturday 21st September 2019 as part of the Heritage Open Days. More details can be found here.
Members of three Universities Scheme Lodges meeting in the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland - Wyggeston Lodge No.3448, which is the Universities Scheme Lodge for the University of Leicester, Castle of Leicester No.7767 (De Montfort University) and Lodge of Science and Art No.8429 (Loughborough University) - met together for a joint meeting to celebrate the success of the Universities Scheme in the Province together with the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England.
The meeting, which was held at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, on Saturday 25th February 2017 was attended by over 90 brethren who witnessed 3 ceremonies (an Initiation, a Passing and a Raising) with multiple candidates and conducted in turn by each of the lodges.
The Lodges were extremely honoured to welcome the Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro Sir David Wootton, who is President of the Universities Scheme, along with the Scheme Chairman, W Bro Edward Lord. Also attending were the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro James Buckle, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Peter Kinder, brethren representing ten other Scheme Lodges, and with other visitors.
After the Master of Wyggeston Lodge Master, W Bro Yogesh Patel, opened the meeting at 2.30pm, the Master of Castle of Leicester Lodge, W Bro Daniel Hayward, along with members of the lodge conducted a triple Raising. Following a short tea break it was the turn of Lodge of Science and Art to conduct a Passing. Finally, after a further tea break, Wyggeston Lodge conducted an Initiation ceremony for three new members, two of whom are students at the University of Leicester.
The meeting was followed by a wonderful Festive Board, where the lodges enjoyed a hearty three course dinner and the company of the guests and visitors. A raffle held in aid the Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, which is a local charity offering financial support to individuals and schools to help people access education or training opportunities in Leicestershire, raised £420. A collection for the Masonic Charitable Foundation 2022 Festival also raised £422 including Gift Aid.
W Bro Andy Green, organiser of the event and Vice-Chairman of the Universities Scheme, said: “Getting the three lodges together provided a wonderful occasion to celebrate the Universities Scheme in the Province and to mark the Tercentenary of Grand Lodge. It was encouraging to see so many younger members enjoying their Freemasonry, which created a real buzz throughout the day.”