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.
Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
13 June 2012
Report of the Board of General Purposes
The Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 14 March 2012 and the Annual Investiture of 25 April 2012 were confirmed.
A Resolution was moved that the annual dues (including VAT) payable to Grand Lodge in respect of each member of every lodge for the year 2013 shall be:
In a lodge in England and Wales that is unattached ............................. £50
In a lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province .................................. £30
In a lodge in a District ............................................................................£7.50
In a lodge abroad not in a District ..........................................................£12.50
The Resolution was approved.
A Resolution was moved that the fees (exclusive of VAT) payable for registration, certificates and dispensations should be increased in line with inflation to:
(a) the Registration of £
1. A Grand Officer, present or past, on first appointment ................... £106
2. A Deputy or Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master or a
Metropolitan Grand Inspector (under Rule 60) ............................... £59
3. A Deputy or Assistant Provincial or District Grand
Master (under Rule 66) .................................................................... £59
4. A holder of Overseas Grand Rank (under Rule 93) .......................... £23
5. A Mason, inclusive of Grand Lodge Certificate (initiation,
or joining from a Lodge not under the Grand Lodge)
In a Lodge in England and Wales that is unattached ................... £59
In a Lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province ........................ £52
In a Lodge in a District ................................................................ £32
In a Lodge abroad not under a District ........................................ £44
(b) the replacement or amendment of a Grand Lodge Certificate .......... £58
(c) a certificate for a Serving Brother ..................................................... £32
(d) a Dispensation by the Grand Master ............................................... £30
a Dispensation by the Grand Master “nunc pro tunc” ............................. £60
The Resolution was approved.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE GRAND CHARITY
Under Rule 271, Book of Constitutions, Grand Lodge must fix each year the annual contribution that is payable to the Grand Charity. The Council of the Grand Charity had requested that for 2013 the annual contribution be increased to £16 in respect of each member of a lodge in a Metropolitan Area or a Province, or in England and Wales that is unattached.
The Resolution was approved.
2011: Was Sir Christopher Wren a Freemason?
The Lecturer, Dr J.W.P. Campbell, has informed the Board that in addition to the five official deliveries to Isaac Newton University Lodge, No. 859 (Cambridgeshire); Christopher Wren Lodge, No. 4855 (Berkshire); Archibald Campbell Lodge, No. 4998 (Madras); Alphin Lodge, No. 8461 (East Lancashire) and Metropolitan Grand Stewards’ Lodge, No. 9812 (London), the Lecture was also delivered on eight other occasions throughout the Constitution. The Board expressed its thanks to Bro Campbell for the considerable time and effort he has spent in this connection.
2012: Scouting and Freemasonry: two parallel organisations?
The Prestonian Lecturer for 2012 is A.D.G. Harvey. Three official Prestonian Lectures for 2012 have been or will be given under the auspices of: Humber Installed Masters Lodge, No. 2494 (Yorkshire, North and East Ridings), Authors Lodge, No. 3456 (London) and North Notts Masters Lodge, No. 9525 (Nottinghamshire).
RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN GRAND LODGES
The Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander”
The Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander” was formed on 18 November 1945 from four lodges meeting in the region of Santander under the National Grand Lodge of Colombia, at Barranquilla, which is one of the four Colombian Grand Lodges currently recognised by the UGLE.
The Grand Lodge of los Andes
On 29 April 1972 the Grand Lodge of los Andes was formed by the Grand Lodge Oriental of Colombia “Francisco de Paula Santander”.
The four Colombian Grand Lodges already recognised by the UGLE together with the above two cover distinct geographical areas in Colombia and all share mutual recognition.
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nevada
The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nevada was formed on 16 August 1980, from three lodges meeting in that State under the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arizona, which was recognised by the UGLE on 11 September 2002. Having shown that they have regular decendency and that they conform to the Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition, the Board, having no reason to believe that they will not continue to maintain a regular path, recommends that these three Grand Lodges be recognised.
A Resolution to this effect was approved.
