Masonic history at Queens’ College
June 2017 marks the 300th anniversary of the first meeting of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster – the world’s first Grand Lodge. To celebrate this event, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, is hosting a conference at Queens’ College, Cambridge from 9 to 11 September 2016. It is open to all Freemasons and non-masons interested in masonic history.
Delegates can attend on a residential or non-residential basis, and papers are invited on any aspect of the history and development of Freemasonry, and of Grand Lodge in particular.
For anyone interested in contributing, the timetable is:
1 July 2015 Synopsis and outline (500 words maximum)
1 August 2015 Authors advised if their outline has been accepted for delivery
1 April 2016 Abstract (1,200 words maximum)
1 November 2016 Paper for publication – 2,500 words, 10-minute presentation;
5,000 words, 20-minute presentation; and 10,000 words, 40-minute presentation.
Welsh masons to the rescue
South Wales Province Freemasons are continuing to help their local communities. Henry Caylor of Croeso Lodge, No. 8377, which meets in Cardiff, made the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) his chosen charity, raising £1,000 for the rescue unit through masonic and non-masonic functions. The funds will help CBMRT to purchase additional equipment for its vital service. Currently some 50 volunteers work within the unit, which operates from its base at Merthyr Tydfil.
Hitting a new peak in charity climb
Dale Murphy from Gorhambury Lodge, No. 8745, in Hertfordshire has reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and raised more than £4,500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Cystic Fibrosis Research. Dale took up the challenge to climb the world’s highest freestanding mountain after hearing that a close friend’s daughter had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
On the level in Peterborough
At a ceremony at the Peterborough City Rowing Club, a single scull boat funded by Freemasons was christened On the Level. Fitzwilliam Lodge, No. 2533, Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, raised almost £2,500 for the boat, which was named by Bob Beeton on behalf of the lodge. The club relies heavily on donations and each boat costs around £2,000, with the balance being used to supply oars.
Somerset Royal Arch anniversary
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Arch in Somerset, an especial convocation was held in Bath, where the original recorded meeting was held. The Grand Superintendent John Bennett attended and the guest of honour was Second Grand Principal George Francis. Presentations were made to the Bath Masonic Museum by the Grand Superintendent of the now retired Holy Royal Arch Banner and Past Grand Superintendent Denis Calderley.
Jamaica Grand Lodge funds children’s home
The District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands makes annual donations to the Jamaica National Children’s Home. These are funded by lodges making yearly contributions to District Grand Master Walter Scott’s Child Care month. Further donations are provided by the District’s Freemasons’ Association, a company that generates income by renting out its building space.
A grand introduction in Ireland
Coming from eight different lodges, members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Light Blue Club, including Assistant Provincial Grand Master Peter Kinder, visited the Grand Master’s Lodge in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to the meeting, the visitors were treated to a private tour of Freemasons’ Hall by the Grand Tyler of Ireland. The Light Blue Club’s visit (pictured above) took place when the Grand Master of Ireland, Douglas Grey, was attending his own lodge.
The installation ceremony offered a fascinating insight into the differences between the English ritual and that practised in Ireland.
Local charity recognition
The Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association has given awards totalling £25,000 to 17 local charities. Among the recipients was Lady Gretton, Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, who received £1,000 on behalf of the Award for Young People 2015, which celebrates the best examples of achievement by young people in the county.
Lady Gretton (pictured) said: ‘It will make a colossal difference to the awards, which recognise young inspirational people in Leicestershire.’ Provincial Grand Master David Hagger congratulated the charities and their volunteers who give their time to such good causes.
Windsor open day marches to success
Beneath the imposing shadow of the magnificent 11th-century Windsor Castle, Berkshire Freemasons and their friends were a high-profile addition to the street scene to promote the Windsor masonic open day.
The centrepiece of the promotions was the ‘Freemasonry – What’s it all about?’ gazebo. Nearly 100 people visited Windsor Masonic Hall during the day, with 27 expressing an interest in becoming a member.
The local council provided a special dispensation to site the gazebo on the Guildhall concourse, giving a prime location for the display – with the unexpected benefit of seeing a Guards Band pass by during the event.
Taking the lead in autism support
Oxfordshire masons gave their support to children with autism when they presented a cheque for £25,000 from the Grand Charity to Dogs for the Disabled. The grant will help to fund the charity’s PAWS Service, which runs workshops across the country teaching families how to train a pet dog to help a child with autism.
The Provincial Grand Charity Steward for Oxfordshire, Roger Hampshire, said: ‘So many children and their families have already benefited enormously from the PAWS workshops and I hope that this donation will enable the charity to continue its fantastic work.’
Read more about the PAWS Service and the Grand Charity’s support of the programme here.