London Craft Digest Autumn 2022
Here’s what some of London Lodges and London Freemasons have been doing in the last few months, whether in the temples or through their life.
- On 8th September, at 4 PM, Metropolitan Lodge No 1507 was joined by a delegation from METGL who presented the Talking Heads playlet, The Next Step into The Royal Arch. As they were leaving the temple, the Brethren learned of HM Queen Elizabeth II's passing. Before the Festive Board, they observed a moment of silence and then sang 'God Save the King'. Various Lodge members are civic officers or elected representatives. They started receiving texts from their authorities asking to join the London Bridge operation. For instance, Bro Mehmet Hassan and his daughter Amber were on policing duty at The Queen's funeral.
- On 4th October, The Dreadnought Lodge No 4366 celebrated its centenary with 57 Brethren present, including the guest of honour, RW Bro Matthew Hampson, Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, W Bro Rhys Madoc MetGDC and a cortege of Metropolitan Grand Officers. The worshipful master, W Bro Jamie Davis, conducted the meeting while the assistant secretary, W Bro Ian Goodwin, read a brief history of the Lodge. Also present, W Bro John Wood MetDepGSec read out the centenary warrant in an exemplary manner. Centenary jewels were then displayed, and W Bro Kumar Acharya MetAGChap delivered an oration reflecting on the Lodge's first one hundred years. During the festive board in the Grand Connaught Rooms, the Brethren present were given a firing glass and a copy of the Lodge History. A donation of £2000 was made to the London Freemasons' Charity.
- On 29th October, Islington Lodge No 1471 held its annual soiree in honour of their worshipful waster, W Bro Mike Osborne and his lady, Elaine. Bro Mike was installed as master of the Lodge for the first time in February, during his 50th year in Freemasonry. Attendees enjoyed a four-course meal at the Royal National Hotel whilst being entertained by a professional singer who provided the music for our twinkle-toed guests to strut their moves on the dance floor. But the highlight of the evening was provided by two members of the Lodge who wrestled control of the microphone for two impromptu performances: first, a rather dramatically staged and moving rendition of Adele's Skyfall by Bro Vinny Cochrane, who managed to serenade each guest across the breadth of the entire banqueting suite (leaving the room both shaken and stirred); and then a stylishly crooned version of Nat King Cole's L.O.V.E by Bro Edward Compton (pictured), complete with a well-rehearsed choreographed dance routine (he must have been practising this for months). Members, guests, and waiting staff stood agog at the amazing talent our Lodge has to offer. "L is for the way you Look at me, O is for the only one I see . . ."
- Ladywell Lodge No 4380 celebrated their centenary year with a low-profile meeting at Mark Masons' Hall on Saturday, 10th September 2022. The centenary warrant was presented by W Bro Bernard Williams PAGStB, who has been the organist for Ladywell for the past 25 years. Brethren are very thankful to W Bro Keith Morris LGR for his gift of a Lodge centenary inscribed gavel box and gavels that he crafted himself. The Ladywell Lodge was consecrated on 25th March 1922 as the daughter of Lewisham Lodge No 2579, which had grown too big. Most Brethren were residents of Lewisham and Catford. The first LOIs took place at a Brother's house named Nevada and have been called such ever since. The centenary celebrations have included golf days, a dinner, dancing and other social events.
- The Junior Engineers Lodge No 2913 raised £2056 at their ladies' festival for Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital Charity Fund. The donation will contribute to the Teenage and Young Adult Oncology Fund. Pictured W Bro Malcolm Wright and his wife Ann present the cheque to Tina Harris in the Florence Nightingale Garden at St. Thomas' Hospital.
- When W Bro Kevin Midmore of Queensman Lodge No 2694 saw the distressing images coming from Ukraine earlier this year, it was too much for him to bear without taking action. He decided to hire a van, fill it up with as much aid as he could muster, and drive to the Polish/Ukraine border to deliver it. He launched an appeal through his masonic circles and social media to collect anything that could be helpful to a family who had lost everything. Following a phenomenal response, Bro Kevin called his friend Wozza, a fellow ex-member of the 3rd Battalion of the Queen's Regiment, to explain his plan. They were soon both set and ready to go. Once in Poland, they decided to go all the way to Ukraine and deliver help themselves and drove straight to Lviv.
