Scouting and masonic parallels
Mirfield Masonic Hall in West Yorkshire was packed to capacity when Woodsmoke Lodge, No. 9317, which is a member of the Kindred Lodges Association, hosted an additional presentation of the 2012 Prestonian Lecture by Tony Harvey.
The lecture, ‘Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?’, was adapted to allow non-masons to be present and among the audience of more than 100 were 40 non-masonic members of the Scout movement.
Among those who attended the event were David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding and Mayor of Kirklees, and a Grand Officer, Cllr Martyn Bolt.
Press talk comes to Beaconsfield
Bowen Lodge, No. 2816, which meets at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, has hosted the 2013 Prestonian Lecture, ‘As we were seen: The Press & Freemasonry.’ Given by journalist and academic Paul Calderwood, the lecture was an historical account of Freemasonry’s relationship with the press over nearly three centuries. The event raised around £900 for various charities, including the National Autistic Society.
The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the official delivery of the 2014 Prestonian Lecture and has decided that it should be given under the auspices of The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex). The lecturer, Dr Mike Kearsley, revealed the lecture title to be ‘1814 Consolidation and Change: the first year of the United Grand Lodge of England’.
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
11 December 2013
Report of the Board of General Purposes
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of 11 September 2013 were confirmed.
Nomination of a Grand Master for the ensuing year
HRH The Duke of Kent KG was nominated as Grand Master for the ensuing year.
Annual Investiture of Grand Officers (30 April 2014)
So that sufficient accommodation can be reserved for those Brethren who are to be invested and their friends, admission to the Annual Investiture is by ticket only. Brethren to be invested for the first time may invite to be present with them three qualified Brethren, and those to be promoted two qualified Brethren.
Masonic Year Book
The next edition of the Masonic Year Book 2014–2015, will be available next summer. The charge will be £13 per copy, plus postage and packing where appropriate. It is not proposed to produce a new edition of the Directory of Lodges and Chapters during 2014. Copies of the 2012 edition will still be available from Letchworth’s shop.
Every Lodge will receive one copy of the Masonic Year Book free of charge. The Board emphasises that these copies should be available to all the members of private lodges and not regarded as for the exclusive use of the secretary to whom, for administrative reasons, they are dispatched.
Metropolitan and Provincial Lodges
As in previous years copies will be dispatched direct to secretaries of lodges.
Sufficient copies will be dispatched to District Grand Secretaries for distribution to lodges in the Districts. Lodges abroad not in a District will receive their copies direct.
Prestonian Lectures 2014
The Board has considered applications for the delivery of the official Prestonian Lectures in 2014 and has decided that these should be given under the auspices of the following: The London Grand Rank Association, Egerton Worsley Lodge, No. 1213, Eccles (West Lancashire) and Temple of Athene Lodge, No. 9541, Harrow (Middlesex).
The Lecturer, Dr M.A. Kearsley, states that the title of the Lecture will be: 1814: Consolidation and Change.
Grand Lodge of Albania
On 14 October 2011, the Grand Lodge of Albania was formed by the Grand Orient of Italy from three lodges meeting there. The United Grand Lodge of England no longer recognises the Grand Orient of Italy but it has publicly stated that it accepts the Grand Orient’s regularity of origin and that its lodges are working regularly.
The Grand Lodge of Albania, having shown that it is of regular descent and that it conforms to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition, the Board has no reason to believe that it will not maintain a regular path. A recommendation that it be recognised was approved.
The Board had received reports that the following lodges have resolved to surrender their Warrants: Carmel Lodge, No. 4774, in order to amalgamate with Tennant Lodge, No. 1992 (South Wales); Menturia Lodge, No. 6023, in order to amalgamate with Goulburn Lodge, No. 3478 (East Lancashire) and St Leonard’s Lodge, No. 6132, in order to amalgamate with De Bon Cuer Lodge, No. 6984 (West Lancashire).
The Board recommendation that the lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.
The Board had received a report that twelve lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are: Borough of Shoreditch Lodge, No. 3064 (London); Ryecroft Lodge, No. 4974 (Derbyshire); Mosaic Lodge, No. 5028 (Worcestershire); Lodge of Fellowship, No. 5579 (Warwickshire); Defendit Lodge, No. 6049 (Northumberland); Motspur Lodge, No. 6106 (Surrey); Saint Oswald Lodge, No. 6135 (Northumberland); Blaydon St Cuthbert Lodge, No. 6962 (Durham); Lodge of Fortitude, No. 7188 (Durham); Juventus Lodge, No. 8105 (South Wales); Haling Manor Lodge, No. 8310 (Surrey) and Stallinger Lodge, No. 9624 (Durham).
