Various stories from London Lodges and Freemasons
- A double initiation, The Welcome Project, & Meat (lots of)
- On 4 February the United Arts Rifles Lodge No 3817, also known as the Brazilian Lodge, was honoured to host the Metropolitan Grand Lodge's Welcome Project as well as the Metropolitan Grand Inspector, W Bro Huw Pritchard. On this occasion, two new Brazilian masons were initiated, one from Swindon and the second flying in from Spain. Meanwhile, a third, who flew all the way from Vitoria, Brazil, was admitted as an overseas joiner in a bilingual process. The very high-quality ceremony, beautifully conducted by the Worshipful Master, W Bro Fabio Gabriel da Silva, was praised by visitors who then were also treated to some legendary Brazilian hospitality during the Festive Board. As is now the Lodge's tradition, dinner was hosted in an all-you-can-eat-meat restaurant (vegetarian options available), where all ate far too much in excellent company. The Lodge has a rich schedule for the rest of the year, and anyone interested in visiting can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The London Grand Rank Association
By W Bro Brian Matthews LGR, Secretary
The London Grand Rank Association (LGRA) was formed in 1909, and membership is available for anyone who has been appointed to a London Craft or Royal Arch honour.
Membership is by payment of a single fee for a lifetime subscription, including electronic copies of the Bulletin. Other masons may subscribe to its Bulletin.
The LGRA produces a quarterly magazine (the Bulletin) which is distributed by email (or for an additional subscription, hard copies are available). This includes information on the next (quarterly) meeting, these being held on the last Wednesday of the months of February, May (AGM), August and November. The meetings are held at Freemasons' Hall and commence at 16.00.
Regalia is not worn at these meetings, although members are encouraged to wear the Association tie.
The quarterly meeting includes speakers who talk about a variety of topics (not all masonic).
If you would like to attend a quarterly meeting, it would be appreciated if you could advise me at the email address email@example.com in advance. If you have any other enquiries, please send them to the same address.
In addition to the Bulletin and the quarterly meetings in London, the LGRA also has a network of regional groups which have their own programmes of events. The current list is included on the back page of the Bulletin – a copy of the information can also be obtained from the above email address.
The topics for the next few meetings will be:
31st May Dr John Chatterjee † of the London Air Ambulance (LAA): 'Up Against Time.'
30th August David Morgan ≠: 'The power of Lifelites'
29th November Mark Smith ‡: 'For Valour -The Story of the Victoria Cross'.
† Dr John Chatterjee is Consultant | Anaesthesia | Pre-Hospital Care Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS FT | Barts Health | London’s Air Ambulance ≠ David Morgan PPDepGReg (Mddx) ‡ Mark Smith PAGSwdB AProvGM (Essex) (militaria expert on Antiques Roadshow)
- 50 year certificate
- W Bro Glen Sapsford SLGR of Alexandra Palace Lodge No 1541 was presented with his 50-year service certificate on 14th January 2023 by W Bro David Ellis OBE PJGD, Metropolitan Grand Inspector, accompanied by an escorting officer and two Metropolitan Grand Stewards. Bro Glen was initiated in January 1972 and became Worshipful Master in 1983. He was exalted into Alexandra Palace Chapter No 1541 in 1985 and installed as First Principal ten years later. Bro Glen has a fascinating history of contribution to Freemasonry both here and overseas in Gibraltar as well as – Spain in units under both the English and Spanish constitutions. He belongs to many orders and has played his full part, including as a founder of a number of units in different orders. He was awarded LGR in 1998, SLGR just four years later and appointed Metropolitan Grand Deacon in 2006. From 2002 Bro Glen lived in Spain almost permanently until he returned to the UK in 2015. He married in 1968 and has a son who lives in Sydney with two sons; and a daughter living far nearer to him in Hertfordshire who has three daughters. His hobbies are golf (he is a member of the London Mark Team) and cycling, as well as listening to music. For eight years in the 1960s, he played the guitar in a semi-professional band. Bro David said he was honoured to have presented Bro Glen with his certificate, and it had been a real pleasure to have learned so much about his full and interesting masonic and private life, as well as the significant worth of his contribution to Freemasonry. That contribution continues – he is not taking a back seat as he is currently the Lodge DC and its RA Representative.
Reuniting a Masonic Family
Lodges ebb and flow over the years, but how often do you dedicate time to those Lodges which are tied by history to your own?
At their regular meeting on 14th January, The Grecian Lodge No 3718 held a Masonic "family reunion" at Great Queen Street, where the worshipful master, W Bro David Green, was joined by many members of founding, sibling and offspring Lodges, including:
- – Great Grandmother Lodge, the Eastern Star No 95
– Grandmother Lodge, the Yarborough Lodge No 554
– Founding Lodge, the Edward Alleyn Lodge of Industry No 186
– Mother Lodge, the Lodge of St. John No 1306
– Sister Lodges; The Earl Amherst No 3230 and the Lodge of Protection No 9047
– Daughter Lodge, the John Evelyn Lodge No 5518
– Grand Daughter Lodge, the Herts. Scots Lodge No 9527, and
= Great Aunt Lodge, The Lodge of Industry No 186
- The evening's proceedings included a ceremony written specifically for the purpose by W Bro Steve Howes, in which representatives of the Lodges were assembled in order to form a family tree on the floor. Bro Steve then delivered the history he had researched for the occasion, which was followed by the candle ceremony – or ceremony of enlightenment – where the "Light of Man" was emblematically extinguished and "Masonic Light" passed from Mother Lodge to Daughter Lodge and then from Master or Lodge elder to the most junior of Brethren.
