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Archive 2022

Saturday 31st December 2022:

BROKEN ANKLES

 

The December Installation of the Master Elect, Charles Alexander, has had to be delayed; Charles, awaked by the burglar alarm, tumbled down the stairs and fractured both tibia and fibula close to his right ankle.


Not to be outdone, the WM, Mike Potts, took a tumble outside Sainsbury’s and broke his right ankle too, and consequently cannot install his successor at the January meeting.


We wish them both well as each of them sets off with the left foot into 2023 . . .

 

[Pictures of Mike Potts and Charles Alexander by Eddie Wildman.]

 

 

Monday 19th December 2022:

W Bro Richard Tyson, Worshipful Master of the Holderness Lodge 3563 celbrated the Christmas season with the Brethren, wives, families and widows in an excellent end-of-year gathering; not all the Brethren present attended the  short meeting, but over two dozen were there and stood in silent respect for the passing of W Bro Gordon Setterfield who joined the Grand Lodge Above during the previous week. The Almoner made reference to W Bro Malvin Sharpless "a sturdy pillar of our Lodge" who had been doing some voluntary hospital work when he suffered a heart attack. Fortunately he was just next to the Cardiac Unit at Castle Hill, and he was seen to very quickly and now is recuperating at home, under strict unstructions to take it easy.

The Wedding Belles, who had entertained at Beverley Road some days previously again performed a selection of Christmas items in the Lodge Room, now with all the visitors after which the Brethren and guests enjoyed a high quality festive board with mirth and entertainment, numerous raffle prizes and of course the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was a splendid social gathering and W Bro Tyson had a smile on his face throughout.

[Photograph of W Bro Richard Tyson by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman Guest Organist.

 

 

Saturday 17th December 2022:

The Worshipful Master of the Technical Lodge 5666, W Bro Dan Laughton and his lady Donna hosted the Christmas meeting in traditional fashion. After the brief and well managed Lodge meeting upstairs, the Brethren remained in situ while their partners and ladies joined them; meanwhile members of the Hull Choral Union set themselves up on the dais to perform a fine selection of well-known Christmas carols, and invited everyone to join in where appropriate. W Bro Laughton was pleased to provide them with a handsome donation.

Downstairs, Luke Pyrah had again produced a most enjoyable meal comprising Roast Parsnip Soup, Turkey and trimmings with winter vegetables (and an alternative for those who were either over-turkeyed or otherwise unable to partake) and Christmas Pudding afterwards. The tables looked magnificent (Bro Arash Vesali and others had turned up that morning to prepare: the festive wreaths and candles, the menu cards, the crackers positively glowed in anticapation of the event) and, well wined and dined, no-one was disappointed.

A raffle followed - with the DC Paul Hillary keeping things moving, and a few Christmas songs followed, with the ever popular Twelve Days of Christmas after which the Master offered season's greetings to one and all, with best wishes for a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.

[Photograph of Danna and Danny by W Bro Paul Hillary.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Thursday 15th December 2022:

Under the mastership of W Bro Peter Stokes, the Lodge of St Michael 7833 enjoyed a brilliant Christmas festive board following a short meeting upstairs. I had arrived early and found the Steward, W Bro Shaun Rennison laying out the cutlery for the tables; superbly organised, he had everything planned to the last detail. It was impressive, the first post-covid opportunity to celebrate the festive season in the traditional manner for this Lodge. Brethren began to arrive with their ladies and guests, and the former convened upstairs promptly at 6:30 for a brief meeting, which included a joining member being admitted and a promise of another member in the near future. The Almoner's and Charity Steward's reports showed the Lodge to be a caring Establishment, looking after its widows as well as the health of the Brethren. The Secretary spoke of W Bro J S Broughton's field promotion (scroll down to 25th November) and greetings were given.

Downstairs there was an atmosphere of merriment. The traditional Christmas dinner was excellent, crackers were pulled, and the diners attempted to score in the Christmas Quiz provided by Bro David Broughton. Carol singing followed, led by W Bros Terry Lynn and Eddie Wildman, and W Bro Michael Price of KIngston Lodge sang a solo verse of "Silent Night" which was much appreciated.  The inevitable performance of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was undertaken with great enthusiasm. A raffle followed, after which all present joined hands in "Auld Lang Syne." The evening ended officially at 10:30, the Worshipful Master thanking everybody for coming. It had been a splendid evening, and I thank the Lodge of St Michael for reintroducing the old standards and providing such a good time for everyone.

[Photograph of Terry Lynn, Michael Price and Eddie Wildman exhausted at the end of the night by Bro Amardas Tuboalabo.]

Eddie Wildman guest organist.

 

Wednesday 14th December 2022:

The opportunity to be the Representative of the RWPGM at Minerva Lodge 250 arose and I seized it - usually I play the organ for the Minerva Brethren, but I knew W Bro Graham Miles was more than capable of standing in, and agreed to perform this pleasant duty. Nobody had imagined the road from Bridlington being a mass of black ice in the subzero evening and Graham very sensibly turned back, sending an apology and his Treasurer's report by email to the Secretary rather than risking an accident. I was accorded a Provincial Escort under the direction of my DC, W Bro Marcus Whereat, who was installed as WM of Kingston Lodge 1010 only a week ago. (Scroll down to 7th December on this page.)

Yet even without music the meeting was a success - the Brethren had learnt the ritual admirably and Bro Philip Holton was passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft Freemason with fluency and sincerity, with W Bro David Green in the Chair. There was also an excellent presentation of the Second Degree Tracing Board (Bro Jordan Burns) and the Five Noble Orders of Architecture (Bro Kurt Crawford) which were both impressively delivered. It was good to see the predominance of light blue aprons in the Lodge Room, and the number there given the unfriendliness of the weather. W Bros Alan Todd and Malcolm Forbes were there as visitors, giving greetings from the Humber Lodge.

The White Table Festive Board was traditional turkey and trimmings and an atmosphere of fraternal happiness pervaded the proceedings. I was pleased to be able to convey the best wishes of the RWPGM to all present, wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

[Photograph of Eddie Wildman, David Green and Marcus Whereat by Wayne Sutherby (scroll down to 8th October)]

Eddie Wildman, Representative.

 

Tuesday 13th December 2022:

                          "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
                                           Gang aft a-gley."

These lines from the poem “To a Mouse” by Freemason Robert Burns seem most appropriate.

This was to be our Installation Ceremony. Bro Charles Alexander was well prepared to be placed in the Chair of King Solomon by  W Bro Michael Potts our Worshipful Master. It was not to be. Charles, suspecting night time intruders rose from his bed and quietly descended the stairs. His hip gave way and in the subsequent fall he broke his tibia and fibula. Now having his leg encased in plaster of Paris he is not weight bearing so the Installation Ceremony has been delayed until January.

A regular meeting was hurriedly planned but our Worshipful Master, Mike emailed the membership during the morning of this fateful 13th to state the pipes in his house had sprung a very bad leak. His water was turned off and a plumber had been summoned. The plumber was extremely busy and could not attend until later in the day. Mike, understandably had to give last minute apologies.

Was it the fact that our December '22 meeting of Humber Lodge No 57 fell on the 13th day that Lady Luck was not looking upon us favourably? Thirteen is deemed unlucky as in Norse folklore, twelve gods were having a dinner party at Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest, and arranged for Hodr to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. I always thought it was because Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest at the Last Supper. Every day’s a school day!

At the last minute W Bro Eddie Wildman willingly stepped into the role of Master for the evening and did a splendid job of opening the Lodge. It was an unexpected treat to see our three Officers of Grand Lodge present on this occasion; W Bro Eddie in the Chair; W Bro Richard Smedley as Senior Warden and W Bro William Burnett as Acting Director of Ceremonies. Their experience shone out like beacon (it was a foggy night!)

Reports from the Almoner, Royal Arch representative and Membership officer were given; Secretarial business was transacted and the Lodge closed in due and ancient form.

The ceremonial part of the evening was over in twenty-five minutes. A slick operation!

Seventeen members enjoyed a most convivial Festive Board, the turkey dinner being one of the finest I have tasted for some time. (My fifth so far this Festive Season.) Our caterer, Roy, tells me he steams the turkey for three hours. Very moist! Sprouts were plentiful and quite delicious, seconds of Christmas pudding were offered and mince pies rounded off the feast.

Two toasts were submitted by our Acting Master and the Parting Toast was given by Senior Warden Richard Smedley.

Coats, scarves and gloves were donned by 9pm and the great outdoors ventured into. It was a balmy minus four degrees but the inner glow from a most enjoyable evening kept out the cold on the walk to the car.

Unlucky thirteen? Rubbish! It was a good evening.

 W Bro David Terry PPSGW, Acting IPM & Chaplain

 

 

Monday 12th December 2022:

Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 invited guests and ladies to the social gathering following the brief meeting upstairs. The latter was held in the small Lodge Room; there being a heating problem in the larger room. As numbers were low (only just into double figures; the wickedly cold night did not encourage scores of attendees) this was a cosy solution - I took on the role of Inner Guard on this occasion, but also supplied the opening and closing odes on the ancient Hammond organ in the corner of the room.

There was little business other than reports and the election of officers for various committees. W Bro Christopher Lefevre was nominated as WM for next year and W Bro Colin Shields as Treasurer.

Downstairs, however, ladies and guests were arriving for the afterproceedings, The WM, W Bro Malcolm Forbes welcomed everyone to the traditional Luke Pyrah Christmas dinner, during and after which the Great Mazani performed magical tricks and illusions. W Bro Chris Brown of Minerva Lodge 250 confessed he was amazed at how the £20 note he had signed ended up inside a lemon!

It was a friendly evening and the Brethren and guests departed in festive spirits.

[Photograph of magician Mazani by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, stand-in Inner Guard.

 

 

 

Thursday 8th December 2022:

Neil Armstrong and I were invited to give a Daggards presentation for the Old Hymerian Lodge 6885 and decided to rework our popular Daggards Zoom "The Night Soil Men" as a live performance, still using the slides Neil had selected through his extensive research, but now realising the script for two performers, changing characters (and hats) as the story developed. I played the part of the Night Soil Foreman Obediah Gibson, a rough diamond supplying a necessary service to Victorian Hull, and Doctor Rockcliffe advocating healthier living against almost insurmountable odds. Neil took on the role of the reporter interviewing the above, but also young John Mopp, an apprentice leather tanner, and Harry, Obediah's teenage son.

It was well received; W Bro David Terry, Humber Lodge's Thespian Almoner and Liaison Officer for the Old Hymerians commended the production: approbation from David is praise indeed, but there were positive comments from the Old Hymerians, too (including the Very Worshipful Past Provincial Grand Master) and it was a delight to see the Acting Secretary, W Bro David Greendale chuckling at the jokes. The response to the visitors toast at the Festive Board was given by W Bro Gary Sunley of the Old Bridlingtonian Lodge who commented on the amount of research that had gone into the production (Neil is a superb researcher) and the way the local history had come to life, instructing the Brethren in how far we have developed over the last one hundred and seventy years.

Neil and I sincerely thank the WM, W Bro Graham Bate for hosting the event and for supplying our meals afterwards - traditional Christmas fare - Luke Pyrah, the chef at the Masonic Hall in Beverley Road is making sure none of the Brethren go home hungry!

It was also a pleasure not to be playing the organ - the Old Hymerian organist, W Bro Graham Hunter was there ably supplying the music for the Lodge meeting and Festive Board.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening; we were glad to be there.

[Photograph of Neil as John Mopp and W Bro Graham Bate as WM by Eddie; photograph of Eddie as Obediah Gibson by Neil.]

Eddie Wildman, Daggard performer.

 

 

 Wednesday 7th December 2022:

The Director of Ceremonies for the Representative of the RWPGM was W Bro Tony Calvert and the Representative was W Bro David Burnett at the Kingston 1010 meeting where W Bro Mike Price superbly installed his successor, W Bro Marcus Whereat as Worshipful Master of the Lodge. The Almoner, W Bro Peter Adamson commented on the number of Brethren who through illness or other legitimate reasons were unable to attend the Installation meeting, and  declining numbers have necessitated the doubling of some offices, but, as the new WM remarked, the next meeting (February) will be a third degree, and the Brethren remain hopeful that numbers will improve in the near future. The ceremony upstairs was under the competent directorship of the Lodge DC and flowed smoothly; though the WM (an active member of the Provincial Grand Stewards' Team) had already been Master of the Lodge some years ago, it was still a meaningful experience. W Bro Booth gave the address to the WM, I was privileged to give the address to the Wardens, and W Bro Neil Armstrong delivered the address to the Brethren in melifluous tones. W Bro Richard Smedley, who had been asked to sing the Anthem in the Lodge Room and the Masters Song at the Festive Board, sent apologies, being laid low with a horrendous cold. W Bro David Burnett, having eloquently responded to the fifth toast, kindly sang the Masters Song downstairs.

There were nine visitors from eight sister Lodges (including W Bro Malcolm Forbes who stood to greet as WM of Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 as well as a member of Humber 57) and the responder on behalf of the visitors, W Bro David Bateman from Beacon Lodge 4362 spoke about the value of visiting. 

[Photograph of W Bros Tony Calvert, David Burnett, Marcus Whereat and Michael Price by W Bro Peter Stokes, WM of the Lodge of St Michael 7833.] 

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.   

                                             

                             

 

Monday 5th December 2022:

Many thanks to W Bro Philip Daniels, who gave me a lift to the Humber Installed Masters Lodge 2494; I'd been at Beverley Road earlier that day rehearsing with Neil Armstrong for our Daggard performance on Thursday, and I'd taken the Christmas music and my regalia along then. With Philip driving, I carried my birthday cake along in the evening: I'd started it, but I wouldn't finish it all before it grew stale. It was a gift from a neighbour - I teach her son piano, and this was her way of saying thank you. There was enough for the forty plus people there, served with the coffee at the end of a wonderful Christmas meal from Luke the Chef.

While the Lodge was rattling through its essential business with W Bro Danny Betts in the Master's Chair (W Bro Philip Daniels was named as the WM Elect,) the Brethren's Ladies were being entertained downstairs by Humber Lodge's retired vetinary surgeon, David Terry, speaking of his experiences as a young vet. When the Lodge closed, the Ladies were invited upstairs to be further entertained by The Wedding Belles, an all female choir, singing a selection of Christmas music which included the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells in a delightful part-song arrangement.

The Brethren and ladies got their chance to sing after the Festive Board, a selection of Christmas music closing, inevitably with the Twelve Days of Christmas, Mike Cheeseman gave a wonderful rendition as the plumpest partridge in a pear tree ever witnessed, but there was serious competition from some of the other Brethren.

Following this, to my complete surprise, I was presented with another birthday cake, and everyone sang to me. I'll treasure the card with the comments by the Brethren and visitors. Fortunately there was not a candle for every year, or they would have had to send for the fire brigade. Thanks, Humber Installed Masters!

[Photograph of W Bro Danny Betts by John Chapman.]

Eddie Wildman, fat organist.

 

 

Saturday 3rd December 2022:

I travelled with two Phoenix 9963 Brethren to Beverlonian Lodge 9084. Brother Peter Kenyon-Brodie picked me up and we went on to Hessle to collect his son Brother Alistair. I was worried that we would be pushed to arrive in time, especially as the satnav selected a peculiar route, but we had time to spare. Unusually, the Beverlonian Lodge was not as well supported as expected, there being a number of absences, but we enjoyed an excellent Second Degree ceremony ("with a pleasing absence of books" as one senior Brother remarked) led by W Bro Mark Alan Fox. Probably the youngest WM on the circuit (see 10th September below), this was his second working night, having Passed  Brother Peter Brown (see 1st October below) two months ago. Tonight's Candidate was Bro Jack Sherwood who having answered the questions succesfully, went through the ceremony without a hitch. 