ERASURE OF LODGES
The Board had received a report that 18 lodges had closed and had surrendered their Warrants. The lodges are:
Lodge of Emulation, No. 1505 (West Lancashire), Greenwood Lodge, No. 1982 (Surrey), Carville Lodge, No. 2497 (Northumberland), King Edward VII Lodge, No. 2969 (South Africa, Western Division), Napier Clavering Lodge, No. 3428 (Northumberland), Raynes Park Lodge, No. 4377 (Surrey), London Staffordshire Lodge, No. 4474 (London), Continuity and Perpetua Lodge, No. 4651 (London), Lodge of Progress, No. 5017 (Hertfordshire), Camperdown Lodge, No. 5250 (Hertfordshire), City Centre Lodge, No. 5787 (London), Hinchley Wood Lodge, No. 5809 (Surrey), Noel Acacia Lodge, No. 5852 (Surrey), Keystone Lodge, No. 6173 (Warwickshire), Rosemary Lodge, No. 6421 (Northumberland), Riverside Lodge, No. 7247 (London), Allegiance Lodge, No. 7434 (Cheshire) and St Ambrose Lodge, No. 8251 (West Lancashire).
A Resolution that these lodges be erased was approved.
THE RULERS’ FORUM
A recent review of the Rulers’ Forum and consultation with Provincial Grand Masters has led to the conclusion that the Forum is not functioning as originally intended. By contrast, the Rulers’ Forum Groups have proved remarkably effective in promoting discussion across Provincial boundaries. After careful consideration, the Board recommended that the Rulers’ Forum be dissolved and that the Rulers’ Forum Groups be reconstituted on an informal basis.
It further recommended that the members of the Commission for Appeals Courts and certain members of the Panel for Clemency, who are currently elected by the Rulers’ Forum at its meeting in December, be appointed in future by the Grand Master from among Brethren nominated for appointment in the same manner as currently applies for election by the Rulers’ Forum.
A Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions accordingly appeared the Paper of Business.
LIST OF NEW LODGES
List of new lodges for which warrants have been granted by The Grand Master showing the dates from which their warrants became effective:
14 March 2012:
9870 Sir Adeyemo Alakija Lodge (Ebute Metta, Nigeria)
9871 Sussex Motorcycling Lodge (Southwick, Sussex)
9872 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Lodge (Ramsey, Isle of Man)
9873 Ghana District Grand Stewards Lodge (Accra, Ghana)
ADDRESS: DIAMOND JUBILEE OF HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Dr J W Daniel gave an address entitled Royal Jubilees and Loyal Freemasons.
Grand Lodge will meet on 12 September 2012, 12 December 2012, 13 March 2013, 24 April 2013 (Annual Investiture), 12 June 2013 and 11 September 2013.
SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER
Supreme Grand Chapter will meet on 14 November 2012, 25 April 2013 and 16 October 2013 (transferred from 13 November by resolution of Grand Chapter).
David Harrison looks at the foundation of the lodge and its illustrious members and friends
Authors’ Lodge No. 3456, upon its foundation in November 1910, received letters of goodwill from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Henry Rider Haggard and Jerome K Jerome.
Conan Doyle and Kipling were both Freemasons. The latter had been initiated into Freemasonry in the Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782, based in Lahore, India, in 1886, and went on to become an honorary member of the Authors’ Lodge. Conan Doyle was initiated into the Phoenix Lodge No. 257, at Southsea, Hampshire, on 26 January 1887.
There is no proof that Rider Haggard or Jerome were Freemasons, but we can certainly say that they were sympathetic; the letters of goodwill they wrote prove that.
Leagues of gentlemen
The Authors’ Lodge had a direct connection to the London-based Authors’ Club, which had been established in 1891. The latter’s membership included other literary Freemasons such as Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill; the new lodge was founded by a number of the club’s masonic members. Jerome was a member of the Authors’ Club; for many years Conan Doyle was its chairman and he often read his manuscripts to members prior to publication. One of the founders of the Authors’ Club – though not of the lodge – was the prolific novelist and Freemason Sir Walter Besant, who went on to be a founder, in 1894, of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 – the London lodge dedicated to masonic research.
