Festival For All
The General Lodge of Instruction 887 will be holding its 93rd Festival of Instruction at 6.00pm on Thursday 16th May 2011, at Stirling Road, Edgbaston. The Ceremony of Passing will be rehearsed with the First Section of the First Lecture being worked. All the Brethren taking part are below the Chair.
The Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, has kindly agreed to be the Festival President.
All Brethren are very welcome to attend, particularly Fellowcrafts
Many congratulations go to the following Worshipful Brethren for their preferment in Grand Lodge, their investiture taking place in London on Wednesday 27th April 2011.
- David Leslie Allen, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Stuart Nigel Esworthy, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Dr Charles Morgan Gwynn, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Brian William Price, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- David James Bateman, Past Grand Standard Bearer
- Peter James Wellings, Past Grand Standard Bearer
- John Leonard Saint, from Past Deputy Grand Sword Bearer to Past Grand Sword Bearer
- Michael Clough Morris, from Past Junior Grand Deacon to Past Senior Grand Deacon
- Eric John Rymer, from Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies to Past Senior Grand Deacon
- Peter George Randon, from Past Grand Standard Bearer to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
- Lt Cdr Kai Hughes, RN, as Grand Orator
Half Century Apart
Fraternity Lodge 4032 members and a host of visitors which included several former masters and members of the Lodge gathered for a very special occasion at their November meeting.
This included not only the initiation of Bro Frank Taverner, but also the presentation of a 50 years Service to Masonry award to W Bro W Robert (Bob) Paddock.
Following the initiation ceremony, Assistant Provincial Grand Master John Emms entered into a delightful discussion with Bob, who was born in 1922, reviewing his background and highlighting important events in his life.
This included details of Bob's education in both Birmingham and Bristol (where he is a Freeman of the City), and his subseqent return to Birmingham when war broke out. His service commenced in a tank regiment with the army, progressing to being offered a commission, which took him to Sandhurst.
Bob originally commenced a career in banking, but this was not to his liking and he subsequently followed his father's footsteps as a Corn and Feed Merchant, eventually owning his own business in Birmingham.
He was initiated into Fraternity Lodge in November 1961, since which his lifelong enthusiasm for amateur dramatics became apparent on many occasions. His enjoyment of, and devotion to the Lodge culminated in him being made an honorary member in 2010.
Following receipt of his Certificate and Badge, and due Proclamation by the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Bob symbolically presented the Worshipful Master, Bro Dr Andrew Thompson, with his Master's Collar, which had been fully refurbished and modified to provide space for engraving the Masters' names for the next fifty years.
An additional surprise during the meeting was the presentation of boxed gavels by W Bro Harry KS Hunjan, in memory of his father, who although not a mason had always supported Harry in his membership.
The Festive Board which followed the formalities was particularly joyous, celebrating the presence of both the "Old and the New", during which W Bro Bob, the most senior member of the Lodge present, conducted the Initiates Chain for the benefit of Bro Frank Taverner, the most junior.
(l-r) Bob Paddock, John Emms, Andy Thompson, Frank Taverner, Harry Hunjan
Following the announcement that the Lodge of Hope 4436 and St Alphege Lodge 1431 were to amalgamate, the newly named Lodge of Hope and St Alphege 4436 has now arrived at the moment when Grand Lodge will ratify the coupling and grant a "Certificate of Amalgamation" at their December Meeting.
The first Meeting of the new Lodge will take place on the 20th January 2011 at Stirling Road, Edgbaston when the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David Macey will be in attendance with a full Provincial Team to celebrate the occasion, with a new ceremony specially prepared by the Province for the amalgamation.
Helping the Bard
The Royal Shakespeare Company Newsletter featured an article by W Bro Bill Hazzledine (Stage Door) about the recent low profile "soft" opening, or Builders Night. The article referred to the actual trowel used to lay the foundation stone of the Memorial Theatre back on 2nd July 1929, which featured in the Builders Night production at the wonderful new theatre.
The trowel had been carried to the original stone laying ceremony, in procession through the town, by a column of about 200 freemasons (see picture), all dressed in full regalia (aprons, collars and jewels) and has since been on display at the Masonic Hall on Great William Street.
There is a long association between the theatre and freemasonry - indeed one of the Stratford lodges is named the David Garrick Lodge in celebration of the great man. Notable theatrical masons include Sir Arthur Gilbert, Sir William S Sullivan, Sir Henry Irving, Sir Donald Wolfitt; although not knights of the realm, also John Wayne, Clark Gable, Bob Monkhouse and … Jim Davidson.
Those familiar with the art deco facade of the building shown as the offices of the BBC programme 'Spooks' will recognize it as the London headquarters of the Freemasons in England, which is a popular set with tv and film producers.
The RSC Newsletter also noted that last year Warwickshire Freemasons made donations to local charities of £98,100 and, nationally, the Freemasons' Grand Charity gave £7 million