Not all the Brethren stayed for the festive board, which was traditional Christmas fare - their loss, it was excellent. Encouraged by the Secretary in an email, a number of Brethren brought Christmas hats to wear, others wore those found in the crackers. It was an evening of joviality, and W Bro Tony Burke led the Brethren in a few carols afterwards.

[Photograph of Peter Kenyon-Brodie, Eddie Wildman and Alistair Kenyon-Brodie by Alistair.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Thursday 1st December 2022:

Circumstances contrived against the Humber Lodge's visit to Pelham Pillar Lodge 792 in Grimsby, and of the original seven booked in, only four of us made it. W Bro Ian Syddall, let down by colleagues at work, was unable to leave in time: given the rush-hour traffic situation and the earlier start of the Grimsby Lodge, his attendance was untenable. Bro Craig Morrison, designated driver, was struck in the night by a dreadful lurgie; his telephone call to me sounded as though his throat was lined with sandpaper. The WM Elect, Bro Charles Alexander, had been woken by the burglar alarm sounding in the middle of the night, and getting up to investigate, fell and broke his ankle. (The knock-on effects are considerable - watch this space.) So as far as our yearly visit over the water to collect the traditional bag of money goes (see 2nd December 2021 below)  hasty rearrangements had to be made.

Fortunately W Bro Malcolm Forbes was coming to pick me up, and he kindly agreed that he would also pick up W Bro Richard Smedley on the way and drive us all over the Humber Bridge to Cambridge Road, Grimsby. W Bro Craig Maurier would make his own way being on the South Bank already. 

Malcolm (driver), Richard (navigator) and I (comic relief) arrived in good time and Richard generously bought drinks. This was very welcome - I felt the stress dissipating as I enjoyed a double G&T. Richard had lager, but Malcolm dutifully stuck to orange juice as he was driving. I was a little concerned - he said he felt a bit under the weather and had only consumed a bite of toast for lunch, but he assured us he was not really unwell. It was suggested that his recent tonsorial amputation was responsible for his lightheadedness. "Like Samson, you mean?" he said. "He lost all his strength following a haircut."

We donned our regalia and prepared to go into the Lodge Room, and watched as a nonagenarian Brother shuffled through the doorway, He didn't notice as his apron slid down to his ankles, but Richard and I managed to prevent him going any further until I retrieved the fallen garment and Richard had tightened the old chap's apron belt. Disaster averted, we took our places as Officers of the United Grand Lodge of England; Malcolm took a seat on the north side, and other visitors dispersed around the room. It is a beautiful Lodge Room, with a startling ceiling of cross-barrelled arches supporting fifty-four hanging lights. It is large (enough, Richard suggested, to justify a step-counter when perambulating) and impressively high.

W Bro R W A Turville PPSGW opened the Lodge promptly at six o' clock and was well under way when the Tyler reported latecomers. Craig Maurier led them in. "Sorry, Worshipful Master," he said, saluting. "Leaves on the line."

The Senior Deacon, Bro M Barber had not been able to attend the Installation meeting, so was invested with his collar of office. Bro David Neaves was  then examined in the questions leading to the Second Degree. Thereafter the WM requested that the two young Entered Apprentices retire (the Secretary, W Bro N A Hardy accompanied them for mentoring purposes) and Bro Neaves went to prepare himself for the Ceremony of Passing. The Lodge was efficiently raised to the Second Degree.

The Pelham Pillar Lodge prides itself on smart movement and the choreography is excellent. It was interesting to see the smart turns, the correct holding of staffs of office, the studied salutes. This obtained throughout the ceremony. The Working Tools were explained with great clarity in a ritual very different to Humber working, but equally meaningful, The Charge was a fluent performance, well delivered by the Lodge Chaplain W Bro J Stephenson. It was a very sincere ceremony, and the WM passed Bro Neaves his Second Degree booklet "which includes," he noted, "the Questions and Answers leading to the Third Degree."

The Master "gavelled down" to the First Degree and greetings given. Richard Smedley and I were the only UGLE Officers present. I gave greetings from the Humber Lodge "Premier Lodge in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings", Richard gave greetings from Lodge 720, Yorkshire London Panmure Lodge, Malcolm gave greetings as WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642, and Craig as a member of the St Peter Lodge 7648, also asking for various other Lodges to be taken into consideration.

Meanwhile the ladies had gathered; they were joining us for the meal. The dining hall was consequently well attended for the traditional Christmas fare. Malcolm was  still a little off his food and took a doggie bag home as a treat for his cairn terrier. I generously contributed my sausage wrapped in bacon. After collecting the bag of stolen money (a tradition between our Lodges - the PP Brethren visit Hull to retrieve it in May) Richard Smedley led everyone in singing a few carols. The raffle, in aid of three local schools who are struggling with funds, was a marathon session - Craig (who won the first prize and surprised everybody by picking a box of chocolates instead of alcohol) suggested some time later that it was the longest raffle in history - perhaps the ladies shouldn't have been allowed to consider which prizes they'd like to choose. Malcolm, a frequent raffle winner, took away a bottle of wine. "I promise not to drink it on the way home," he quipped. This was followed by an auction for a Victoria Sponge Cake. Nonetheless, we left before ten o' clock, and Malcolm drove carefully through misty North Lincolnshire to take both Richard and me home. It had been a good outing, and the first intimation that Christmas was on its way.

[Photograph of Eddie Wildman, David Neaves and Richard Smedley in the Pelham Pillar Lodge Room by Craig Maurier.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Monday 28th November 2022:

Had it not been for the Senior Warden searching for his collar at the very last minute the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 would have had a record-breaking start, but the rest of the evening easily made up for the brief hiatus, W Bro Malcolm James Forbes opened his Lodge with confidence; the gavelling from his Wardens particularly enthusiastic as though to compensate for Chris Leferve's gaffe. It was good to see W Bro Keningham as Tyler; Bro Ian Montgomery from the Lodge of St Andrew 4683 kindly stood in as Inner Guard.  Numbers were low, alas: with the two visitors, W Bro Dan Laughton, WM of the Technical Lodge 5666 (see 19th November below) and W Bro Barry Longstaff, Provincial Grand Steward in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings, and member of the Lodge of Established Order 9822 in the Province of Lincolnshire, we numbered only fifteen.

However, there was a succesful ballot for two joining members, and a proposition for a new member, so it is hoped that the numbers will soon pick up, starting with the traditional Christmas Lodge next month.

The main event was a lecture by W Bro Barry (Bazza) Longstaff entitled "The Moderns and Antients and the Athole Legacy", an enormous topic which had obviously required extensive research. It was accompanied by slides. Barry spoke of the factions between the original London Lodges and those from Ireland and elsewhere who objected to what was perceived as a moving of the Landmarks: it took over half a century for a real reconciliation to take place when best practice from both camps became integrated, management and administration became ratified and the arms of both the Moderns and the Antients (sic) combined into the arms of United Grand Lodge as we know them now.

The Worshipful Master addressed W Bro Longstaff on behalf of all present "Thank you for that remarkable insight into the history of the Craft" and the Tyler and other Brethren who had moved their seats in order to view the screen returned to their posts. In the reports that followed, W Bro Andrew Peach spoke of the generosity of the AM Brethren during his tenure as Charity Steward. Andrew has been a wonderful Steward, not only in managing the taxing paperwork and in persuading the Brethren to part with their cash, but as a representative of the Lodge  when presenting cheques and affording aid to the needy. 

The Lodge closed with surprising facility, yours truly giving greetings from the Premier Lodge in the Province, and the Brethren went downstairs to a Festive Board featuring Fish & Chips with mushy peas. Luke the Chef was on good form. (When I asked him about the baby, he grinned. "He's doing fine," he said, "he's not keeping us awake at night and he's smiling all the time." "Like his dad," I noted.)

It was an early finish, but that was not unwelcome on this cold November night, and the Brethren took to their homes contented.

[Photograph of W Bro Barry Longstaff, ProvGStwd beneath the Andrew Marvell banner by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Saturday 26th November 2022:

Juno Lodge 10001 was consecrated on 23rd October 2021 as a University Scheme Lodge. Still in its early days, it hosted a White Table event so that interested visitors could learn something about the Lodge and about Masonry itself. It was well supported: while the Brethren transacted essential business in the Lodge Room upstairs at Dagger Lane, Eddie Wildman (who had been invited to do so by the WM, W Bro Paul Harper) explained to the fourteen visitors something about Freemasonry and invited them to participate in an "I-Spy" exercise, spotting Masonic features both downstairs and up. The Lodge being closed, the Brethren remained in regalia, and were joined in the Lodge Room by the visitors (who carefully noted the rough and perfect ashlars and other items) and listened as Paul, his Wardens, Arash Vesali and Kieran Newton and other Brethren spoke about their roles in the Craft and the Charity work undertaken by the members.

This was followed by a festive board, and the visitors (including three Lady Masons, for not all those interested were men) enjoyed the opportunity of conversation about Freemasonry in general and the Juno Lodge in particular. It had been a worthy exercise: Congratulations to the Juno Lodge!

[Photograph of Kieran (JW) Paul (WM) and Ash (SW) by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, visiting Lecturer

Friday 25th November 2022:

The Lodge of Hope 6954 has met in Altringham for many years but as the Masonic Hall is undergoing refurbishment, the meeting I attended was at the Stockport Masonic Guildhall, a splendid building which is let out for other functions. Indeed, the Lord Mayor's Christmas Party for disabled children was in full swing when we arrived and for a moment I wondered if we were at the wrong location, but the Masonic activities were held upstairs.

The event was the celebration of fifty years in Freemasonry for the WM, W Bro John Stanley Broughton, JP, PProvJGW. He, and a posse from the Lodge of St Michael 7833, along with Bro Peter Nesbitt (driver) and W Bro Gary Shores travelled by minibus. Good weather prevailed in the climb up the Pennines, and despite W Bro Stephen Prior's gloomy prognostications ("It always changes after IKEA") we were not rained upon as the traffic inched along at four miles a fortnight during the inevitable hold ups. John, sitting in the front with the driver muttered darkly: "It's supposed to be a major route and it's like a bloody carpark."

W Bro Terry Black reminisced about previous meetings at the Lodge of Hope, citing the Old English Nights and the MC's outrageous fines. "It was mostly shillings and florings then," he mused. Stephen, who had lived there as part of his distinguished architectural career, reflected on Stockport's industrial landscape historically developed from the twelfth century. With interjections from Bro Ken Battye, who kept referring to his mobile for satnav directions, we eventually arrived at the Masonic Hall at the rear entrance, where Peter parked the car. It was dark. It had been raining cats and dogs earlier and I immediately stepped into a poodle.

JSB opened the Lodge: "We will sing the opening ode" (yes, I was conscripted to play the organ) and then the APGM of the Province of Cheshire, W Bro Andrew Michael Bailey, PAGStdB was paraded in with an impressive escort of UGLE officers, followed by a cohort of eight Brethren from the Lodge of Edinburgh St Andrew 48, in their distinctive round-flapped aprons, worn under the jacket, and sashes worn over. Their well rehearsed entrance ritual, with rather different salutation signs respectfully accorded to the cardinal points of the Lodge were well appreciated, while the guest organist softly played Scotland the Brave in the background.

The APGM took the Chair and gave a fulsome account of W Bro Broughton's achievements, both career-wise (increasing in expertise through prestigious posts (including Surveyor for Derby Council, Senior Management in Manchester and Wales and eventually Deputy Director of Works for Hull City Council) and as a member of many engineering institutions and other societies.) "The amazing thing," W Bro Bailey remarked, "is that you left school in 1956 without any qualifications." He spoke of John's love of travelling, to China, to the USA, two round-the-world cruises, and of his two marriages, for John had married again after the death of his first wife. The APGM repeated John's telephone observation the previous day: "I must be the luckiest man on earth to have married two such wonderful women." John's Masonic career, he noted, was equally impressive following his initiation into the Lodge of Hope in 1971, becoming Master there in 1993 (and again now) as well as WM of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. It was, he said, a pleasure to celebrate John's commitment, as he gave him a field promotion to PPSGW in the Province of Cheshire.

The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Paul Sandiford led the salute to W Bro Broughton and the organist provided a fanfare.

The APGM relinquished the Chair of King Solomon to the WM, and further tokens of appreciation were received. However, it was not only John who had surprises; W Bros Shaw and Moffat, two of the Scottish contingent, were awarded honorary membership of the Lodge of Hope in recognition of their long-term commitment, visiting every year. The APGM and his escort then retired, and after notices from the Secretary, the JW invited the Brethren to stay for refreshment at the Festive Board.

Tomato soup, steak pie, profiteroles with ice cream and coffee. An excellent repast, ample fortification for the return journey. The firing after toasts was different, the Grand Master being accorded "Three times eleven", the RWPGM "three times seven" and so on: I have no doubt John will explain this regional variation in due time. There were many speeches, and a presentation bottle of Old Pulteny Sing Malt to go with the engraved glass, and John said "I'm overwhelmed. Thank you for your support; tonight has been special and memorable - thank you all for sharing it with me." The Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who has known JSB over the past twenty-nine years spoke of the time they'd spent together. "It;s been a wild ride," he said. "We've been all over the place. But most importantly, you've been a friend."

Peter Nesbitt responded for the visitors: "What a fantastic night, with good food and great company."

The journey back took considerably less time than the journey there though we were inevitably slowed by road works, and Gary Shores generously drove me home from the Hessle car park. A super night. Writing up the blog could wait until tomorrow.

Eddie Wildman - visiting organist

 

 

Thursday 24th November 2022:

A newcomer to Freemasonry, hearing the expression El oh aye (rhyming with "yellow eye" might be forgiven for assuming it to be a strange password, but the phrase alludes to the letters L O I, capitalizing "Lodge of instruction".  Not all Lodges have LoIs, which are not so much rehearsals as opportunities for the Brethren to discover more about the Craft and to participate in the ceremonies without the pressure of a formal meeting. Of those that do, many Lodges hold an annual LoI Open Night where the potential next WM takes the Chair for the evening and his team for the ensuing year takes the opportunity to enact their roles. This is often done with Masonic visitors present. No regalia is worn, and some items present at an actual Lodge meeting are not used. For the Humber Lodge LoI Open Night reports see below and also the LoI Page for 21st November.

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the LOI Open Night at Constitutional Lodge 294. This ancient Lodge dates from 1793 and began life as a military Lodge which by nature was peripatetic, and it is unsurprising that its ritual reflects some of the different areas where it has presided in the past. For Brethren familiar with Emulation or the Humber working, it is interesting to note these variations, part of the rich pattern of Freemasonry and a unique inheritence for those to whom Constitutional 294 is their mother Lodge.

The Brethren numbered two score and upward, plus W Bro Roger Lewis from the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 and myself (Humber 57 of course) as visitors. It was a pleasure to see the level of commitment of the Constitutional Brethren, some of them delivering ritual for the first time (and the Senior Warden, Brother Sam Adkins taking on the Address at the North East Corner with only twenty-four hours' notice - and he delivered it flawlessly.) The actual Master of the Lodge, W Bro Travis Lee Plumridge took on the role as Candidate despite his ambulatory difficulties and enjoyed the support of the Brethren in this task. The Acting Worshipful Master for the night, Bro Michael Anthony Noble took control from the outset with a polished performance, delivered with great flair. His pink tie was much admired.

The Festive Board (Chef Kieran Newton) included an excellent shepherd's pie - ideal on that chilly November evening and as I was available to play, musical points were given after the toasts. It is evident that the Constitutional Brethren are in good form and looking forward to 2023 when Bro Noble will be taking the Chair in actuality: well done, Constitutional - what a splendid evening!

[Photograph of Sam Adkins, SW, Mike Noble, WM and Karl Douglas, JW at Constitutional LOI by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, visiting organist.