- Once arrived, they promptly unloaded the van for grateful local soldiers and decided to stay for the night. The hotels were all full of international media, but the pair were soon invited to stay with some locals.
- On the way back, the satisfaction of what they had accomplished soon turned to the urge to do more. It wasn't long before they decided to return, this time with aid directed at the front lines. Back home, Bro Kevin visited various Lodges to give a talk on his trip and the next missions. The immense generosity of both Brethren and non-masonic people allowed Bro Kevin and Wozza to run several more trips, this time to provide much-needed equipment to soldiers.
- In Kyiv, a mechanical problem with the van had them stranded. Wozza waited for it to be fixed, but Bro Kevin had to find his way back to join a new job he was soon due to start. After 30 hours of travelling, he finally made it and could pursue his career. But, perhaps as importantly, he could also continue to gather equipment and donations to send to Ukraine. Any Brother wanting more information on how they can possibly help people from Ukraine can email Kevin at:
- W Bro Jim Dyett, the almoner and charity steward of Sackville Lodge No 7063, accompanied by his masonic brother Tim Wright and four friends, raised £900 for The Fire Fighters Charity by climbing Mount Snowdon. Despite staying overnight in a bleak and very basic accommodation, their spirit remained intact when on a sunny but chilly morning in October, they started their ascent. After four hours, frozen and knackered, they reached the top and paused for a celebratory beer. Jim, who is registered blind, received LGR this November.
- The Lodge of Stability No. 217's Junior Warden has just become The English Masters 40+ Weightlifting Champion on 30th October. An amazing feat, as he only took up Olympic weightlifting 18 months ago. This title puts him in third in the British Masters ratings.
- The Lodge has had quite a year! In March, it held, at Freemasons' Hall, its 225th-year anniversary meeting in the presence of 70 Brethren. Their youngest member, Bro Harrison Hill, gave an inspiring speech titled Stability 217's Three Pillars – Past, Present and Future. In this, he reflected not just on the usual masonic pillar but also on what maintains the thread from tradition to modernity and even futurity. Drawing from his Brethren's viewpoint as well as his own introspection, he beautifully illustrated our brotherhood's lasting qualities offering a positive outcome for a bright future that is as much respectful of the past as it is engaged in the current world.
- "As younger members, we have a deep desire not only to cradle our past and look after it but to pass it on in a way that the world today can truly understand."
- Our belated congratulations to W Bro Meharban Singh Jutlla. Bro Jutlla from St Olave's Lodge No 2764 has been acknowledged for his outstanding contribution as a media volunteer for Cancer Research UK. Jutlla's wife, Baldev, sadly passed away many years ago from cancer, and since then, he has relentlessly devoted his time and efforts to help the charity. He regularly travels across London to help increase awareness of the charity in the community and was even part of a national media campaign when their new logo was released and to recruit other volunteers. This charity has previously awarded Jutlla Honorary Fellowship for volunteering at Race for Life and Shine Night Walk events. If you would like to support Cancer Research UK, please visit their website at www.cancerresearchuk.org
- Patience is a virtue. In February 2020, the Brethren of The Old Epsomian Lodge No 3561 had already been looking forward to their April meeting for some time. They were due to initiate the grandson of one of our longest-serving active members, W Bro Peter Dodd TD PJGD. Little did they know what TGAOTU had in store for the remainder of 2020! Many months later, the Lodge was finally able to welcome Chris Dodd. To mark the special moment, Bro Peter delivered a word-perfect charge to his grandson.
Freemasons' Hall was honoured to host the Emmy Award-winning CBS late-night American talk show The Late Late Show with James Corden during the Summer. The Grand Temple was transformed into the show's set for four special episodes, which aired in late June. FMH has a proud record of being a location venue for films and television series, with the Late Late Show being one of the latest latest show (pun intended) to be filmed in our fantastic building.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 50 December 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 50 here.