The Board recommendation that they be erased was approved.
A presentation was given on the Proceedings of Grand Lodge of two hundred and one hundred years ago by J.M. Hamill, Assistant Grand Chancellor and G.F. Redman, Deputy Grand Secretary.
List of new lodges for which warrants have been granted by the Grand Master showing dates from which their warrants became effective:
11 September 2013: Waladli Lodge No. 9887, St John’s (Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean); Eastern Archipelago District Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 9888, Kuala Lumpur (Eastern Archipelago); District Grand Stewards Lodge of Nigeria No. 9889, Lagos (Nigeria) and City Gate Lodge No. 9890, London.
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
A Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge is held on the second Wednesday in March, June, September and December. The next will be at or about noon on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Subsequent Communications will be held on 30 April 2014 (Annual Investiture), 11 June 2014, 10 September 2014, 10 December 2014 and 11 March 2015.
Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter
Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter are held on the second Wednesday in November and the day following the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge. Future Convocations will be held on 1 May 2014, 12 November 2014 and 30 April 2015.
It was tremendous to hear the news of the new Royal baby, Prince George. You will be glad that a message of congratulations was sent on behalf of members to Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Talking of good news, it is heart-warming to hear, as I go around the Provinces and Districts, more and more members speaking openly about the fun of membership as they enjoy, each in their own special way, their hobby, Freemasonry. This enjoyment is becoming infectious, helping to both recruit and, importantly, retain members. Together with the increasing support from family members, this is a clear reflection of the success of the current initiatives that are making sure there is a relevant future for Freemasonry.
In this autumn issue, we take a ride with the Showmen’s Lodge to discover that the ties binding Freemasons can also be found in the people who run the waltzers and dodgems at the fairground. We go on the road with a welfare adviser from the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, as she helps a family get back on its feet. We also meet Mark Smith, a Provincial Grand Almoner, and find out that while masonic support can involve making a donation to a worthy cause, it is also about spending time with people in your community.
I mentioned hobbies earlier, and to thrill anyone with a taste for classic cars we get in the driving seat with Aston Martin as it celebrates its one hundredth birthday at Freemasons’ Hall. There is also an interview with Prestonian Lecturer Tony Harvey, who has been travelling around the UK to explain how Freemasonry and Scouting have more in common than you might first think. I believe that these stories and features show why Freemasonry not only helps society but is also very much a part of it.
On a final note, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to speak on Radio 4’s Last Word obituary programme about the late Michael Baigent, our consultant editor. He was a good friend with an enormously inquisitive mind, about which John Hamill writes more fully later in this issue of Freemasonry Today.
‘It is heart-warming to hear, as I go around the Provinces and Districts, more and more members speaking openly about the fun of membership.’
Rev Neville Barker Cryer
A regular contributor to Freemasonry Today, the Rev Neville Barker Cryer’s recent death has robbed the Craft of one of its modern ‘characters’. A big man in every way, he had an international reputation as a researcher, writer and speaker on Freemasonry.
A Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, Neville was for a number of years its secretary and editor of Transactions. His work was acknowledged by his being appointed Prestonian Lecturer for 1974.
After a few years as a parish priest, Neville was secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society and authored several books on religious matters.
He will be much missed, not least on the masonic lecturing circuit and in the many Orders in which he held high office.
Letters to the editor - No. 24 Winter 2013
It was with great sadness I read of the passing of Reverend Neville Barker Cryer. His passing is a great loss to the Craft.
I only once had the good fortune to meet him and listen to his thoughts. When an entered apprentice, I attended the ‘Let’s talk Freemasonry’ conference at Hemsley House in Salford. It was here that I was able to hear the Reverend speak; impart wisdom, knowledge and his own brand of acerbic wit. Indeed, when I read in the last issue the description of him as one of the last great modern ‘characters’, it raised more than a wry smile to my lips. Personally, I found him enlightening, amusing and uncommonly direct.
Despite him being in great demand for attention whilst at the conference, he took the time out to speak directly to me for a few moments. The encouragement and bolstering belief he kindly gave me in those moments will live with me always. Worlds, as they say, are turned on the smallest of thoughts and deeds. He had a clear opinion, and had the courage of his convictions and stuck with them.