 

 

Tuesday 22nd November 2022:

It is a treat occasionally to visit an unfamiliar Lodge and I was delighted to take the opportunity of attending the peripatetic Tees Tablers Lodge 9564 at the Masonic Hall in Northallerton. Other members of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 were going: W Bro Steve Hastings and his Bro Chris both offered to give me a lift. As it turned out, Chris picked me up and took me to Steve's; we transferred into the Hasting Jaguar and then went to collect the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ian Johnson before heading for the A1.

Despite thedank and murky afternoon it was a convivial journey; the conversation was good-humoured and varied, and Steve's driving made the journey seem effortless. I realised on arrival I had visited the Masonic Hall a couple of times previously, but I had forgotten that the dining hall was upstairs, and that, unusually, the Lodge Room featured the terrestrial and celestial globes atop a pair of splendid pillars. While somewhat unprepossing outside, the Lodge interior is splendidly colourful.

We arrived in good time, some of the Active Provincial Team were already present, tucking into the sandwiches and sausage rolls that had thoughtfully been laid on with a welcome cuppa, for the meeting was to start at five o' clock and some of the Brethren needed an afternoon snack to keep up their energy. There were nearly forty Brethren present. Fortunately, the Provincial Organist, W Bro Paul Cegla was there and he kindly played during the ceremony downstairs while I provide the music for the toasts in the dining room. 

The Brethren assembled at the top of the hour under the direction of the DC, W Bro Brian Carlisle while the Provincial Team (including W Bro Hastings) and the two Officers of Grand Lodge, W Bro Mark Hall PAGStB and myself were organised by the APGM's DC, W Bro Howard Bean PDGDC; an escort was formed and in due time the Assistant Provincial Grand Master entered. He took the Chair briefly to introduce his team, then returned the gavel to the WM, W Bro Robert Riddell.

Bro Chris Clay of Lennox Lodge 123, oldest Lodge in the Province, gave a masterful explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board: about twenty minutes of faultless ritual, delivered apparently effortlessly. This lengthy oration explaining the meanings and connections between the items depicted on the tracing board and their application to the Lodge and the Brethren themselves was a stunning demonstration. The APGM then passed on the task of presenting a Grand Lodge Certificate to me, saying he thought I would do it better than him This was a calumny, but my rendition is somewhat different to the standard version, which reiterates much of what Bro Clay had already explained by Bro Clay, and I did my best. Bro Robert Lawson seemed satisfied.

As the WM was remaining in the Chair for a second year, the full installation ceremony was not necessary and he was Proclaimed  as Master. He then invested his officers, including W Bro Paul Spencer as IPM who had been unable to attend the previous year. There was some recycling of the Brethren, but the WM gave appropriate comments to each in a relaxed but no-nonsense manner. Greetings were given before the APGM and his team retired and I was pleased not only to stand and salute as a member of the Ridings Tabler's Lodge, but also on behalf of Humber Lodge.

I was a little alarmed at the Festive Board to see apple sauce on the table, but happily it was not pork on the menu. The two course meal was Winter Vegetable Soup followed by Roast Chicken and Yorkshire Pudding (with optional apple sauce); I'm not sure if this was an inspiration of the Steward or a regional peculiarity, but I was pleased there were only two courses as my tummy was still full of sandwiches. The APGM spoke with his customary eloquence, congratulating the WM and his Brethren but warning that in this day and age it is important to have a website presence. W Bro Frank White proposed the Visitors Toast (there were twenty-three visitors from sixteen Sister Lodges) and Bro Chris of the RTL 9586 responded admirably. It was good to see that the stewarding was done by a Sister Lodge (Lennox, which meets in the same building) an efficient and friendly way of managing the Installation meal, and, of course, a practice that will be reciprocated.

Happy and replete, we left for home, discussing the meeting and Masonry in general. It was a beautifully clear night: the sky was full of stars. At one stage Steve wondered if he was having engine trouble but it turned out to be Chris snoring in the back, and we returned to Hull without incident. I'd like to thank the Brethren on this website for their kindness in not only taking me to Northallerton but also bringing me back - cheers, Ridings Tablers'!

[Photograph of APGM Ian Paul Johnson JP and Worshipful Master W Bro Robert Riddell by Steve Hastings.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Monday 21st November 2022:

The Humber Lodge of Instruction Open Night at Dagger Lane was a happy occasion. The intended Candidate was unfortunately indisposed, and a substitute Senior Warden was also required, but the fifteen members overcame these blips with equinimity. W Bro David Terry readily agreed to be the Candidate and enjoyed the role, adopting an expression of attentive bafflement and demonstrating that he didn't know which way to turn. The Worshipful Master, Bro Charles Alexander, took to the Chair like a duck to water, deftly folding up his walking stick and using the handle as a gavel. The office of Senior Warden was taken by our active Grand Lodge Officer, W Bro Richard Smedley, while in the South the Junior Warden was Bro Craig Fish, well in command of the ritual and very accomplished with the gavel. W Bro Craig Maurier was Chaplain, W Bro Ian Syddall took the Secretary's place. W Bro Alan Todd exercised his authority as a keen Director of Ceremonies. The Almoner's report was given by the Candidate after the ceremony of his initiation, and the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Bylov not only delivered the address at the North-east Corner, but put the Wardens through their paces in the Questions after Initiation. W Bro Malcolm Forbes (WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 as well as the Charity Steward in Humber 57) made an excellent Senior Deacon, shaking the money box fearsomely at the appropriate time, while the Junior Deacon, Bro Craig Morrison, led the Candidate round the Lodge with military precision. Bro Rob Parkinson was Inner Guard, and also explained the Warrant in a word-perfect rendition of the ritual. Other sections of the work were delegated to W Bro Trevor Whitfield (who communicated the secrets) and Bro Matthew Barber, who gave an admirable explanation of the Lesser Lights. The Lecture Master himself, W Bro Philip Watts explained the Working Tools of the First Degree with panache. As Organist, I had little to do other than enjoy watching the Brethren perform, and to enjoy the atmosphere of friendship as each Brother strove for excellence. I was well impressed,

The festive board (Shepherd's pie) was equally convivial, and the WM included a toast to the Lecture Master, thanking him for his sterling efforts throughout the year. A splendid night - though we were only fifteen in number, the atmosphere was terrific. W Bro Ian Syddall won the prize for wearing the loudest tie. It must have taken a great deal of courage to put it on.

Charles' report may be found on the LoI page for this date.

[Photograph of the Candidate, the Master and the Chaplain waiting for vegetables by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Saturday 19th November 2022:

The installation of Dan Laughton as Worshipful Master of the Technical Lodge 5666 was so smoothly accomplished the participants made it look easy. Certainly the visitors (fourteen from eight sister Lodges and the team of active Provincial Officers with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Ian Johnson) thought so. The Immediate Past Master, W Bro Rob Atkinson performed the ceremony with his usual flawless ritual, while the Installing Director of Ceremonies, cool, unflustered and authoritative throughout, facilitated every move with precision. This elicited a nod of approval from the APGM's DC, W Bro Gerald Geldar, who kept the Provincial Team in order with similar flair.

It was a happy occasion from beginning to end, the new Worshipful Master taking over the role seamlessly, well supported by his officers. It was pleasing to see how many young Brethren were taking on responsibilities: as W Bro Keith Challis remarked in his address at the Festive Board, these people are the future of the Lodge, and, indeed, the future of Freemasonry. As ever, the music was excellent, the anthem upstairs clearly rendered by Bro David Turner, the Masters Song downstairs by W Philip Daniels, the Visitors' Song by W Bro John Chapman; but for the first time all three were joined by W Bro Rob Atkinson, Immediate Past Master, for the singing of the Parting Toast: with the pianist singing bass this formed a delightful vocal quintet performing in harmony. Many congratulations to the Technical Lodge for such a splendid evening!

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

[Photograph of W Bros Gerald Geldar, Ian Johnson, Danny Laughton and Robert Atkinson by Eddie Wildman.]

 

 

Friday 18th November 2022:

The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 applied for, and received, a dispensation to hold its installation a week earlier than normal as several members were booked to attend the RWPGM's dinner on the 25th. The meeting was very well attended despite the early start: it was heartening to see the Lodge Room and dining hall full; four founder members were in attendance, a healthy contingent of regulars (including Brethren who had not yet been through all three degrees) and some fifteen visitors - one of whom had travelled all the way from Richmond. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Connor Ferguson (who had until now enjoyed the position of youngest Master on the circuit, but ceded that distinction to the visiting WM from Bridlington) opened the Lodge and welcomed the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Christopher J Thomas, before proceeding to install his successor, Bro Martin Edward Clark with excellent ritual.

The RTL is not terribly formal, so despite the seriousness of the ceremony it was managed with good humour. The installing DC, W Bro Stephen Hastings kept the momentum going, and once W Bro Clark was in the Chair, assisted by bringing the Officers to be invested with commendable celerity.

The Immediate Past Master, W Bro Terry Fisher (now appointed as Tyler) relinquished the opportunity of presenting the Past Master's jewel to his successor, but graciously deferred the task to the new Senior Warden, W Bro Johnathan Mark Mitchell Smith, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, as the jewel had originally belonged to his late father, a founder of the Lodge, and one of the first Worshipful Masters.

The festive board was excellent, and of particular note was the cake specially created for the occasion by Lindsey, the WM's wife. It was a model of King Solomon's Temple standing on a master mason's apron and it seemed a shame to cut it - but it was as delicious as it was good looking, and I confess I had a second portion. 

The soloists, W Bro David Burnett (Masonic Anthem) and W Bro Andrew Green (Song to the Master) were in good form and the Brethren joined in the choruses lustilly. It was an excellent evening, and all present look forward to seeing the Ridings Tablers' Lodge go from strength to strength. And Martin has plans for the future - watch this space . . .

[Photograph of the IPM, WM and the Representative, and Mrs Clarke's superb cake by W Bro J M M Smith.]

Eddie Wildman, Lodge Organist.

 

 

Tuesday 15th November 2022:

Hull Old Grammarians' Installation

While some Lodges have an early start for their Installation meetings, the Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129 only moved their start time back half an hour, and even then delayed opening the Lodge as some members were detained - there was a problem, apparently, with one of Hull's many bridges; substitute officers were found amongst the senior Brethren and the ceremony began under the mastership of the WM, W Bro Ian Dalton Storey. Grand Officers were saluted after which the DC for the Representative, W Bro Gary Shores introduced the official Provincial visitor, W Bro David Johnstone PPSGW. The WM dealt with necessary Lodge business before asking the Entered Apprentice to retire. This done, the Lodge was raised to the second degree with equal efficiency and the Master Elect, Brother Mark Kieran Luscombe was presented, and taken through the obligation peculiar to the Fellow Craft Degree.

The Lodge was raised further and all offices declared vacant. W Bro John Plater performed brilliantly as Installing DC, escorting the Installing Worshipful Brethren to their places and organising the retiring officers into smart columns. When the only Brother below the degree of a Master Mason remained, the Lodge was raised still further and Bro Luscombe took his obligation qualifying him for the Master's Chair and was duly installed.

W Bro Luscombe confidently lowered the Lodge to the first degree and appointed and invested his officers. In AOB before the closing, two Candidates were proposed, plus a rejoining member. There were were greetings given from eight sister Lodges; Humber Brethren in the persons of myself, Ian Syddall, Malcolm Forbes and Charles Alexander represented over 28% of the visitors.

The festive board was excellent, and afterwards W Bro Mike Harding sang Here's to his Health in a Song to the WM in a very musical rendition which was rewarded with acclamation from the Brethren.

[Photoograph of W Bro Luscombe by W Bro Peter Stokes, WM 78330

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Monday 14th November 2022:

For Charles Alexander's report on the LoI Open Night see this date on the LoI page.

 

Saturday 12th November 2022:

Lord Bolton Installation

I was tired after having played for the KT annual service at Selby Abbey in the morning, but Craig Maurier had taxied me there and back, bless him, so I managed to rest before Peter Spencer picked me up on the way to Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 at Beverley Road. This was an installation meeting, beginning at 5:00 pm. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Allan Armbrister was there too - he'd also been at Selby and would be driving on to Leeds later. The Worshipful Master, W Bro John Stebbings, opened the Lodge promptly and efficiently, and the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Stephen Cox, announced the arrival of the Assistant Grand Master, for whom a phalanx of Active Provincial Officers formed an impressive escort.

The next business was a succesful ballot for a new member, after which the Entered Apprentice retired and W Bro Stebbings raised the Lodge to the second degree. The DC, W Bro Alan Shand presented the Master Elect to the Lodge and Bro Martin Tompkins was obligated. The Lodge was raised to the third degree, and those Brethren below the degree of an Installed Master retired, returning their collars to W Bro Stebbings before departing for a period.

Then followed the "Inner Working" wherein Bro Martin Tomkins learnt the secrets restricted to an Installed Master and was installed into the Chair.

Master Masons were readmitted, and Bro Ian Fuller gave a ,masterly explanation of the Working Tools belonging to the third degree; later, the tools of the second degree were presented by  Bro Liam Gwatkin and those of the first degree by Bro Jamie Bird. The new WM invested and installed his team of officers, and it was well noted that the "light blue" Brethren were significantly involved - this was also mentioned during the Festive Board afterwards.

W Bro Peter Spencer PPJGW sang the anthem in the Lodge room, and the Master's Song after the meal - both good musical performances.

I will not dilate on the toasts except to say that while its future may have been in doubt two years ago, the current situation at Lord Bolton Lodge is positive. W Bro Tompkins spoke of his plans for the future with obvious enthusiasm before drawing the raffle, which I failed to win.

It had been a tiring day, and I was glad to leave for home, though I'd enjoyed the evening and the company round the table. I thought of W Bro Armbrister, who would still be driving as I typed up this blog, and reflected that while Freemasonry is sometimes hard work, it is certainly worth the effort.

Congratulaions, Lord Bolton!

[Photograph of (L - R) Allan Armbrister, AsstPGM, Steven Cox, Asst ProvDC and WM, W Bro Martin Tompkins by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, Installation Organist,

 

Friday 11th November 2022:

De la Pole Lodge 1605

The first working night after Installation saw the de la Pole Lodge 1605 perform a remarkable second degree ceremony. The Lodge opened promptly at 6:30 and the Worshipful Master, W Bro Philip John Cowing led from the front; the minutes being confirmed and a portion of the Ancient Charges read. Then, because of the date, a minute's silence was observed and the Secretary, W Bro Peter Spencer read out the names of those de la Pole Brethren who had perished in the war. Mindful of the conflicts still troubling our weary world, the Brethren stood in poignant respect.

It is a long-standing tradition that this Lodge, constituted in 1876, hears the minutes of the Lodge meeting a century ago, and it was noted that even then the Humber Lodge was visiting de la Pole Lodge. In those days the minutes would have been hand-written and read out at the beginning of the meeting; I wonder if perhaps we are losing the art of listening and skimming through electronic mail with unmasonic inattention.

Bro Steven Laird was examined in the questions leading to the second degree and he responded clearly and confidently. Young and hirsute, Brother Laird sported a magnificent bushy beard which gave him a biblical appearance, and this, combined with his strong voice inspired the Junior Deacon to present him to the WM and later the Senior Warden with equal authority. The Senior Warden, Brother Ian Fuller entrusted Brother Laird with the necessary passport to gain admission to a Lodge in the second degree and the Candidate retired.

On his readmission, his conductor was the Senior Deacon, Bro Fr G Thornally, who unhesitatingly directed him through the ceremony. The obligation was given by the WM, the secrets and signs were beautifully enunciated by W Bro Malcolm Brocklesby. Bro Fuller invested Bro Laird with the Apron, after which the address at the South East Corner was given by W Bro Roy Platten.  Bro John Holmes gave a powerful delivery of the working tools, after which the Lodge Chaplain, W Bro Mike Bastiman concluded the ceremony of passing with the Charge peculiar to that degree.