The consecration of the Authors’ Lodge reveals the intricate relationships between certain gentlemen’s clubs and the world of Freemasonry. Victorian gentlemen’s clubs had links to Freemasonry during the period. Indeed, many Victorian writers, artists and politicians were members of both, the thriving social scene offering opportunities for networking and social advancement.
The founding of the lodge was seen at the time not only as a way of promoting the Authors’ Club among Freemasons but also as providing a means of promoting Freemasonry within the club, since attracting literary men into the Craft, according to one of the founding members of the lodge, journalist Max Montesole, ‘could not fail to add lustre to the Order’.
Kipling and Rider Haggard were very close friends, and they both famously conveyed Freemasonry in their work. Indeed, masonic themes can be seen in Rider Haggard’s late Victorian works King Solomon’s Mines and the wonderfully exotic novel She, a story that deals with death and rebirth. Both of these works present the idea of the heroic explorer searching for hidden knowledge in lost civilisations. These, along with Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King, testify not only to the popularity of Freemasonry at the time but also to the acceptance of the Craft in Victorian society which, within these literary contexts at least, also conveyed an element of mystery and the occult.
Conan Doyle occasionally referred to Freemasonry in his Sherlock Holmes stories, such as in The Red-Headed League, when Holmes – who was obviously very familiar with masonic symbolism – recognised that a certain gentleman was a Freemason, the particular gentleman being surprised that Holmes knew of his membership: ‘I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how I read that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, you use an arc and compass breastpin.’
He also referred to Freemasonry in other Sherlock Holmes stories such as The Adventure of the Norwood Builder and The Adventure of the Retired Colourman.
In addition, adding to the nuance of mystery and the occult, Conan Doyle, along with other Victorian Freemasons such as Arthur Edward Waite, had embraced psychic research and spiritualism, an interest that developed after the death of his wife and several other close family members. Until his death in 1930, he consistently sought proof of life after death.
Conan Doyle’s 1926 work, The History of Spiritualism, also lent his support to seances conducted by various psychics at the time, and their supposed spiritual materialisations. One of the spiritualists that Conan Doyle supported, Daniel Douglas Home, was also supported by fellow Freemason, Lord Lindsay, who had – he said – witnessed the spiritualist apparently mysteriously levitate out of a third story window and return through the window of an adjoining room.
Jerome K Jerome’s masonic membership is hotly debated; although he certainly mixed in masonic circles – Jerome having been good friends with fellow writers and Freemasons Conan Doyle and Kipling – proof of membership is lacking.
Jerome also contributed to a masonic publication: a souvenir of the Grand Masonic Bazaar in aid of the Annuity Fund of Scottish Masonic Benevolence in 1890 and produced by the Lodge of Dramatic and Arts, No. 757 (SC), for a fundraising bazaar held in Edinburgh in December 1890. The publication, given the rather humorous title of Pot Pourri of Gifts Literal and Artistic, included the Jerome story ‘The Prince’s Quest’, a rare and much sought after piece of Jerome literature. We need to be cautious: the preface written by the artist William Grant Stevenson, then Master of Lodge, states that many of its contributors were not members of the Craft.
Being friends with Conan Doyle and Kipling, Jerome would have been familiar with Freemasonry. Perhaps future findings may reveal some masonic membership. But the letters of goodwill these authors wrote testify to their respect for the founding of the Authors’ Lodge, a lodge that celebrated its centenary late last year.
With thanks to Ron Selby, Secretary of Authors’ Lodge
The following letter was subsequently published in Freemasonry Today Winter 2011:
In his article Authors’ Lodge: A History in the Summer/Autumn edition of Freemasonry Today, David Harrison was uncertain whether Sir Henry Rider Haggard had been a Freemason. I can confirm that he was initiated in the Lodge of Good Report, No. 136, in 1877. His membership ended in 1890, when he resigned. During that thirteen-year period he published eighteen books, including his best-known novels King Solomon’s Mines (1885), Allan Quartermain and She (both in 1887). I have often wondered whether any of his characters were inspired by lodge members.
Richard Sharp, Lodge of Good Report, No. 136, London