Richard Bardsley, Kitchener Lodge, No. 3788, Bolton, East Lancashire
Fellowship, harmony and shared moral values – the parallels between Freemasonry and Scouting have been explored by Tony Harvey in his Prestonian Lecture. He speaks to Andrew Gimson about what the two organisations can learn from each other
Few speakers can have prepared themselves so thoroughly, or over so many years, as Tony Harvey did for his Prestonian Lecture, ‘Scouting & Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?’ It was through talking to a fellow Scouter in the 1980s that Tony’s interest in the Craft was awoken: ‘That conversation led to my initiation as a Freemason – while in Scout uniform – into Pioneer Lodge, the Scout lodge of Derbyshire, at the age of thirty-one.’ Now fifty-three, the lectureship has given him a chance to explore ideas that have been germinating since he was a boy. He takes the opportunity not only to explore the close historical links between Scouting and Freemasonry, but to stimulate a wider debate about how they can inspire and assist each other in the future.
Between February 2012 and June 2013, Tony delivered his lecture no fewer than forty-eight times to lodges in many different parts of England and Wales, as well as the Isle of Man, Iceland, South Africa and the US. He has ten more appearances booked, stretching out to September 2014, and is ‘very optimistic’ that people are already ‘taking up the challenge’ of what he has to say. He would like to take the lecture to all the Provinces in England and Wales.
Learn by example
In particular, Tony hopes Freemasonry will learn from the recent revival in Scouting, with which he has been closely involved: ‘Freemasonry’s numbers are in decline. It is experiencing what Scouting went through fifteen to twenty years ago. What Scouting did in the late 1990s was first to conduct a widespread consultation exercise (every member had the opportunity to contribute) and then to act on the feedback. It decided that the core of Scouting – its principles, values and purpose – should not change. But in order to make it more relevant and attractive to people in the twenty-first century, there was a need to simplify the way the organisation operates.’
The modernisation of Scouting saw it modify its youth programme and change its age ranges – an approach that has led to a growth in membership of between four and five per cent each year for the past seven years. ‘Scouting is still about citizenship and the outdoors, offering everybody everyday adventure, but it now has a structure and a programme much more attuned to today’s young people. We involve more volunteers to do smaller things, rather than a few volunteers to do a lot of things.’
The promise of change
The challenge for Freemasonry, Tony believes, is likewise to protect its core – its landmarks and its ritual – while making itself more flexible to suit the needs of someone still in their working life. ‘Meetings that start in mid-afternoon are not very accessible to the man in his forties who is still making his career.’
For the past four years, informal lunch meetings have been held at a national level between senior members of both organisations. Tony hopes to see such co-operation at local level, with lodges fostering links with local Scout groups, including those formed with start-up money from the Grand Charity: ‘What if every Freemason who ever took the Scout Promise gave a couple of hours back to Scouting?’
The Prestonian Lecture, the only official lecture given under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), is held in memory of William Preston (1742-1818), the greatest masonic educator of his day, and is intended to ‘instruct and entertain a general lodge audience’. Tony dispels the misconception that he had applied to deliver it: he was nominated without his knowledge.
Service to others
Tony is well qualified to be the Prestonian Lecturer. Within Scouting he has held roles at national and local level for thirty years and is a national volunteer with The Scout Association. Masonically, he has been Master of three Scouting lodges and is the Provincial Grand Mentor for Derbyshire. In May 2011, after his appointment, he began by writing his lecture in book form. It is published by Carrfields Publications and begins with the parallels between the organisations: ‘The first and foremost membership requirement of each organisation is that those who join must profess a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry was originally specifically Christian, but de-Christianised over the hundred years following the formation of the first Grand Lodge. Scouting has never been specifically Christian. By not requiring the Supreme Being to be specifically the Christian understanding of God, both Freemasonry and Scouting became attractive to people from around the World. Each also became a place where people of different faiths could meet in fellowship and harmony, with shared moral values, despite their religious, social, cultural and national differences.’
The second moral principle the organisations share is service to others. Both confer awards for valued service, keep out of politics and are voluntary. In the UK, both have, in a senior position, HRH The Duke of Kent, who is Grand Master of the UGLE and president of The Scout Association. He follows other royal Freemasons who have also held senior positions in Scouting.
Tony recognises that there are key differences between the two organisations. Scouting is a youth movement, open to both boys and girls, while Freemasonry under the UGLE requires its members to be of mature age, and is open only to males. But it would be a mistake to give the impression that either the book or the lecture are unduly theoretical. Both are full of fascinating historical material, including a number of illustrations.
The largest audience for one of Tony’s lectures, just over two hundred people, was during his visit to South Africa. More typically he draws an audience of one hundred to one hundred and twenty. He speaks for about forty minutes and then takes questions, so that the whole event takes no more than an hour. Tony describes the reception he has received as ‘warm, engaged, enthusiastic, with good questions’, and was gratified when one member of the audience said to him: ‘I was absolutely fascinated and I sat through all two hours of it.’