The Reports, having been delivered electronically were dealt with expeditiously, and the Secretary reported that he had received a complimentary letter from W Bro Richard Smedley of the Humber Lodge, who had represented the RWPGM on the occasion of the Installion. (See 14th October below.)

The meeting was well attended, some three dozen Brethren being there, and greetings were given from visitors from local Lodges, and one from a Lodge in Aberdeen.

Afterwards the Brethren retired to the Festive Board - Luke Pyrah's steak pie was well received. Only the first two toasts were submitted, so the evening was not overly long, and the Brethren departed in peace and harmony.

[Photograph of Fellowcraft Freemason Steven Laird by Bro Mike Kelly.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

Thursday 10th November 2022:

Thesaurus visit

It was a long but succesful night at the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 at Dagger Lane. Bro Carl Moore answered the necessary questions to qualify him to be raised to the third degree in Freemasonry with clarity and confidence. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Stephen Burns presided over a good team - W Bro David Harrison's delivery of the retrospect was outstanding, and W Bro Mark Rudstone's sepulchral performance of The Sprig of Acacia added a new dimension to the ritual. (The plant's remarkable ability to spring to life after long dormancy has made it an important symbol in Masonry and elsewhere; it denotes the immortality of the human spirit. The ancient Egyptians made funeral wreaths of acacia. Its water-resistant properties means it won't warp readily, it is resistant to fungus and naturally antibacterial. It is durable: the Ark of the Covenant and much of the lining of the walls of King Solomon's Temple were made with acacia wood.)

The Senior Warden, Bro Malcolm Dale not only invested Bro Moore with his new apron but also explained the Working Tools of a Master Mason, and the Secrets and Charge were delivered by W Bro Adrian Hayward. The Deacons, W Bro Nigel Bell and Bro Pericles Miller conducted Bro Moore through the ceremony with alacrity.

Downstairs we enjoyed Roy's famous steak pie, followed by sponge and custard. I confess it was all I could do to stay awake during W Bro Malcolm Forbes' response on behalf of the visitors, where he spoke eloquently about the meeting and the good time he'd had (and that he'd had two helpings of pudding.) His report on the evening may be found on the Andrew Marvell website,

I was delighted to have a lift home from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ian Johnson, who quietly applauded the work that had gone into making the evening so succesful.

[Photograph of SD Bro Pericles Miller, MM Bro Carl Moore and JD W Bro Nigel Bell by Eddie Wildman. Photograph of the acacia tree courtesy of the Internet.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

Wednesday 9th November 2022:

Minerva Lodge 250; Inner Guard's report

Playing the organ for the Minerva Lodge was even more a delight than usual as W Bro Tom McBroom was presented with a certificate recognising his fifty years of service in the Craft by W Bro Chris Brown PPJGW. However, instead of my customary ramblings, the remainder of this article is the work of Bro C Fear, Minerva Lodge's Inner Guard, who sat next to me as we listened to Tom being interviewed.

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

W Bro Tom McBroom was born in 1929, and grew up in Northern Ireland before and during the Second World War. He remembers his childhood fondly, though it was also touched with the sadness of losing members of his family in German attacks on Merchant Navy convoys in the North Atlantic. Later he himself went to sea, working as a marine engineer in conditions that most young men would probably now find intolerable —conditions that often involved rough seas, roasting hot machinery, and gloves lined with heat-proof asbestos. Having proved himself an effective foreman in construction in Northern Ireland, Tom was sent to Hull to “sort out the English”, since he had by this time established a reputation for getting his way with his subordinates, by physical force if necessary. However he found workplace customs in England rather different from what he was used to, explaining that, “In Northern Ireland, if a man didn’t like what you’d told him to do, you might have to have a fight, but you’d remain friends afterwards. But if you gave Englishmen an order they didn’t like, they’d want to talk about it”. Fortunately, Tom’s Irish negotiation style travelled well: “I’d say, ‘Well, I want to do it this way; you want to do it that way. We’re doing it my way’.” For much of this time, Tom was “a confirmed bachelor”, and enjoyed racing between Hull and the surrounding villages on his motorbike. But in a Hessle dancehall he met a young girl, Jean, and, determined not to let her get away, asked her to marry him. Shortly after they were married, they moved for Tom’s new job in West Africa. Children followed, and Tom now enjoys a large family, including great-grandchildren.

Tom finally joined the Minerva Lodge on 25th September 1972, aged 42. He’d known many Masons through the years, and had privately hoped that he might join. “You bloody fool”, his favourite uncle (also a Mason) told him one evening; “You have to let it be known that you’d like to join!”. Once in, Bro McBroom proved a valuable member, serving the Lodge in most of its offices, including as its Charity Steward, until he was elected to the Chair in 1986. Importantly, W Bro McBroom stayed to take up offices during the Lodge’s difficult lean years in the 2000s, and most deservedly, he was elected one of its honorary member in 2018.

[Photograph of WM David Green and Tom McBroom by Eddie Wildman.]

Bro. C. Fear

Inner Guard of the Minerva Lodge 250.

 

 Tuesday 8th November 2022:

W Bro David Terry PPSGW shares his insight

 

It has always been my opinion that Lodge Officers would benefit from a course at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art); the three degrees of Craft Masonry being allegorical dramas that have greater impact if the main players possess a modicum of acting skill.

This evening we had an Acting Tyler, Acting Inner Guard, Acting Senior Deacon, Acting Secretary, Acting Director of Ceremonies, Acting Chaplain who doubled-up as Acting Immediate Past Master and because of our Worshipful Master developing a serious reaction to his influenza vaccination, a very theatrical Acting Worshipful Master in the person of W Bro Eddie Wildman who kindly stepped into the role at very short notice. (Note the vagarity of our English language!)

Our November meeting is a business meeting but our Acting WM was quick to spot a visitor from Lincolnshire who had spent thirty years in Botswana. As this visitor was missing the African climate, he was extended a warm welcome.

The Lodge was opened in Due and Ancient Form and our Acting WM then proceeded to educate the assembled Brethren as to the origin of the word “Business”. This he explained was derived from the Old English bisignes, meaning care, anxiety, occupied or engaged (mid-14C.) This bisignes was replaced by busyness from 17th C.

How thoughtful of our Acting WM to provide such an appropriate educational nugget at such short notice. Once a teacher -------!

Our Business meeting progressed in a most orderly and efficient manner; Bro Charles Alexander being elected to the Chair of King Solomon for the ensuing year. Charles responded by thanking the Brethren for their unanimous support.

Our Treasurer was re-elected for another year.

Members of the Lodge Committee were elected and I found it most gratifying that amongst some of the “older faces” lurked some of our newer members.

A Tyler, a Representative on the Board of the MMHA and a Royal Arch Representative were duly appointed.

Pertinent aspects of the reports from the Lodge Almoner, Charity Steward, Royal Arch Representative and MMHA Representative were received.

It was proposed that a donation of two hundred pounds be given to National Gulf Veterans and Families Association to enable the re-introduction of “away-days”. This was passed unanimously as it had been at Humber Chapter at their last meeting. The Daggards, that group of Masonic theatrical performers also intimated that they would contribute one hundred pounds. Five hundred pounds to the NGVFA; a great result.

Greetings were given in the usual manner and the Lodge closed in Due and Ancient Form.

A most efficient and enjoyable business meeting!

The majority of the Brethren stayed on to enjoy an excellent Festive Board. Roy’s dumplings and an indulgent lemon tart adding to my personal enjoyment.

Toasts to His Majesty and our Grand Master were given and an “off the record” toast was proposed by our Acting WM to our Master Elect who responded.

We were reminded that our Lodge of Instruction Open Night is on Monday 21st November commencing at 6.30pm. Attendees should dress in a smart casual manner and sport as loud a tie as they possess!

The Parting Toast was submitted and I arrived home in time to disturb my wife watching I’m A Celebrity!

 

 David Terry, Lodge Almoner

 

  

Wednesday 19th October 2022:

Double Celebration in Kingston Chapter 1010: see the Humber Chapter Blog page!

 

Monday 17th October 2022:

The Holderness Lodge 3563 was keen to get started - all the Brethren chomping at the bit for a prompt opening under the gavel of the WM, Worshipful Brother Rich Tyson. There were about twenty-five present (with apologies from a number where ill health precluded attendance.) There was a succesful ballot for another Candidate - the WM announced that next month, like this, would be an initiation meeting.

The next business was to introduce Mr Les Howard to the mysteries of the first degree in Freemasonry. An ex military man with a severe haircut and upright posture, he confidently answered the questions put to him without prompting, and was led unflinchingly round the Lodge Room by the Junior Deacon, Bro Lee Atkinson despite the enthusiastic gavelling of the Wardens. He took his obligation without hesitation at the pedestal between the two globes used by the Holderness Lodge.

The celestial and terrestrial globes used to feature in many Lodges marking the hypothetical division between east and west, but this practice, popular in the Victorian era, has largely declined. Observant Brethren will however remark that they are depicted atop two pillars on the east wall in the Beverley Road Lodge building, and can be seen in smaller form on the Wardens' pedestals.

The subsequent floorwork was well delivered by both junior and senior members of the Lodge, and Brother Howard gave his full attention to the words addressed to him. It was interesting to hear the North East Corner address in a Geordie accent; W Bro Coates' distinctive tones encouraged the listening Brethren to give their full attention to this powerful message.

Reports followed, greetings were given - Brethren from Beverlonian Lodge 9084, Kingston Lodge 1010, the Lodge of St Andrew 4683 and of course Humber Lodge 57, premiere Lodge in the Province, complimented the WM and his team on the excellent ceremony.

The festive board toast to Bro Howard was proposed by Bro Paul Foster. The song was rendered by the Brethren - congratulations to the stand-in Junior Warden, W Bro Steve Cox, who discovered some notes never before delivered by the human voice. Bro Howard responded briefly and sincerely, saying he was looking forward to becoming a useful part of the Lodge.

 A pleasant evening!

[Photograph of Bro Howard and with his proposer, Bro Foster by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

Saturday 15th October 2022:

There were no visitors at the businesss meeting of the Technical Lodge 5666, but some twenty-seven Brethren were present, including me, an honorary member of the Lodge (and guest organist.) W Bro Rob Atkinson was in the Chair (his last complete meeting in the  capacity of Worshipful Master as next month he installs his successor) and at this meeting the necessary arrangements were made for the following year. The business was achieved with his customary efficiency; committee members were elected, the auditors appointed, etc.. The Treasurer's propositions were dealt with rapidly and without disputation. Reports followed, from the Charity Steward, W Bro Frank Lovely who thanked the Brethren for their support and generosity throughout the year, and proposed donations to both Dove House and the Ukranian appeal - both propositions were succesful.

The Almoner, Bro Bill Turner-Bone reported positively on the health of the Brethren and warned that Covid was still rife. There were reports from the Royal Arch Representative and the Lodge Membership Officer, who announced that the Lodge had gained seven members in the last eighteen months. The Lodge Mentor, W Bro Mike Cheeseman had distributed his report electronically. There was a reminder about the forthcoming Lodge of Instruction Open Night and a ballot (succesful) for an honorary member.

W Bro Steve Berry gave a succinct report on the management of the Beverley Road Masonic Hall Association, and how the institution had kept afloat during the pandemic despite some declining Lodge numbers and outstanding rent, and spoke of the various enterprises in the melting pot to improve the situation; rent increases were anticipated. 

When greetings were given, I spoke as an Officer of UGLE with a few observations which I have been asked to include. Here they are:

If you are interested in etymology – that is, the history of words and phrases, seeing how they have moved from one language to another, finding the linguistic bases of the words we use, you might consider the word “Technical”.

It goes back to Ancient Greece, to the word tekhne, which means art, skill or craft. The Romans pinched the word and turned it into technicus, but it wasn’t used in English until the early 1600s, Anglicised to “technical”. The “al” suffix tagged on the end comes from Middle English and simply means “related to”.

So when the word was first used in 1617, it meant “something related to art, skill or craft.”

As time went on, it became more specialised, and referred to the application of scientific knowledge, used for practical purposes. This was the meaning of the word when it was adopted by Hull Municipal Technical College, founded in 1894, to teach the valuable practical skills of industry and excellence to the youngsters in the city. The College had a number of Freemasons amongst the staff, and they got together to create a new Lodge in 1937, the Technical Lodge.

There have been many changes, since then – which is good – for we need change in order to develop. The venue of the Lodge has changed. The Brethren have changed – the ritual has changed. Change is necessary – without it we would still be living in caves and eating our meat raw.

Over history, most of the changes within mankind have taken place because of technology – and that word derives from the same root – as does the word technique.

 

This evening, we are on the cusp of another change in the Technical Lodge. We are now more diversified, more technology conscious than ever before. I’m sure that if one of the members from 1937 could leap forward in time and visit us here at Beverley Road, he’d be surprised at the changes that have taken place.

But I’m equally sure that he would recognise those aspects of the Technical Lodge reaching back into the past. This is very much a Craft Lodge, dedicated to industry and excellence. Of the many Lodges I visit, let me say how much I admire the Technical Lodge for the integration of its members, its commitment and dedication to the ancient meaning of the word – art, skill and craft, and for the promotion of excellence in these difficult times.

WM, Brethren, my congratulations to you all.

 

The Lodge was closed in due and ancient form, the Senior Warden Bro Nigel Goldthorpe recognising this was Rob Atkinson's "last closing as Worshipful Master." W Bro Atkinson thanked the Brethren for their support.

There being no visitors, toasts were minimised, but "Happy to meet again" was beautifully rendered in full harmony by David Turner, Phil Daniels and John Chapman; a sedate, moving performance before the Brethren joined in the final refrain: "Happy to meet, sorry to part, and happy to meet again."

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

 

Friday 14th October 2022:

The word installation traces back to the Latin word Installare, This combines in-, meaning "into" and stallum, meaning "place" or "stall". So a Masonic installation has to do with putting someone in a particular place, or seat in the Lodge. Tonight's ceremony at the De la Pole Lodge 1605 was one of installion; W Bro Philip John Cowing PPJGD was installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge. He in turn appointed and installed his officers - so many of the Lodge Officers began the meeting in one seat and finished in another. (The Guest Organist retained his place at the keyboard however.)

The Lodge opened promptly at five o' clock with W Bro Ben Kelly in the Master's Chair. His swift ritual and the well managed choreography characteristic of this ancient Lodge (consecrated 1876) had his successor in place within forty minutes. The  new Worshipful Master, W Bro Cowing presented his predecessor with the jewel of an Immediate Past Master along with the IPM collar.

It was a good ceremony: the Brethren had welcomed in the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Richard Smedley, elegant in tail coat and Grand Lodge Regalia and, of course, a member of the premiere Lodge as Senior Warden of Humber 57. The business was managed with alacrity without losing any dignity, under the direction of the Installing DC, W Bro Jim (Two Kilts) Kerr PPSGW who's Scottish lilt lent a musical quality to the proceedings. The addresses were given to the Master, Wardens and Brethren by senior Brethren, and Brother Robert Borkowski, appointed as Junior Warden, made his début as a singer with the Masonic Anthem - to spontaneous applause. (W Bro Phil Watts of Humber Lodge, and a guest of the WM - both Brethren of Trinity House in Hull - remarked at the Festive Board afterwards on the Junior Warden's fine voice and youthful good looks. "He's obviously been let out of school early to get here," he quipped.)

After the excellent meal we learned that the new Worshipful Master had previously held that office in 1991, in Wavertree Lodge 2294 in Liverpool. A photograph of the younger WM was passed round; W Bro Cowing said in his address that since that time his suit had shrunk and he was now dying his hair grey. W Bro Smedley tailored his response to the fifth toast to the de la Pole Lodge, and looked forward to its bright future with such obvious talent and commitment. W Bro Peter Spencer sang the Worshipful Masters Song and the Tylers Toast with his usual flair

I was delighted to win a bottle of Prosecco in the raffle.