- As Bro David said during the ceremony, "Brethren, we are, all of us here, part of a truly wonderful Masonic family. A family of which we can all be truly proud."
- Bro Howes' ceremony is available for adaptation by other Lodges – please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Westminster and Langbourn Lodge
- Westminster and Langbourn Lodge No 3647 met at Freemasons’ Hall on the 15th October to celebrate the presentation of a 60-year-long service certificate to W Bro John Bennett PAGStB.
- The certificate was presented by VW Bro Robert Grant PGSwdB, Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master, who looked back through John's masonic career, which has sometimes extended beyond these shores, together with his activities outside Masonry; John adding his own recollections and anecdotes along the way.
- Bro John was initiated in October 1960 into the National Westminster Lodge (now Westminster and Langbourn Lodge No 3647) and has been an active member ever since. He was Master on three occasions – 1977, 2000 and 2013-14, notably being in the chair when the Lodge celebrated its Centenary in 2013.
- For that occasion, he compiled a comprehensive and informative history of the Lodge. During his decade as Secretary (2001 to 2011), he played a major role in fostering a close relationship with Lodge Maelifell No 13 of the Grand Lodge of Iceland, leading to a number of Icelandic brethren becoming members of the Lodge. It was with particular pleasure, therefore, that the Lodge welcomed to the meeting a group of 18 brethren from Iceland, headed by VW Bro Snorri Magnusson, Grand Master of Ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Iceland, and including a contingent from Maelifell Lodge.
- Two of these brethren had recently joined Westminster and Langbourn. They received an explanation of a Grand Lodge Certificate by W Bro Jon Randall PGJD, Metropolitan Grand Inspector.
- Police Cadet of the Year Award – Lodge of Remembrance No 4895
- Readers may remember our report last year ago on the Lodge of Remembrance No 4895’s efforts to support London youth.
- In particular, their work with the Borough of Hackney Volunteer Metropolitan Police Cadets, which the Lodge has adopted as a major part of their charitable undertakings by donating £1000 each year.
- Last November, they presented their special Police Cadet of the Year Award to fifteen-year-old Irene Gavilanez, who attended the dinner together with her Metropolitan Police Co-ordinator, Mrs Jill DiMartino and Cadet Instructor Police Constable Jon Wilkins. The presentation consisted of a framed Certificate of Merit, an Engraved Trophy together with a purse of £100.
- Only a few months later, the Lodge donated a further £1000, and arrangements have been made with Guildhall to make a second Cadet of the Year on Friday, 3rd November 2023. The Lodge’s secretary, W Bro Brian François PAGDC, went on to inform his other Lodge, St Julian No 5107. Its members were taken by his enthusiasm and donated a further £500 as well as giving £50 to an individual member.
- As successive Lord Mayors have championed support for London Youth, it might be an idea for St Julian to adopt another youth organisation and make an annual donation and perhaps likewise, give an annual prize to an outstanding and committed member. This seems a perfect way to support those who are our future and represent what London Freemasonry does best. It also gives Lodge members a focus and sense of achievement and personal connection to their charitable giving.
- A Distinctive Installation with Love
- A truly exceptional and distinctive Installation meeting was held at Con Amore Lodge No 3633, featuring the striking and notable "Barong Tagalog" to highlight the installation of the Lodge's youngest worshipful master, Mark Alfin-Sevenoaks.
- To mark this special occasion, the Lodge decided to wear the "Barong", the traditional Philippine national shirt. Usually made from silk, piña or abaca fibres, it combines elements from both the pre-colonial native Filipino and colonial Spanish clothing styles and is recognized worldwide for its representation of Filipino culture
- W Bro Alfin-Sevenoaks is the youngest worshipful master in the Lodge's 111-year history. He joined the Lodge as a referred, unsponsored candidate from Grand Lodge. Through a masonic journey of perseverance, learning and camaraderie, Bro Alfin-Sevenoaks proves that placing the right candidate in the right Lodge can inspire both to prosper.
- The ceremony was impressively conducted by light blue members who all put in impressive efforts at short notice. Visiting Officer W Bro Gus Addow further made the occasion special when he presented Grand Lodge Certificates to Bros Elmer Tayag and Antonio Ruiz. Tylers from adjacent temples were intrigued by the Lodge's eye-catching barong, and many came to express their fascination and exchanged friendly chats with our members.
- The festive board saw a unique raffle in which prizes included a customised Lodge registration plate. The guests were allowed to keep the Barong as a souvenir from the Lodge.
- A welcoming and friendly Hall Stone lodge, Con Amore Lodge has grown from strength to strength with members coming from as far as Scotland, Somerset and the Midlands. Adapting to the changing times, the Lodge, which literally means "with love, devotion, or zest", welcomes all guests and visitors.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 51 April 2023 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 51 here.