Was Baden-Powell a Freemason?
The front cover of Scouting & Freemasonry: two parallel organisations? is adorned by a fine portrait of Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of Mafeking (the town that under his leadership withstood a siege of two hundred and seventeen days in 1899-1900), who founded the Scouting movement in the years from 1907.
Tony examines in detail whether Baden-Powell was a Freemason.
It is certainly the case that many of Baden-Powell’s friends and collaborators were. Rudyard Kipling, for example, whom he met in Lahore in the early 1880s, was initiated as a Freemason into Hope and Perseverance Lodge, No. 782, in India in 1886. As Tony points out, ‘Baden-Powell used Kipling’s Jungle Book as the basis for the Wolf Cubs when he and Percy Everett created Scouting’s junior section in 1916. Kipling also created the Grand Howl and defined how it should sound. He held an appointment as a commissioner for Wolf Cubs and was a member of the Scout Council.’
In a letter appealing to masons for funds, Baden-Powell said of Scouting: ‘Our principles are closely allied with those of the Freemason, being those of Brotherhood and Service.’ But Tony demonstrates that Baden-Powell never himself became a Freemason, partly for fear of offending Roman Catholic Scouts. He also shows that, despite this, Baden-Powell thought well of the Craft.
More than £30,000 has so far been raised from sales of the book, proceeds from which are being divided between two charities, the Masonic Samaritan Fund and The Scout Association’s archive development project.
The book can be purchased via www.prestonian2012.org.uk
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
12 June 2013
Report of the Board of General Purposes
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 13 March 2013 and of the Annual Investiture of 24 April 2013 were confirmed.
Annual fees and dues
Annual Dues and Fees were confirmed.
Grand Charity annual contribution
The Grand Charity had requested that for 2014 the annual contribution be increased to £17 in respect of each member of a lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached. This was approved.
Complaints have been received from several sources about an advertisement currently circulating, which offers for sale, in a variety of qualities, cuff links and lapel pins in the form of a replica of the Hall Stone Jewel. Informal approaches had previously been made to the individual concerned, advising that the design was inappropriate and requesting that he did not proceed to market the items.
The Board has now considered the advertisement and has concluded that the use of the design in this context is altogether inappropriate. The device is inextricably associated with Freemasons’ Hall, which was built as a Peace Memorial to those Freemasons who gave their lives during the Great War of 1914 to 1918.
Except in the case of the very small number of Brethren still living who subscribed ten guineas to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund and thereby qualified to wear an individual jewel, the privilege of wearing the Hall Stone Jewel is now restricted to the Masters of those lodges whose donations to the Fund averaged ten guineas per member and the Provincial or District Grand Master of the Hall Stone Province (Buckinghamshire) and the Hall Stone District (Burma).
The Board considers that the trivialising of such an iconic emblem by turning it into an item of personal adornment is in the worst possible taste, as well as deeply disrespectful to the memory of the many members of the Craft who fell in that War. It has also noted that a donation to “Masonic Charity” is promised for every sale made, which it regards as an attempt to give respectability to an enterprise which has every appearance of having been undertaken for personal gain.
The Board accordingly recommends to the Grand Lodge that Brethren of this Constitution neither purchase nor wear (whether on Masonic or on non-Masonic occasions) such lapel badges or cuff-links.
2012: Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?
The Lecturer, W Bro A.D.G. Harvey, has informed the Board that in addition to the three official deliveries to Humber Installed Masters Lodge, No. 2494 (Yorkshire, North and East Ridings); Authors Lodge, No. 3456 (London); and North Notts. Masters Lodge, No. 9525 (Nottinghamshire), the Lecture was also delivered on 41other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board desires to express its thanks to Bro Harvey for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.
2013: As we were seen - the Press and Freemasonry
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2013 is W Bro P.R. Calderwood, PSGD. Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2013 have been or will be given under the auspices of Jubilee Masters Lodge, No. 2712 (London) Bowen Lodge, No. 2816 (Buckinghamshire) Torbay Masters Lodge, No. 8227 (Devonshire).
2014: 1814: Consolidation and Change
The Board has submitted a nomination to the Trustees of the Prestonian Fund and they have appointed W Bro Dr M.A. Kearsley as Prestonian Lecturer for 2014. Bro Kearsley states that the title of his Lecture will be 1814: Consolidation and Change.
Arrangements for the delivery of the Lectures to selected lodges will be considered by the Board in November and applications are now invited from lodges. Applications should be made to the Grand Secretary, through Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Secretaries.