It was a splendid evening - and over by ten o' clock. W Bro Richard Smedley gave me a lift home - I noticed as I left the car that the nearby Hull Fair was still in full swing. "I'm not even tempted to go for a ride on the dodgems," I said, "I'll do a quick report and then I'm straight to bed. Goodnight!"

[Photograph of Richard Smedley and Phil Cowing by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman Guest Organist

 

 

Thursday 13th October 2022:

Despite a couple of late withdrawals (Covid is still active, though not so much in the news) there were twenty-seven Brethren at Thesaurus Lodge 3891, including visitors from Technical Lodge 5666 and Phoenix Lodge 9663. The business was to raise Brother Neil Tomlin to the Third Degree. A valued member of the Lodge, Bro Tomlin is the Thesaurus Treasurer. By command of the Worshipful Master, W Bro Stephen James Burns, Brother Neil was placed in the confident hands of the Senior Deacon, Bro Pericles Miller and examined in the questions leading to the supreme degree, after which he was entrusted with the handshake and password and retired to prepare himself for the ceremony.

The Lodge was opened in the Third Degree, Bro Tomlin, escorted by both Deacons, was led around to the Wardens to prove his competency as a Candidate before approaching the Pedestal, where the WM's delivery of the obligation and explanation of the Square and Compasses was a paradigm of clarity.

The Master Masons' Degree is a dramatic ceremony, and I am sure Bro Tomlin fully appreciated it; in particular W Bro McKenna's narrative was gripping - indeed all the Brethren delivered excellent ritual. The visitors congratulated the WM and his team, and everybody congratulated Bro Neil. That some of the officers were stand-ins made the performance even more remarkable. W Bro Paul Hillary, Provincial Junior Grand Warden responded at the festive board on behalf of the visitors - he had known Brother Tomlin for many years, he said, and so had seized the opportunity to be at the Thesaurus Lodge on this occasion.

The October meeting is traditionally a Curry Night at the Thesaurus Lodge; might I suggest a visit to ask the Brethren why? It was a splendid evening - excellent company and excellent food after an excellent meeting.

[Photograph of Master Mason Neil Tomlin sandwiched by the Deacons, Bro Pericles Miller and W Bro Nigel Bell by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman - guest organist

 

Wednesday 12th October 2022:

The business of the evening for the Minerva Lodge 250 was the passing of Bro Joshua Smith to the degree of a Fellow-Craft Freemason. (Scroll down to 13th July for an account of his initiation.) However, although I was the Lodge Guest Organist I remained downstairs on this occasion, and the opening and closing odes were not sung. This was because the Festive Board following the meeting (continuing an initiative introduced by W Bro Danny Betts) was to include a number of non-masons, who had expressed an interest in the Craft and had friends among the members, and I was tasked to meet and greet them.

By all accounts the ceremony was a delight. Bro Josh responded flawlessly to the questions put to him and enjoyed an excellent Second Degree ritual: the WM, W Bro David Green, congratulated Bro Smith on his deportment through this important stage in his Masonic journey. The Brethren were are smiling when they came downstairs to the bar.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed the company of an early visitor, Mr Garry Buckle, who was joined shortly afterwards by Bro Terry Palmer who had arrived a little late from Hessle (the roads were clogged with merrymakers visiting Hull Fair.) Soon after, Mr Howard Thompson and Mr Rich Driver rang the bell for entry, and shortly after that we were augmented by Mr John Fee and his brother Mr Robert Fee, father and uncle to Bro Dave Fee who was at that time giving the address at the South-East Corner to the Candidate in the Lodge Room above. I had already been introduced to the Fees on an earlier occasion and shown them round the Lodge Room; Mr Driver already knew Bro Palmer, and I had met him and his friend Mr Thompson at the Mr and Mrs Sutherby wedding ceremony at the weekend (scroll down to 8th October.) The conversation flowed - and continued to flow at the Festive Board when the visiting gentlemen sat with the Brethren they knew and enjoyed the convivial company. I was pleased to commend them all to the Brethren.

The toasts were reduced to the essential two: to the King and the Craft, and to the Grand Master, but the Wardens explained their roles at the Festive Board giving a brief insight into some of the traditions of the ancient and respected Minerva Lodge,  consecrated in 1783. It was a worthy evening. Well done all!

 [Photo 1: Bro Joshua Smith, FCM. Photo 2:  John Fee, Howard Thompson, Garry Buckle, Terry Palmer, Rich Driver, Robert Fee.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Tuesday 11th October 2022:

Bro Robert Parkinson was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason at the regular Humber Lodge meeting in Dagger Lane. His answers to the questions were spot on - delivered with confidence and a sense of understanding that prevailed throughout the ceremony - I had the pleasure of presenting the Historical Oration and was aware that our Candidate was taking in every word. There were twenty-seven Brethren at the meeting, including a contingent from the Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129.

It was quite a long evening: the long closing is traditionally performed in October, and so only two toasts were submitted at the Festive Board, but the WM, W Bro Michael Edwin Potts took the opportunity to present Bro Parkinson with his Masonic VSL. "Now I've done my third degree," Robert told me, "I'm looking forward to visiting other Lodges and seeing how they do it." The Brethren were pleased to welcome him into the Lodge as our latest Master Mason.

The Lecture Master, Worshipful Brother Phil Watts exhorted the Brethren to attend the next Lodge of Instruction, reminding them that next month would be the traditional LoI Open Night and he wanted all the participants to be on song.

[Photograph of Bro Parkinson and W Bro Potts by Bro Matthew Barber.]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

Monday 10th October 2022:

Two Lodges unite for a joint Lodge of instruction - with fish & chips - see the LoI page for this date!

 

 

 

Saturday 8th October 2022:

Hearty congratulations to Wayne and Beci who became Mr & Mrs Sutherby at the wedding ceremony at Dagger Lane.

It was a splendid occasion in convivial company. The wedding took place in the Lodge Room - which was delightfully full (the photograph was taken afterwards!) after which all sallied below where the drinks flowed and the bar staff were kept busy.

The meal in the dining hall  was delicious. It was a happy gathering, full of laughter. Best wishes to the bride and groom, who looked terrific. Wayne is a member of the Minerva Lodge 250.

The DJ afterwards was Mark Hartley - Lodge Mentor.

The venue is authorised for wedding: see the Wedding Venue page.

Eddie Wildman, wedding organist.

 

Wednesday 5th October 2022:

Worshipful Brother Neil Armstrong PPGSwdB was looking particularly smart this evening and when I remarked that he was even more elegant than usual, confessed that a surfeit of festive boards in the past weeks had manifested in his masonic trousers splitting that morning. He'd been to Slaters for a larger pair, which they tailored for him on the spot. "We get a lot of Freemasons coming in for trousers," he was told. "So that's why you look so debonaire and urbane," I said, "Thank you for that delightful anacdote. I'll put it on the Humber website so that all can see that even the best of us have their trials and tribulations." Perhaps it was the new kegs that inspired his oratorical skills that evening - but I'll leave the account of the lecture to our own W Bro David Terry PPSGW to dilate on the meeting at Kingston Lodge.

Eddie Wildman, organist

 Kingston Lodge No1010: David Terry's account.


Wednesday 5th October was, as my Scottish wife would say, a dreich day. The skies were dark and intermittent bouts of rain blackened my mood as I surveyed the autumnal tasks that awaited me in the garden. Tasks for a day of more clement weather I decided.

As the late afternoon approached I felt less like turning out to attend Kingston Lodge but as I’d paid for the meal and I am their Provincial Liaison Officer I dragged on my Masonic uniform, located my mackintosh from the rear of the hall cupboard and jumped in the car. 

As I headed down West Ella Road the rain poured but in the driving mirror I was suddenly almost blinded by brilliant sunshine as the clouds parted. Before me was the most spectacular double rainbow that I had ever seen in my life. My mood lifted.

The welcome at Kingston Lodge was second to none. I am getting to know the Brethren and their Masonic greetings were heart warming and sincere. W.Bro. Michael Price, the Master of the Lodge made a special point of engaging me in conversation and making me feel at home.

The Lodge was opened promptly at 6.30pm, the three visitors welcomed and a silence was observed in respect of the passing of our late Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II. I had had a moment of indecision earlier in the day as I surveyed my increasingly large collection of Masonic ties and was glad I had opted for the plain black one.

After the usual formalities of the Ancient Charge and approval of the minutes, item four on the agenda was to receive “a Nugget of Reflection” from W.Bro Neil Armstrong, the secretary of Kingston Lodge. I was expecting a couple of educational sentences taken from the excellent learning tool “Solomon” but the Brethren were treated to an illustrated talk on “Freemasonry and the Monarchy”. This was not a long presentation but it was wonderfully researched and illustrated. It commenced with the earliest monarch, King Solomon, and concluded with reference to the late Queen’s cousin our Grand Master, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and his brother Prince Michael of Kent who is the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex. Sandwiched in between these were references to the late Duke of Edinburgh, King George VI, Edward VIII, Edward VII and George IV, to name but a few!

The talk was so enlightening and well presented that I enquired of Neil if he would be willing to repeat his short lecture for the benefit of Humber Brethren. He agreed subject to diary availability.

The rest of the meeting proceeded as per the summons with the presentation of the accounts and nominations for the post of Treasurer. I was particularly delighted for the Brethren of Kingston Lodge when a new member was proposed. Kingston, like many Lodges has struggled with attendees since the pandemic and deserves to succeed. More treats were in store as the Master announced that he was to raise the Lodge to the Third Degree and then proceeded to perform a full closing. W Bro Price and his team performed this ritual with sincerity and aplomb.

An excellent Festive Board was enjoyed in the company of the most convivial Brethren and as I journeyed home I ruminated on what had been a most enjoyable visit, maybe not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but pretty damn close! 

David Terry, Provincial Liaison Officer

[Photograph of Neil Armstrong by Bro Wayne Walker]

 

 

Monday 3rd October 2022:

After we stood in silent respect for the passing of her Majesty the Queen, the atmosphere in the Humber Installed Masters Lodge 2494c became more relaxed. "It is poignant," the Worshipful Master, W Bro Danny Betts PPSGD remarked, "that at our last meeting we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of her Majesty the Queen and now we pay tribute to her passing."

A ballot for two new members was held and proved succesful, after which the Brethren sat back to enjoy a lecture from W Bro Craig Maurier, ProvGStwd (Lincs), the HIM Director of Ceremonies.

Craig spoke persuasively on "the Mason's Journey from Initiate to Companion" mentioning the move from the immediacy of life (and death) on earth to the consideration of the spiritual aspects that contribute to the complete making of a man and his relationship with the Divine. He invited the Brethren to speculate on the underlying messages of the Craft, placing them into historical perspective the better to appreciate the subtleties of meaning which might otherwise be unnoticed. The development of Royal Arch Chapters from the Ancient Third (Installed Master's) Degree was illustrated with reference to early Scottish workings and, of course, the healing of the rift between the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges when the United Grand Lodge of England came into being.

A technical hitch precluded the viewing of the final slides, but Craig, unperturbed, concluded with an exhortation: "We should all take the time to understand what our ritual is teaching us," he said. I felt that we had all made a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge - indeed, several weeks' worth! The Brethren applauded spontaneously and heartily.

The festive board had an Italian theme; the WM promised Christmas fare at the next meeting, and we departed in peace and harmony.

[Photograph of W Bro Craig Maurier by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, Chaplain

 

 

Saturday 1st October 2022:

"Congratulations, Worshipful Master," said W Bro Tony Burke on the first rising at the end of the ceremony, "that was one of the best second degree ceremonies I've ever seen." As the other Officer of Grand Lodge present, I heartily agreed with the Acting IPM/Chaplain (the actual IPM, W Bro Tony Dickens was standing in as Inner Guard and Prompter at a moment's notice) and added my congratulations when responding as a member of Humber 57.

Attendance was diminished with a number of last-minute apologies; some regulars were awaiting surgical procedures and a recent upsurge of a covid variant has discouraged otherwise frequent but elderly attendees, but surprisingly, this led to a determined commitment to make sure that Brother Peter Brown's second degree was memorable. A certain flexibility was necessary - but it worked amazingly well. I had expected to give the address at the South East Corner - now I had the privilege of explaining the Working Tools as well - and others multitasked. W Bro Gary Shores took notes as the Lodge Secretary, but was acting Chaplain (except on the occasion when Tony Burke seamlessly intoned the closing prayer) as well as acting Senior Deacon - he took on other roles at the Festive Board. 

It was a fine performance, and the Candidate, Brother Peter George Alan Brown was well and truly obligated by the Worshipful Master, entrusted with the signs and the word by the Lodge DC and invested by the Senior Warden, Bro Tom Baxter; it is unusual to have a Candidate where the cords of the apron can be wrapped round him three times. Brother Brown was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason in due and ancient form with sincerity and panache.

The visitors from De la Pole Lodge 1605 enjoyed the evening, and W Bro Russ Garbutt spoke encouragingly about the delights of seeing other Lodges at work; he said how much they had appreciated the welcome, the ceremony, the festive board and the company and exhorted Bro Brown to make a return visit to the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull.

It was good to see the Worshipful Master, W Bro Mark Fox leading the ceremony without notes of any kind - a fine example to all especially as this was his first working night.  Congratulations, Beverlonian Lodge 9084.

[Photograph of Bro Brown in his Fellow Craft Apron by W Bro Gary Shores, ProvGStwd.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

Monday 26th September 2022:

Andrew Marvell's first post-recess meeting was graced by four visitors, including W Bro Mike Potts, Master of the Humber Lodge, who kindly picked me up and drove me back home afterwards. W Bro Malcolm Forbes welcomed everyone, and we stood in respectful silence for the late Queen. Malcolm gave a brief eulogy for Bro Peter Atkinson, who had also died since the last AM 5642 meeting. The speaker that evening was the Senior Warden, W Bro Chris Lefevre was born in the reign of George VI and has lived through the reign of Elizabeth II, and now boasts he has existed through the reigns of three monarchs, with King Charles III currently awaiting his coronation.

Fortunately his talk did not encompass his life story, but focussed on the years when he was in submarines. At over six foot tall he seems an unlikely candidate for such a job, but he spoke interestingly about his stint on HMS Ganges and work on a destroyer before  continuing his naval career under the waves. "Imagine between sixty and eighty men in the confined space of a cylinder not as long and half as wide as this room," he said, "and you'll have some idea what I'm talking about." He dilated on the sleeping conditions - packed between the torpedoes - the berths constantly occupied as one man would get in as another left "- Hot bunking, we called it." Tales of travelling the world ("I remember when the entire crew of HMS Alliance were arrested for being blind drunk and disorderly - that was in Canada") and the peculiarities of the diminutive kitchens, cramped motor rooms and hazardous submarine toilets in the pre-nuclear days were dilated upon.

The illustrations needed the technical skill of W Bro Richard Green to become evident, but it was clear at the conclusion of Chris's talk that he had enjoyed the camaraderie of those bearing the badge ("We come unseen") and that this was the reason he had joined Freemasonry.

Reports followed and the Worshipful Master closed the Lodge. W Bro Michael Potts responded on behalf of the visitors at the Festive Board, saying that he had thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

[Photograph of Chris Lefevre trying to set up the screen beforehand by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Saturday 24th September 2022:

The first installation meeting of the Juno Lodge 10001 took place at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull, tyling at 10:30 am. It was well supported: the RWPGM, R W Bro Dr David Chambers was there accompanied by a team of active provincial officers. W Bro James Kerr PPSGW took the Chair for the opening, and a dispensation for the meeting at this changed venue was read out by the Secretary, W Bro James Steele PPGPurs. The Active Team entered under the direction of the Provincial DC, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Jonathan Smith and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Ian Johnson took their places, and the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Doctor David Chambers entered with due ceremony, taking the Master's Chair by right. He relinquished it after a few words, saying that it was his intention that everyone enjoyed themselves. When W Bro Kerr resumed his place, there was a minute's silence in respect to the late queen.

