London Craft Digest – Winter 2022
Here are just a few of the London Lodges that have met over the Winter months, not just throughout central London – but within dedicated Masonic Halls in and around the Capital.
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On Thursday 25th February, Bloomsbury Rifles Lodge No 2362 met for the first time at a white table meeting in their new home at Mark Masons Hall. This was an excellent opportunity not only to meet friends and family, but also to introduce prospective candidates to the Lodge. Captain Janet Collett, Adjutant, Middlesex and North West London ACF and Stephen Wheatley, Volunteer Crew Member at RNLI Tower Bridge (pictured with the WM Adrian Hodgson) gave a presentation on how the funds raised by the Lodge for their respective charities are used. Janet explained how the Lodges long standing support for the Army Cadets helps children from the inner Boroughs of London gain confidence to handle life and Stephen explained that Tower station is manned 24hrs a day and has conducted over 7500 operations since the station opened (about 2 launches per day). The current station is over 160 years old and the Lodge’s support goes towards its replacement.
On Friday 21st January, Lodge of Happiness No 5353 met once again, and the Collins clan where in evidence! Bros Christopher and Michael Collins were Passed to the Second Degree, after which Bro Chris Pratt, son-in-law of Bro Paul Collins was Initiated. Altogether, the Lodge now counts 8 members of the same family, 6 of whom have been initiated since the start of 2020.
Top row: Bro Mark and his two sons, Christopher and Michael
Bottom row: Mark’s brother Paul with his son Steve, his son-in-law Chris. And Steve’s cousin Tim with his son Josh.
The Lodge of Stability No 217 has held its 225th year anniversary meeting in March 2022 at Freemasons’ Hall.
W Bro Jon Randall, Metropolitan Grand Inspector and his escort W Bro Snapford visited Cannon Lodge No 1539 in January when Bros P John and J Eccles were passed to fellowcraft in a double ceremony at Freemasons’ Hall. A successful festive board followed, held in the main building.
For the brethren of Rye Lodge No 2272 and their guests, the 22nd November 2021 saw a special meeting. The main business of the day was the presentation of a sixty year certificate to W Bro Stuart Curson, one year late because of Covid. The Worshipful Master, his Officers and Bro Stuart were piped into the Lodge by Pipe Major, W Bro Michael Shanahan, a Chelsea Pensioner. As it was also the Armistice meeting, it was preceded by a eulogy for the fallen given by W Bro John Spencer, a guest, and W Bro Roger Davis. Then, the 60th Certificate was presented by VW Bro Robert Grant PGSwdB, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master, in an exemplary manner. Having painstakingly gathered sufficient background information from Lodge members and his family, Bro Grant highlighted Bro Stuarts’ life inside as well as outside Freemasonry. Following this, Bro Stuart, helped by the Lodge charity steward, W Bro Roger Davis, presented Bro Grant with a cheque for £3,000 for Lifelites children’s charity.
The meeting was not over for Bro Stuart. W Bro Ray Pearson, a Chelsea Pensioner and a hobby potter, offered him a special ceramic Vase of Achievement. In turn, Bros Stuart and Roger gave Bro Ray a cheque for £500 made out to The Royal Chelsea Hospital.
The meeting and festive board were attended by forty-eight Freemasons, including several of Bro Stuarts’s closest Masonic friends.
Members of Ubique Lodge No 1789, the Lodge of the Royal Artillery, together with wives/partners and guests raised the sum of £6,000 at their annual Summer Ball held at the Union Jack Club, London in August 2020. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge, W Bro Jack Hargreaves MVO, nominated BLESMA, the UK’s leading charity for supporting limbless veteran's and their families, as the preferred charity for his year. The presentation of the cheque was made to the BLESMA representative W Bro Brian Chenier, following Ubique Lodge's October meeting when three new candidates were Initiated making a total of seven Initiates in 2021 following on from eighteen in 2019. There was a fallow year in 2020 due to covid. Ubique Lodge No 1789 is the Lodge for all ranks of the Royal Artillery and Royal Horse Artillery, regular or reserve, serving or former. Please contact Ubiquelodge@btinternet for more information.
Cathedral Lodge No 2741 was delighted to Initiate its newest and oldest Candidate, Kenneth Corbett, born in July 1934. With the kind agreement of the WM, W Bro Mark Bigam, Bro Ken was Initiated by his son-in-law and proposer, W Bro Damian Richards, at the Lodge meeting held in Great Queen Street on 19th February 2022.
Papyrus Lodge No 2562 held its meeting on Monday 13th December 2021 at Mark Masons’ Hall to celebrate 125 years since its consecration on 24th June 1895 which passed during lockdown.
The ceremony was an initiation of Mr Mauro Bonivita and was also attended by the MetGInsp, W.Bro David Bailey PGSD, who presented the ’Initiate’s Guide’ to Bro Bonivita.
Also at the meeting the WM W Bro David Parish LGR presented the Metropolitan Grand Inspector with two donations to the Masonic Charitable Foundation of £1,250 each, one from Papyrus Lodge and the other in memory of his father W.Bro Keith Parish PAGDC and his Grandfather W.Bro James Parish both long serving members of Papyrus Lodge.
On 8th of October 2021 the Old Foresters’ Lodge No 7726 was honoured with a visit from their Metropolitan Grand Inspector, W Bro Russell Sollof PSGD. Bro Russell came to present a 50-year certificate to W Bro David Tudor MBE, PJGD.
On Friday 25th February, the Lodge of Constant Trust No 7347 had an official visit from the RW Assistant Grand Master to present a 50-year certificate to W Bro Michael Singleton PSGD. At the same meeting, the Lodge conducted an initiation.
On 21st January at the Old Colfeians Clubhouse, London SE12, Metropolitan Grand Inspector W Bro Tony Shepherd PJGD paid a visit to Old Colfeians Lodge No 7412 to present W Bro John Nunn SLGR with a 50 Year Long Service Certificate. The packed temple room learned from the conversation between the two that Bro John had worked for the Ministry of Defence for over 35 years, based at Fort Halstead as a 'trials engineer' on weapons research and that Bro John had also spent his entire adult life dedicated to playing, supporting and administrating Rugby Union football, culminating in him being honoured as the first recipient of the Lifetime Award for services to Rugby Football presented to him at Twickenham Stadium. At the conclusion of the meeting, the very thirsty attendees retired to the Rugby Clubhouse bar before enjoying a Festive Board there, where the laughter and chat went deep into the evening.
More than eighty brethren were present in the Great Hall of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital to witness the installation of W Bro Carl Pendlebury as the Worshipful Master of Hornsey Lodge No 890 (the Escorting Officers Lodge). On the same occasion, W Bro Bryan Moore received a 50-Year certificate presented in a moving way by RW Bro Warren Duke, Metropolitan Deputy Grand Master, who along with his fellow Deputy Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro Christopher Hayward become honorary members of the Lodge.
It was a wonderful and memorable evening and those present enjoyed a champagne reception followed by a great festive board.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 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 48 here.