The Board desires to emphasise the importance of these, the only Lectures held under the authority of the Grand Lodge. It is, therefore, hoped that applications for the privilege of having one of these official Lectures will be made only by lodges which are prepared to afford facilities for all Freemasons in their area, as well as their own members, to participate and thus ensure an attendance worthy of the occasion.
The Board has received reports that the following lodges have resolved to surrender their Warrants: (a) Townfield Lodge, No. 7024, in order to amalgamate with De Tatton Lodge, No. 2144 (Cheshire); and (b) Watling Lodge, No. 8090, in order to amalgamate with Barham Lodge, No. 6004 (Hertfordshire).
A recommendation that the lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the amalgamation was approved.
Erasure of lodges
The Board has received a report that 31 lodges have closed and surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are: Lodge of Harmony, No. 288 (East Lancashire), Alexandra Lodge, No. 1581 (South Africa, Eastern Division), Lennox Browne Lodge, No. 2318 (Essex), Orde-Powlett Lodge, No. 2391 (Yorkshire, North and East Ridings).
East Anglian Lodge, No. 2920 (London), Culham College Lodge, No. 2951 (Oxfordshire), Holborn Borough Council Lodge, No. 3272 (London), Balham-Crogdaene Lodge, No. 3388 (Surrey), West Salford Lodge, No. 3867 (East Lancashire), Quadrivium Lodge, No. 3921 (East Lancashire), Newbury Park Lodge, No. 4458 (Essex), Vesey Lodge, No. 4473 (Warwickshire).
Lowy of Tonbridge Lodge, No. 4834 (West Kent), Birchwood Lodge, No. 5178 (Hertfordshire), St Wilfrith of Sussex Lodge, No. 5274 (Sussex), Goldsmiths’ College Lodge, No. 5398 (London), Eastcote Lodge, No. 5515 (Middlesex).
Alkrington Lodge, No. 6102 (East Lancashire), Bentley Priory Lodge, No. 6134 (London), Bolton Lodge, No. 6603 (East Lancashire), Lodge of Antient Bromleag, No. 6716 (West Kent), Lodge of Good Endeavour, No. 6858 (Essex), Hartshead Lodge, No. 7042 (East Lancashire), Tessera Lodge, No. 7131 (Surrey).
Pattern Lodge, No. 7314 (West Kent), Aurea Filia Lodge, No. 7523 (London), Shelburne Lodge, No. 7719 (Buckinghamshire), Rother Valley Lodge, No. 8216 (Sussex), Spinnaker Lodge, No. 8395 (East Kent), Runnymede Lodge, No. 9014 (Surrey) and Findon Lodge, No. 9034 (Sussex).
A recommendation that they be erased was approved.
Grand lodge accounts for 2012
The Audited Accounts of Grand Lodge for the year ended 31 December 2012 were adopted.
Election of Grand Lodge auditors
The re-election of Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, as Auditors of Grand Lodge was approved.
Motion pursuant to notice
Amendments to the Book of Constitutions
An amendment to Rule 153, Book of Constitutions: Treasurer’s Duties and Lodge Accounts, was approved.
List of new lodges for which warrants have been granted
No. 9885 Thames Valley Motorcycle Lodge (13 March 2013), Wokingham, Berkshire; No. 9886 Bradfordians Lodge (13 March 2013), Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding.
Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge
These will be held on 11 September 2013, 11 December 2013, 12 March 2014, 30 April 2014 (Annual Investiture), 11 June 2014, 10 September 2014.
Convocations of Supreme Grand Chapter
16 October 2013 (transferred to this date from 13 November by Resolution of Grand Chapter, passed on 26 April 2012), 1 May 2014, 12 November 2014, 30 April 2015.
The Board of General Purposes has considered applications for the delivery of the official Prestonian Lectures in 2013 and has decided that these should be given under the auspices of the following: Jubilee Masters Lodge, No. 2712 (London), Bowen Lodge, No. 2816 (Buckinghamshire), and Torbay Masters Lodge, No. 8227 (Devonshire). The lecturer, PR Calderwood, states that the title of the lecture will be: ‘As we were seen – the Press and Freemasonry.’
Prestonian Lecture on tour
With this year’s Prestonian Lecture discussing the subject ‘Scouting & Freemasonry: Two Parallel Organisations’, lecturer Tony Harvey (above) delivered his speech at Beacon Lodge, No. 4066, in Halifax, Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.
The lecture attracted 75 people, of whom 17 were non-masons. Servers at the festive board were from Halifax District Explorer Scouts, and speakers included Mark Stageman, county commissioner for West Yorkshire.