The Juno Lodge 10001 is a University Scheme Lodge. Consecrated in October 2021 it is also a member of "The Association of Medical, University & Legal Lodges" (AMULL) Today the Lodge was taken through the degrees, the Entered Apperentices retiring first, after which the Master Elect, W Bro Paul Harper PJGD (and Second Provincial Grand Principal) was presented and obligated. The Fellow Crafts left, and after appointing an Installing Team, the WM declared all offices vacant.  The room was still well filled even when the Master Masons retired, and W Bro Kerr installed his successor expeditiously, pointing out the three Great Lights in FM and their application to a Brother placed in the Chair of King Solomon.

The Lodge was lowered through the degrees and W Bro Peter Spencer PPGTyl sang the Masonic Anthem as the Brethren perambulated under the direction of the Installing DC, W Bro Barrie Jeffery PPGSuptWks. The newly installed WM thanked everyone there for their contributions "from Entered Apprentices to the Provincial Grand Master." Reports followed, greetings were extended, and the RWPGM and his team retired while W Bro Harper closed the Lodge (but returned for photographs.)

The excellent festive board concluded (with the Master's song delivered by Peter Spencer, who was joined by Jim Kerr in the Song to the visitors) many of the Brethren left, but there were still plenty remaining for a lecture from W Bro Darren Desker of Singapore entitled "What is Freemasonry?" Unfortunately he had tested positive for covid and was unable to travel to the UK, but W Bro Barry Longstaffe ProvGStwd arranged for a Zoom performance.

I rolled home, my tummy full of good food and my head full of good thoughts. It had been a satisfying day. Many thanks to W Bro James Steele PPGPurs for the invitation to attend.

Well done, Juno Lodge. "Sapere aude" - "Dare to be wise".

[Photographs of John Rees taking a photograph of the Provincial Officers, Paul Harper at dinner and Bazza Longstaffe just after dinner by Eddie Wildman]

 Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

Friday 23rd September 2022:

Congratulations to joint Candidates Bros Ian Brough and Graham Hutchcroft, who having been initiated together the previous September, were now taking their Second Degree together, uniquely under the mastership of the Primus Master of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586. W Bro Burnett PJGD had kindly agreed to take the Chair on this occasion as the current Master was in America. It was a happy occasion at Trinity Lane, Beverley. After a minute's silence in respect for our departed monarch, W Bro Burnett opened the Lodge with great authority and panache. Three UGLE Officers were in attendance, David, myself as PGOrg and W Bro Jonathan Smith, PGStB but also the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and he was saluted as such. Numbers were slightly down, as with many Lodges - one of the many knock-on effects of the covid pandemic - but there were nineteen there, including three visitors.

Brothers Brough and Hutchcroft are of different heights but managed to keep in step together under the guidance of the Deacons, W Bro Andrew Green standing in for the SD while Bro Paul Holland performed his duties with dignity. The answers to the questions were given with accuracy and precision, and the Candidates retired for preparation, during which time the Lodge was raised to the Second Degree, and reports were heard from the Almoner, Membership Officer and Mentor. On their readmission, Bros Brough and Hutchcroft were obligated by the WM, instructed in the secrets by the Deputy PGM, invested by the SW, Bro Martin Clark and placed in the south-east corner of the Lodge where the Lodge Secretary, Chris Woodhead exhorted them to extend their researches into the hidden mysteries of N and S.  I had the privilege of explaining the Working Tools of a Fellow Craft Freemason.

Back in the First Degree, a joint ballot for a Candidate for Initiation and for a joining member proved succesful, and there was a report on behalf of the Cornerstone Club (formerly the Light Blues) who were represented among the visitors, and indeed, have increased their numbers subsequently. Stephen Hastings modestly drew the Lodge's attention to a Certificate awarded to the Lodge for Service to the Community - Stephen has been particularly active in this regard. The WM ordered the Lodge closed in due form and the Brethren retired to the dining room below for an excellent meal. 

 [Photograph of Bros Brough and Hutchcroft by Bro Mike Kelly of de la Pole Lodge 1605]

Eddie Wildman, Lodge organist.

 

Thursday 22nd September 2022:

W Bro Paul Ralph, Master of Alexandra Lodge 1511, responded eloquently to the toast to the visitor at the Lodge of St Michael 7833. While the Lodge had been efficiently opened and the necessary business dealt with upstairs before the closing hymn, the highlight of the evening on this sexagesimus Founder's Night took place in the dining room, with W Bro Terry Lynn giving an illustrated account of his upbringing in London, his subsequent career, and involvement in Masonry from Tenerife to Scotland. Happy memories of inwells and milk monitors showed the changing face of the country, and the changes in Freemasonry both geographically and socially. W Bro Paul mentioned his Masonic experience in Australia, and heartily agreed with W Bro Lynn on the the pleasures of visiting. 

It was heartening to see the Brethren nodding during the presentation: "I had a motorbike like that!" "We lived in a prefab just like that in Hull!" "I can't stand jellied eels!" "Terry Lynn was fifteen years old when this Lodge was founded!"

This was the first time the WM, W Bro Peter Stokes, had submitted the toasts according to the new list: two verses of the national anthem were sung on this occasion, There were also two toasts not usually given: to the Founders, of course, after which the WM was invited to cut the cake - it looked wonderful, it seemed a shame to have to cut it (it was delicious too) - this being the sixtieth anniversary of the Lodge, and to the Master himself. It was a happy evening in pleasant company, and the Brethren left with smiles on their faces.

 [Photo of Terry Lynn by Peter Stokes. Photo of Peter Stokes cutting the cake by Shaun Rennison.]

 Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

 

 Tuesday 20th September 2022:

Congratulations to Brother Mark Starkey who has now been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason! LIke so many Lodges at the moment the Phoenix Lodge 9963 was a little down on numbers, but the fifteen Brethren there did a little swapping around (W Bro Danny Betts stood in as Junior Deacon, for Bro Starkey was the Candidate that evening and therefore couldn't conduct himself around the Lodge) and Bro Mark became a Master Mason according to ancient custom. There were no visitors that evening in the upper room of the Sailmakers' Arms to remark on the differences in the ritual practised by the Phoenix Brethren, but everyone present enjoyed the ceremony - especially our new Master Mason, who had responded well to the questions and paid close attention to the proceedings. The WM, W Bro Richard East thanked the team afterwards for their efforts. While the Phoenix Lodge does not generally follow the meeting with a Festive Board, it is pleasant to enjoy a libation or two from the bar downstairs - many thanks to Dennis, the Landlord, who looks after us well!

 Eddie Wildman, Tyler

 

Monday 19th September 2022:

This was an unusual day; a bank holiday on account of the funeral of her late Majesty. Not all the Holderness Lodge members attended, but there were six visitors from five Sister Lodges, so we numbered over two dozen Brethren at Beverley Road for the occasion of the passing of Bro Andrew Holbrook to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason.

The Lodge was opened in due form, the Worshipful Master, W Bro Rich Tyson asked the Brethren to stand in recognition of our departed Queen. The 3563 minutes being confirmed, the DC, W Bro Paul Greenwood, gave a moving eulogy for the recently departed W Bro Charles Walter Gwilliam. There was then a ballot for a new member, which proved succesful. Only then was Bro Holbrook examined in the the questions leading to the second degree, and he answered with aplomb. He told me afterwards he'd felt very nervous, but it didn't show.

At this point the two Entered Apprentices were asked to leave the Lodge Room for the time being, and I retired with them and spent a happy forty minutes explaining those aspects of the Craft which may be seen on a Grand Lodge Certificate. Matt and Andy were very able students, asking pertinent questions and showing a comendable understanding of the symbolism.

We returned to the Lodge Room when Fellow Craft Brother Holbrook retired, having all all made an advancement in Masonic education.

At the excellent Festive Board the Worshipful Master took the opportunity publically to congratulate our chef, Luke Pyrah on the birth of his son the day before. I include his picture (Luke, not his son!)

By all accounts it had been an excellent ceremony despite the stand-ins. W Bro David Green of Minerva Lodge 250 who responded on behalf of the visitors told Bro Holbrook that he would be unlikely to witness a better.

Despite the number of items on the agenda, we were finished by 9:30 and left in peace and harmony.

[Photograph of Luke Pyrah, first-time dad, by Eddie Wildman]

 

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Saturday 17th September 2022:

All the Brethren wore black ties and a minute's solemn silence was observed after the Technical Lodge 5666 opened in due form. Numbers were a little down; twenty-six attended, including the visitor, W Bro Peter Stokes of the Lodge of St Michael 7833. Nonetheless, it was an excellent ceremony, continuing the high standards promulgated by this Lodge.

Brother Ed Thompson, one of the tallest members, towered above the Junior Deacon, Bro Alan Large as he answered the necessary questions to pass to the Second Degree in Freemasonry. He responded superbly, not having memorised the answers to the questions as a mere recital of words, but with real understanding. He retired for preparation and the Secretary, W Bro Mike Cheeseman, Provincial Grand Mentor, escorted the remaining Entered Apprentice out of the Lodge for instruction. The WM, W Bro Rob Atkinson, opened the Lodge in the Second Degree.

Bro Thompson reentered, now under the direction of the Senior Deacon, Bro Ash Vesali, and was fluently obligated.

The floor-work was excellent as usual: Bro Bill Turner-Bone, who had distinguished himself magnificently in the recent coast-to-coast Charity Cycle ride, demonstrated the signs peculiar to this degree with his customary measured ritual. As he is the only member of the Lodge taller than Bro Thompson, I was straining my neck looking at the two of them. The Senior Warden explained the Apron of a Fellow Craft Freemason. W Bro Tony James gave the Address at the South-East Corner, and the Working Tools were expounded in a beautiful Scottish lilt by W Bro Jack Dalziel. Bro David Turner delivered the Charge, and Bro Thompson left the Lodge to restore himself.

Back in the First Degree, the EA, Bro John Atkinson (the WM's father - see 19th February below) was readmitted, and various reports were given. Fellow-Craft Ed Thompson elegantly clad with his Entered Apprentice Apron joined the Brethren for the closing. I gave a brief report of the United Grand Lodge proceedings from Wednesday (see the article below) remarking that now the toast list was substantially changed.

The Festive Board was as good as ever. The visiting Brother, W Bro Peter Stokes responded appropriately to his toast congratulating Bro Thompson and extolling the value of visiting. He said that he had thoroughly enjoyed the evening. So had we all.

[Photograph of Bro Ed Thompson, FC by W Bro Paul Hillary, ProvJGW]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Wednesday 14th September 2022:

Grand Lodge in London

Normally I can't attend the Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge but on this occasion the Trinity House School Service wasn't taking place, so I booked for London to see the Installation of the new Pro Grand Master, Jonathan Spence. The Grand Master himself, the Duke of Kent would not be there; as a member of the Royal Family, he would be in mourning for the Queen, who had died less than a week ago. Indeed, London would be busy with preparations for the funeral, I reflected, as I dozed in my reserved seat. There was to be a ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall that day, and many people were travelling simply to be there.

A word about the term "Pro" Grand Master, which is not the same as "Provincial" Grand Master. When the Grand Master is a member of the royal family, it is customary for him to appoint a Pro Grand Master, who fulfills the role of Grand Master when he is unavailable due to his royal duties. Thus the "pro" means "in place of, on behalf of." The Pro Grand Master is distinct from the Deputy Grand Master. The Pro Grand Master from 2009 has been Peter Lowndes until his recent retirement - but more of that later.

I'd forgotten what early mornings were like (the joys of retirement!) and the alarm at 05:30 was an intrusion, but I heaved myself out of the pit and readied myself for the London trip. It wan't raining, and a bus arrived to take me to the station, so I didn't have to walk. Consequently there was plenty of time at Hull Paragon - I met W Bro Danny Betts who was taking the 06:25 to London - but I was booked for the 06:58, due to arrive at Kings Cross at 09:54.

Unusually I was extraordinarily lucky with trains - there were no delays with leaves on the line, bodies on the line or the Picadilly Line. There was no problem at Kings Cross, either - and I was pleased to see my route to the Underground confirmed by other serious looking chaps in mourning suits and black ties, I followed the dark blue signs for Picadilly and a tube arrived immediately. Holborn was only two stops away, and Great Queen Street a short walk. Indeed, I took longer working out where to go to change in Grand Lodge than I'd taken getting from King's Cross to Holborn. Even at this early hour the place was heaving.

It was with a frisson of sadness I picked up the June Quarterly Communications (effectively the extended minutes of the last meeting) and the September booklet; the former a cheerful booklet with the arms of UGLE in colour on the front with the words "The Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II", the latter soberly edged in black.

Rather than join the other United Grand Lodge Officers on the main floor, I secured a west balcony seat commanding a superb view of the Temple from ceiling to floor. I wasn't the only one. W Bro Alan Armbrister, our own Assistant PGM joined me, along with W Bro Andy Hinchcliffe, who tried to reserve seats for the other YN&ER guys, but the place filled up quickly and it wasn't possible. I spotted Danny Betts and Richard Theaker of Minerva Lodge amongst the throng on the north balcony, but couldn't locate our Immediate Past PGM or any of the others. I know they were there - I met some of them afterwards. I felt enormously proud when our own Richard Smedley spoke into the microphone bidding us good morning - the H57 SW had a speaking part! Admittidely, it was only instructions what to do in case of fire, but he did it very well. (Richard's comments on this last fortnight can be found on the Members Page.) RWBRo Dr David Chambers, our Provincial Grand Master, was there in procession on the main floor.

As both Peter Lowndes and Jonathan Spence remarked, an historic occasion (so important as to justify the silent aitch) - the first time that three Rulers were installed in one ceremony. The last official ceremony where Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes presided was at York where he installed our RWPGM - see 30th June below. The Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Charles Hopkinson-Woolley was equally impressive - the ceremony was finely tuned. The extensive processions of dignitaries went by without a hitch, with suitably maestoso organ music.

The business, following the confirmation of the June minutes, was preceded by a minute's silence, and the Brethren all remained standing while the Grand Organist played the solemn Dead March from Handel's oratorio Saul. This tune is well known to Master Masons. This time, however, it was not played as an accompaniment to The Sprig of Acacia or as perambulation melody, but as a piece of music in its own right, with people listening to it properly. This pleased me mightily.

The Past Pro Grand Master then installed RWBro Jonathan Spence as Pro Grand Master. He was saluted with eleven - which when executed by over two thousand men in white gloves was startling - like flocks of doves taking to the air. The newly-installed RWBro Pro GM installed RWBro Sir David Hugh Wootton as Deputy Grand Master and RWBro David John Medlock, Deputy Lieutenant, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset, as Assistant Grand Master.

The Report of the Board of General Purposes was taken as read as it appeared on the accompanying document (it dealt with juresdictions, attendance overseas, recognition of foreign Grand Lodges, Project Hermes, amalgamations, erasures and in memoriam.) We sang the first two verses of the National Anthem, the huge hall filled with melody, and the Grand Lodge was closed - grandly.

         Thy choicest gifts in store
          On him be pleased to pour,
          Long may he reign.
          May he defend our laws,
          And ever give us cause,
          To sing with heart and voice,
          God save the King.

I reflected on this afterwards, packing up my pinnie. Long Live the King. He is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, and the oldest person to assume the throne, at the age of seventy-three. I was proud to be there in London. proud to be a Freemason, proud to be a Brit. My thoughts turned to the Queen's cousin, Edward, Duke of Kent who is the Grand Master and wondered if he'd been part of the procession following the coffin that morning. He'd shaken my hand and invested me with my Grand Lodge collar - it seemed years ago.

It reminded me of the standards we represent.

It led me to consider what the Craft is all about. Obviously, ideas differ: to some it is a dining club and an opportunity to go out with the lads a few times during the year. Some say it is an escape from the wife. Some profess to enjoy the ritual, but make little effort to commit it to memory - and this can spoil the flow of a ceremony for others - especially candidates. I concede that some have difficulty in learning - but I have little sympathy with the schoolboy selection of puerile excuses offered. Maybe that's the old teacher talking. My own memory has certainly deteriorated post-covid, so I have no right to criticise. I think that what irritates me most is the lack of effort - when someone has done their best, we can ask no more. But if there is no understanding - words mispronounced and no idea of their meaning - then I think there is cause for concern.

The studied civility at Grand Lodge had greatly impressed me. It seems that of late there has been too much inappropriate humour and even rudeness in some local Lodges. High standards have plummeted, and the consideration we profess for other people ignored. But at UGLE the formal courtesy was exquisite and meaningful. Or, I thought, as I made my way to the exit, was I becoming an intolerant "tutter"? But I do abhorr discourtesy.

I met Bill Glanville, Provincial Grand Secretary, Chris Thomas, Third Grand Principal and Jonothan Smith, Deputy Provincial Grand Master outside and completely failed to take a photograph . (But you can see them on the Provincial website.) We strolled past the Connaught Rooms and crossed to Weatherspoon's (Shakespeare's Head) but (as Chris said - I concurred, but it didn't stop the others) it was a little early to start drinking. I had a coffee (pay at the bar then help yourself from the machine) but left before the food arrived (the Brethren were all peering at the online menu on their phones, tapping in what they wanted, paying by phone and waiting for their orders to be brought to the table. No need to leave your seat.) I sighed quietly - the world seems to be leaving me behind.

I wandered to the nearby British Museum, but I was still wired from the ceremony and the caffeine hit hadn't helped. I couldn't really concentrate. But I was delighted with the Ming dynasty glazed dragon tiles and thought they'd look good in my bathroom.

And so to the train home - a journey almost without incident. It was very full, and the ticket inspector reprimanded the young lady who'd slipped into the unreserved seat beside me as she was not on her designated train (I don't know if she'd missed one or was simply taking a chance - I suspect she was trying to catch an earlier train than the one on her ticket) and was told very firmly that she was liable to a fine, but he'd let her off this time. Towards the end of the journey the ticket inspecter approached me and asked if I was a music teacher. I admitted it, and he smiled. "Mr Wildman," he said, "you used to teach me. I remember your moustache!"

Sic transit gloria mundi.

I made haste from the station to Dagger Lane.

Minerva Lodge in Hull

I was only a few minutes late for the Minerva meeting; when I arrived the Lodge was holding a minute's silence. I changed back into regalia, shook hands with Mr Holtby, the Candidate, who was waiting outside, and was admitted on a report.

Bro Chris Fear, the Inner Guard is an excellent ritualist, and his masterful challenging of the Candidate at the door set the tone for the rest of the evening. W Bro David Green, the Worshipful Master, had thoroughly learned the ritual and his obligation of Mr Holtby inspired the Brethren to do the same; the words were beautifully paced and directed to the Candidate, who was obviously paying great attention. I had the privilege of presenting three Master Mason certificates. Although a number of the Minerva Brethren hadn't made it back from London (being booked into a later train) the Lodge was well attended - thirty-three Brethren signed the attendance register.

I was pleased to give Grand Lodge greetings, and briefly to explain what had transpired in London that morning, advising that Minerva Lodge would undoubtedly be one of the first to utilise the new toast list at the Festive Board. There, a toast was also proposed to the newest Brother, Phillip Holtby, who responded eloquently. The singing, however, was not a patch on that in Grand Lodge.

[Photograph of Bro Holtby by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

 

Tuesday 13th September 2022:

There were no visitors and the attendance was low at the regular meeting of the Humber Lodge 57. This was partly because of holidays (children being back at school gives grandparents a good opportunity to escape) and partly because some Brethren had travelled to London to stay overnight as they had duties to perform at the United Grand Lodge meeting the following day. One such was W Bro Richard Smedley AGDC (scroll down to 28th April) so Bro Charles Alexander stood in for him as Senior Warden. Bro Ian Douglas stood in for the Tyler, W Bro Syddall.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Mike Potts, opened the meeting, and after the minutes were signed the Brethren stood in silence for a minute in respect for the late Queen. The next business was to raise Bro Jack Thundercliffe to the sublime degree of a Master Mason: the Lodge was opened in the Second degree and Jack was examined in the questions by the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Bylov PPGSptW and answered confidently and accurately.

As he retired to prepare himself under the guidance of Bro Douglas, the Lodge was opened in the Third degree.

After being obligated by the WM, Bro Thundercliffe, under the guidance of Bro Craig Fish, stood to hear the Third Degree ritual well delivered by Senior Past Masters of the Lodge. W Bro Trevor Whitfield gave the Retrospect and consequent enactment; W Bro Winston Pannett gave a stunning historical oration. W Bro Terry Fisher explained the Secrets and W Bro Philip Watts gave a flawless rendition of the Working Tools. W Bro Craig Maurier delivered the Charge.

W Bro Bylov put the Wardens thnrough their paces in the questions following the third degree - these are essential for entry into the Chapter at a later date. Master Mason Jack retired to restore himself and reentered with his MM apron (explained to him by the Acting SW, Bro Alexander) in time for the closing of the Lodge.

The Festive Board was convivial: the loyal toast to the King and the Craft was submitted, followed by the toast to the Grand Master.

Congratulations to Brother Jack Angus Thundercliffe, now a Master Mason amongst us!

[Photograph of the WM and Bro Thundercliffe by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman IPM

 

 

 

Saturday 10th September 2022:

The attendance at the Beverlonian Lodge Installation meeting was lower than normal, but, as the Junior Warden, W Bro Alan Woodeson remarked at the Festive Board afterwards, the decline of numbers in organised societies was endemic. However, the date of the meeting had been changed from the regular first Saturday of the month on this occasion, and the death of the Queen two days ago had undoubtedly and understandably reduced enthusiasm for merriment. The occasion was 9084's annual Installation; W Bro Tony Mark Dickens, the outgoing WM, said that he was very happy to pass on the Master's duties to Brother Mark Alan Fox, and the ceremony was indeed a success.

A two minute silence was observed at the beginning of the meeting as a mark of respect for our departed monarch, ending with the words "God save the King" - a reminder to all members of the Craft of the allegiance due to the sovereign of that land whence they derived their birth and infant nurture. The Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro David Johnstone, PPSGW was admitted under the direction of his DC.

W Bro Rod Taylor presented Bro Fox as a Candidate for Mastership with his usual elegant authority when the Lodge was in the 2nd degree; he continued as Installing DC as W Bro Malcolm Booth took on the role of Installing SW, W Bro Alan Woodeson continued as Installing JW, W Bro Chris Bodsworth acted as Installing Chaplain, and W Bro John McGorrigan acted as Installing Inner Guard. The placing of these senior Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge Officers lent an authoratative air to the proceedings which were conducted with dignity.

the Lodge was raised to the third degree and the responsibilities of a Master about to take the Chair were recited. All below the degree of a Master Mason then retired, and the somewhat unusual working of the Degree of an Installed Master took place, the readings powerfully delivered. Bro Fox was readmitted and Installed into the Master's Chair according to ancient custom.

The Master Masons, Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices were called upon to reenter the Lodge, while at each lowering of the Lodge those below the degree of an Installed Master perambulated round the Lodge, led by W Bro Taylor, while W Bro Paul Ralph sang the Masonic Anthem in the manner one would expect from a Daggard and a vocalist - that is to say, superbly.

The Working Tools of each degree were well delivered, as were the Addresses to the WM, the Wardens and to the Brethren. The newly installed WM thanked the Installing Team, and the IPM responded on their behalf. W Bro David Johnstone presented the IPM with his jewel of office, and Brother Ben Fuller with his Grand Lodge certificate. Worshipful Brother Mark Fox closed the Lodge in due form.

The Festive Board (roast beef and Yorkshire pudding) was delicious. W Bro David Johnstone remarked it was the best food he'd tasted at Trinity Lane Beverley for years - all credit to Bro Keiran Newton, who has taken on the catering and is diligently training an assistant chef. The national anthem was sung preceding the toast to the King and the Craft. Paul Ralph sang the music toasting the WM: "Here's to his health in a song!"

Despite the low numbers it was a succesful evening - and people left with smiles on their faces, bidding goodnight to the WM and wishing him well for his year in office.

[Photograph of WM Mark Fox by Bro Ben Fuller; portrait of W Bro Paul Ralph by W Bro Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Friday 9th September 2022:

It being a business meeting - that is to say, Election Night - for the  De la Pole Lodge 1605, there were no visitors, though I gave greetings as a member of the Humber Lodge, and W Bro Malcolm Forbes, the de la Pole Almoner, stood with me. It was a remarkably succesful evening: with W Bro Ben Kelly as WM, the meeting moved along with energy. though we stood in silence at the beginning in respect of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen the day before. The WM for next month was elected, along with the Treasurer, Tyler and two Auditors. Bro Mike Kelly (see 12th August below) was presented with his Grand Lodge Certificate (the Eddie Wildman ritual) and then addressed by W Bro Russ Garbutt, the Lodge Membership Officer who spoke of the furthering of one's Masonic career through joining the Royal Arch.

Two stalwart members were singled out for particular mention, the Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Peter Spencer, who has relinquished his post as Provincial Grand Tyler and been awarded the Past Rank of PPGScN in Provincial Grand Chapter.

The other notable was W Bro Jimmy (two-kilts) Kerr, the only member of de la Pole Lodge to have attempted the "Way of the Roses" coast-to-coast cycling challenge from between Morcombe and Bridlington. Congratulations to  Peter and Jimmy - it is always good to have one's efforts properly appreciated.

At the Festive Board (Indian Curry Selection) the atmosphere was convivial. Bro Ian Fuller told the people on the Senior Warden's table about his young niece who was learning to play the mouth organ. "She's doing well, our Monica," he said.  We finished earlier than usual, it having been a shorter meeting upstairs. Ian Fuller asked me if I'd like a lift home. "Only if you promise not to tell any more jokes like the last one," I replied. All in all, it had been a lovely evening. Good night, folks, well done!

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Thursday 8th September 2022:

 

Despite the bad news of the death of her Majesty the Queen (see article below) it was decided that the Lodge proceedings would continue, though the business of the evening was preceded by a minute's silence. David Terry and I were at St. Cuthbert's Lodge 630 in Howden This fine old Lodge, consecrated in 1845, boasts a spiral staircase, but several Brethren assisted in taking the keyboard and other props into the Lodge Room, where we set up our equipment for a performance of The Medieval Engineers.

The WM, Matt Dalby, alas, had tested positive for covid and couldn't attend, so the IPM,  W Bro Gordon Brian Gould PPAGStB presided over the election of the WM for next year, and also the Treasurer and Tyler and committee members. A joining member was ballotted for and welcomed - W Bro Alistair Jones PPJGD said he was keen to become an active part of the Lodge.

I had the honour of presenting a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro Brown, which was well received.

The next business was the presentation of the Daggards account about young Cedric, (Bro Steven Poulton was our selected Candidate and he performed admirably) a fourteen-year-old farmhand who decided to make his future cutting and trimming stone. As he grew older and more skilled he advanced in the craft of masonry. David and I sometimes took on the roles of professors as Cedric aged, explaining the correlation with the building of the magnificent edifices and the creation of a cathedral of the mind, based on the principles of truth and morality. This was interspersed with songs, and the Brethren enthusiastically joined in.

The Lodge was closed in due form and the Brethren spiralled below to the festive board - once again we had help with music stands and equipment (this was very welcome!) As I was available, we had music downstairs, and for the first time in my Masonic career, I played the national anthem to the words "God save the King."  The Brethren enjoyed "musical points" after the toasts and David sang the Visitors Song and "Happy to meet again."

Many thanks to David, not only for his invaluable skills as a Daggard, but for driving me to and from Howden. We agreed it had been a splendid evening - the St Cuthbert's Brethren had made us very welcome, and we had enjoyed ourselves.

[Photograph L to R: Brian Gould, Eddie Wildman, Steven Poulson and David Terry]

Eddie Wildman, Daggard

 

 

 

Thursday 8th September 2022:

Today marks the death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest reigning monarch, who passed away peacefully aged ninety-six, after seventy years of service to the country and the Commonwealth. She is succeeded by her eldest son, now King Charles III, who released a statement saying “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

 

 

Wednesday 7th September 2022:

W Bro David Terry, PPSGW writes about the Centenary Celebration at St John of Bridlington Lodge 4434

 

This was probably one of the hottest tickets in town and I was lucky enough to have received an invitation to attend!

As I drove into St John’s Avenue, Bridlington, I became aware that there would be a great attendance as I viewed the forecourt of the Masonic Lodge which was crammed with cars 

The Lodge building was filled with Freemasons bedecked in their finest regalia and there was an air of great expectation as this special meeting was to mark the centenary of this vibrant Lodge. Our New Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Dr. David Chambers was in attendance with a large team of Provincial Officers which included our own W Bro Ian Sydall (Provincial Grand Charity Steward), W Bro Malvin Sharpless (Provincial Tyler) and W.Bro. Stephen Hastings of Humber Chapter No 57 (Provincial Grand Senior Deacon). Well done Brethren!

Our PGM is a member of St John’s Lodge so on admittance he felt very much at home as he accepted the gavel from the present Worshipful Master, W Bro George Dobson.

A 100 Year Certificate, signed by The Grand Master, The Duke of Kent was presented to The PGM who then presented it to W Bro Dobson.

This was followed by an excellent short history of St John’s Lodge by W Bro Paul Cooper who explained that the Lodge had been founded on 7th September 1922 and takes its name from St John of Bridlington (1319-1378).

The Brethren of St John Lodge were exceptionally well rehearsed and the whole of the ceremonial proceedings was a joy to watch, which did not fail to impress over seventy visitors from over thirty different Lodges. There was not a spare seat in the Lodge room!

The Lodge was closed by W.Bro Dobson and the visiting Provincial Team, our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith, Assistant PGMs, W.Bros Dennis Raymond Stubley & Allan Armbrister, Immediate Past PGM, RW Bro Jeffrey Gillyon, our Provincial Grand Master and the Worshipful Master of St John’s Lodge were paraded out of the Lodge room under the direction of W.Bro. Karl Ward the Provincial Director of Ceremonies.

Over one hundred Masons enjoyed a fine meal at the Centenary Dinner in the dining room beneath the Lodge Room. Conversations flowed, food was enjoyed, wine was taken, speeches were made and I won a raffle prize!

A truly memorable occasion!

 DMT

 

 

Friday 2nd September 2022:

For an account of Darren Desker's zoom presentation on "The Third Grand Principle" see the zoom page.

 

Friday 26th August 2022:

It is always a pleasure when the ladies accompany the Brethren at a gathering; the finery of the wives put the black tie Brethren to shame in the Ebor Suite at York Racecourse on the splendid occasion of the Retirement Dinner of RW Bro Jeffrey Gillyon. I'd attended with W Bro Craig Maurier and his wife, Dawn - Craig kindly offered to drive so I was able to enjoy a lager with the splendid meal. Other Humber Brethren were W Bro Bill Burnett with his wife Karen, W Bro Richard Smedley with his wife Izzy, W Bro Stephen Hastings from the Humber Chapter was there with his wife Julie.,

There were only two toasts - to the Queen and the Craft and to the Past Provincial Grand Master & Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, Right Worshipful Brother Jeffrey Gillyon, both proposed by the RWPGM Dr David Chambers. Jeff's forty-nine year masonic career was briefly dilated upon, the initiative of the Virtual Office, the new Lodges consecrated and the weathering of the covid storm. Dr Chambers turned his attention to Chri(tine), Jeffrey's wife, saying that "our loss is your gain - or is it?" He commiserated that no longer would she have autonomy over the TV  remote, but opined she would undoubtedly be able to improve Jeffrey's horticulteral skills in the garden.

On behalf of the Province, who had contributed, he presented the Past Provincial Grand Master with his new apron of Office.

Jeffrey responded with mixed emotions and spoke of the wealth of memories and lasting friendships which were, he said, self-evident that evening. He addressed the ladies, saying "you have an equal part in any success I have had; and I thank you for that." He also paid tribute to his wife for her support over the years.

It was a time to meet old friends - and to make new ones, and the mood was merry as the waiters brought on the dessert: sticky toffee pudding with fudge sauce, vanilla pod ice cream and hazlenut brittle. All too soon it was time to leave. I waddled to the car, glad that Craig was driving. A splendid evening.

[Photograph of Chris & Jeff Gillyon by Eddie. Photograph of Dr David Chambers presenting Jeff Gillyon with the PPGM's apron by Chris Harland,]

Eddie Wildman, happy diner

 

.

Saturday 20th August 2022:

There was the usual excellent turn-out for the Technical Lodge 5666, with visitors from Alexandra 1511, De la Pole 1605, St Cuthberts 630, Lord Bolton 3263 and Phoenix 9963. As guest organist, I gave greeings for Humber 57. There were over thirty folk there - I forgot to count until the Entered Apprentices had retired, and failed to do so again when they came back in. 

The business of the evening was to pass Bro Steve Walker. It has been just over a year since his initiation, and he proved his readiness by answering the test questions to move to the Second Degree with confidence and fluency. He retired to prepare himself and on his reentry was taken in hand by the Senior Deacon, Bro Ash Vasali. He was obligated by the WM, W Bro Rob Atkinson, and the floor work was well delivered by Brethren of the Lodge. I was privileged to be asked to explain the Working Tools of a Fellow Craft Freemason, and Bro Walker gave them his full attention; indeed, his alertness and obvious interest in the entire ceremony was admirable.

The Lodge was lowered to the First Degree and the EAs readmitted, with Mentor, and the various reports given. In this age of emails these can be distributed swiftly, but despite this some Lodges spend a great deal of time on reports, where Brethren with nothing to say insist on giving evidence of the fact. Here however, the reports were given with some alacrity: indeed, the Secretary, W Bro Mike Cheeseman, Provincial Grand Mentor, simply said that the Mentor's report had been electronically distributed, and, business concluded, the WM closed the Lodge in peace and harmony.

Talking of harmony, mention should be made of the vocalists in the Lodge who sang the Visitors Song and the Song for the final toast, "Happy to Meet Again" at the Festive Board; Bros David Taylor, Phil Daniels and John Chapman were in fine voice. But all the voices were enthusiastically raised in singing "Happy Birthday" to Mike Cheeseman (who claims to be only sixty-two) when a cake with a candle was brought in to celebrate the occasion. It was rather unkindly remarked that if he'd had a candle for every year we would have to have called out the Fire Brigade. It was a splendid evening, and a Fire Engine was not required. Thank you, Technical Lodge!

 [Photograph of Bro Steve Walker FC by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

 

Wednesday 17th August 2022:

The drive to Hornsea was lovely once I left the tea-time traffic build-up in Hull. I'd decided at the last minute to visit Alexandra Lodge 1511 - the easternmost Lodge in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. The sat-nav took me through winding roads lined by leafy trees - the recent brief rainfall had rejuvinated the countryside, though we were still short of water. I parked nearby without difficulty and was an early arrival. It was good to see the chaps again. The Alexandra Lodge is very friendly. 

It was a pleasure to see Ian Syddall there, also representing the Humber Lodge, along with visitors from Minerva 250, Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9685, Bridlington Bay 9778 (possibly the youngest visiting Lodge there, having been consecrated in 2003) and Wilberforce Lodge 2134. The convivial gathering was to witness a second degree: Brother Christopher Smuts, who had been initiated in March, was to become a Fellow Craft Freemason.

"The Alexandra Lodge is doing well," the WM, W Bro Paul Brown told me. "We've done two  firsts, two seconds, a third degree and we've agreed to do a double second degree for Wilberforce. We've ballotted for a Candidate tonight - he should be joining us in October - and tonight's candidate, Chris, has proposed another Candidate as well." I agreed that this was impressive. As, indeed, was the ceremony.

While there is evidence of the Humber working in some of the Alexandra Lodge ritual, there are differences. One such is the readings as the Lodge moves into different degrees; for the first degree, Psalm 133 was recited, and when the Lodge moved into the second degree, there was a reading from the Book of Amos. The Entered Apprentice present was escorted out at the appropriate time with a personal mentor, and Brother Smuts having succesfully answered the questions given to him in March, was entrusted (in a colourful peroration by W Bro Midgely) with the password to gain entry to a Lodge in the second degree.

The Senior Deacon, Brother Tony Greenway is a slightly built, wiry man, who led the Candidate round the Lodge superbly. Brother Smuts, however, is considerably larger, and for a moment as they passed round the Lodge I had the impression of somebody towing a large balloon, but this in no way detracted from the excellence of the ceremony. All the ritualists did well, and Brother Smuts was happily passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason.

There were various reports and a ballot, with an antiquated box probably older than the Lodge itself. (1874.) W Bro Bob Denton, who coaxes lovely music out of an organ as antiquated as the ballot box, reported that the chef, Paul Reed, was retiring and that a local lady had been contacted for the catering.

Talk of food turned the minds of the Brethren to the Festive Board, and there was an almost palpable sigh of relief when the WM said "Brethren, assist me to close the Lodge." This was managed efficiently, and the Brethren left the Lodge Room.

I didn't stay for meal, not having booked in,. I was tempted to go for a paddle but drove back home instead, which took me only forty minutes. It had been a lovely evening out and I had some cold lager waiting in the fridge!

[Photograph of W Bro Paul Brown and Bros Tony Greenway and Chris Smuts by Ian Syddall. Chris wins the prize for the shiniest head.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Friday 12th August 2022:

W Bro Ben Kelly ProvGADC, WM of the de la Pole Lodge 1605, with his engaging smile and rapid-fire ritual, presided over the raising of his younger brother Michael Charles Kelly to the degree of a Master Mason. It was a warm evening, and despite it being the holiday season, well supported with Brethren from local Lodges including the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586, the Lodge of St Andrew 4683, Thesaurus 3891 and of course Humber 57. W Bro Malcolm Forbes, WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 was present as the de la Pole Almoner, and will be producing a report of the meeting on his blog page.

The ceremony was impressive; mention must be made of the explanation of the Working Tools of a Master Mason by W Bro Philip John Cowing PPJGD, the Lodge Secretary who delivered the ritual superbly, and of the stand-in Senior Deacon, W Bro Michael Bastiman, the IPM, who led the Candidate round with unhesitating calm efficiency.

The Festive Board was a chicken salad - given the temperature, this was very welcome, and Luke the chef always puts on an excellent spread whatever the menu.

The final toast on this occasion was beautifully sung by the DC, W Bro Peter Spencer, PPGTyler; the first time this music has been performed in the de la Pole Lodge, so the words were still in our minds as we took our leave of each other:

          No more tales to tell,

          Every faithful heart

          Bids a fond farewell:

          Time for us to part.

          Happy have we met,

          Happy have we been:

          Happy do we part

          And happy meet again:

                    So mote it be.

 

      [Photograph of Mike Kelly by Paul Marshall. Caricature of Peter Spencer by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist.

 

Wednesday 10th August 2022:

The Lodge Room at Beverley Road was warm, but not uncomfortably so with a hint of a breeze from the open fire door. The Lodge of St Andrew 4683 was well attended - particularly from Brethren of the Minerva Lodge 250, which meets on the same night as St Andrew throughout the year except in August. Over two dozen Brethren were present to hear W Bro Geoffrey Toulmin PPSGD of the Alcuin Lodge 6300 in York give a presentation.

The Alcuin Lodge was consecrated just after World War 2, named after the medieval Scholar Alcuin who introduced the traditions of Anglo-Saxon humanism into western Europe. His motto "Learn in order to teach" has been adopted by the Lodge, and the Alcuin banner lists in Greek the seven liberal arts cited in the First Degree Tracing Board as fundimental learning skills. W Bro Toulmin continued the tradition by sharing his learning with Brethren in the Province: tonight his theme was "The Clashing of Swords - a first-hand account of an initiation and Festive Board in 1743."

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Matthew Owen, opened the Lodge in due form, and after greetings were given to the UGLE Officers present, took a report: W Bro Brian Daragon, recently appointed as Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer was announced and escorted in by a phalanx of Provincial Officers. He then relieved the Acting SW W Bro Roy Newton, who took his place on the dais as Chaplain.

W Bro Mike Graham PJGD gave a short but moving eulogy to the late VWBro Richard Anderson after which the Tyler was invited into the Lodge Room for W Bro Toulmin's lecture.

It was a précis and commentary on a 1743 exposé by Thomas Wilson, a soldier and Freemason, who describing his initiation ceremony, considered it to be an expensive con, though he had subsequently visited extensively in France and England. His account was personal, remarking how he had been scared by the drawn swords and the shouts of "Huzzah!" while he was in darkness, and deploring the costs encountered. Brother Thomas never felt he had discovered the real worth of the Craft, apparently. It was interesting to note similarities and differences between the Fraternity then and now, and W Bro Toulmin pointed some of them out; the positioning of the WM in the East at the corner of a square, for example, so that both Wardens were in the West with respect to the Master. He mentioned calling off the Lodge for refreshment (much alcohol was consumed) the chalk and charcoal illustrations on the tavern room floor, and their erasure afterwards, and the use of firing glasses. It was most interesting. I was reminded of the Ancient Ceremony performed by the Daggards, and considered W Bro Paul Ralph to be the image of a  Freemason in the days of George II and so have included his photograph, taken in Ye Olde White Hart tavern in Hull's Old Town.

While W Bro Toulmin had travelled from York, another visitor was from further afield. Brother Brian Clince (a young-looking 46 year-old) has been a Master Mason since 2007. He is a member of the Mount Moriah Lodge No 15 in Cañon City, Colorado, USA. Visiting England, he made himself known to the St Andrew Lodge Secretary, W Bro Ian Sugarman and came to see how Freemasonry is practised in Hull. "It's been awesome," he confided.

We look forward to seeing him again and at other Lodges in the future.

I was privileged to be driven home by the WM - thanks, Matthew!  Love the new car!

It had been an excellent night.

[Photograph of Paul Ralph by Eddie Wildman. Photograph of Brian Clince by an Air Hostess. Note the masonic ring.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

 

Tuesday 9th August 2022:

Kingston-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon Hull

The midsummer meeting is generally not so well supported as Brethren are often away on holiday, and indeed the Secretary, W Bro Stanley Smith, remarked on the long list of apologies; nonetheless, a score of Brethren attended the short but happy meeting at Dagger Lane. (This was more than expected and there had to be recalculations when it came to the meal.)

The arrival of the Representative of the (new) RWPGM, W Bro David Johnstone, was announced with great dignity by his DC, W Bro Richard East. The WM, W Bro Mike Potts, welcomed them both along with the other visitors, W Bro Neil Armstrong of the KIngston Lodge 1010 and W Bro Terry Lynn from the Lodge of St Michael 7833. Our Senior UGLE Officer, W Bro Bill Burnett, then gave a eulogy on the sad passing of VWBro Richard Anderson, who had died unexpectedly just before the Consecration of the New RWPGM at York earlier in the month (see the article below.)

The WM explained that the main item of the evening, an illustrated lecture by W Bro Terry Lynn, would take place in the cooler dining room downstairs, where we could enjoy his words with drinks in our hands. For this reason, the Representative of the RWPGM spoke upstairs, reminding Brethren of upcoming Provincial events. The Lodge was closed in due form, and the Brethren divested themselves of their regalia and gathered below in eager anticipation.

Terry's account of growing up as a "Del Boy" in Peckham brought smiles to our faces, and nods of agreement as he showed slides of the prefabricated houses, the Robin Reliant and the window cleaner with his barrow, ladders and bucket. We were regaled with tales of the cinema in the fifties, and of Millwall Football Club. Terry spoke of his discovering Freemasonry through a client in Middlesbrough, and his joining a London Lodge, remarking on the differences in ritual and practice with Humber working. "This," he said, "was why I joined the Lodge of St Michael when I came to live up here: the ritual we use is Emulation, not Humber."

He spoke of Lodges he had visited (often with me if it was half-term or school holidays) in Cumbria, Wales and Scotland, and of talking to the Grand Master of Spain in a Lodge in Tenerife. He talked about the joy of visiting, remarking that whatever the differences of language or custom, and wherever the venue, Freemasonry welcomed Brethren from all over the world. He concluded to spontaneous applause.

After the meal, the first five toasts were submitted, this being the first occasion that the Humber Brethren could drink to the health of the new Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Doctor David Chambers. The proceedings were over before nine o' clock, and, as Craig remarked while taxiing me back, it was nice to go home while it was still light.

Eddie Wildman, Lodge Organist

 

 

30th July 2022:

Special Meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge

W Bro Bill Burnett is one of Humber Lodge's United Grand Lodge Officers, and he'd offered to take me to York for the Installation of VW Bro David Chambers as Provincial Grand Master and later as the Grand Superintendent in and over Yorkshire North and East Ridings. The opportunity to attend such a prestigious occasion in such illustrious company was compelling and I gratefully agreed. I'm sure the neighbours were peeping from behind their curtains as the gleaming polished Range Rover Vogue purred to a stop outside my humble house, wondering at the morning suit and Masonic case in my hand.

The journey was without incident and we swapped stories about swimming instructing and education, about friends amongst the Brethren and about Freemasonry in general. I was saddened to hear of the recent sudden death of RW John Anderson, which had come as a shock: "There were a few of us enjoying a meal with him only a week or so ago," said Bill, "and he was in good form."

The University of York at Fulford was well policed by Provincial Grand Stewards, who very efficiently directed us to a parking spot and told us where to go. We were in good time, and greeted many friends as we made our way to the Central Hall to change into our regalia.

RW Bro Jeffrey Gillyon had announced his intention to retire as the Provincial Grand Master (see 14th May below) and Very Worshipful Dr David Chambers, who had been the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge in the interim, was taking over the post this morning. The hall, while not full to capacity, was pleasantly well attended, including Humber Brethren Richard Smedley (who as an active Grand Lodge Officer was seated with the great and the good on the podium) Ian Syddall, appearing in procession as an active Provincial Officer, Stanley Smith (who was part of the Delegation in the Chapter ceremony that afternoon, Mike Potts, WM, and Bill and myself, who sat amongst the glitter of Grand Lodge Officers present.

We were joined by W Bro John Davies, who, like Bill, as a retired Provincial DC was casting a critical eye over the proceedings, The unexpected demise of his friend Richard Anderson precluded him from staying for the afternoon session - Mrs Anderson was still in shock. John said that I could have his lunch, which was very kind of him. "Table Twenty-three," John told me, "at the same table as Bill."

I am sure there will be plethora of photographs and official accounts of the proceedings by email over the coming weeks, so I'll not dilate at length, but the dignity and superb choreography of the Grand Lodge Team, directed by the Grand DC, W Bro Charles Hopkinson-Woolley, was very impressive. This, and the afternoon session, we were told, were to be the last investitures  performed by the Pro Grand Master, MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes. 

Let me digress for a moment to explain the term "Pro Grand Master". As the Grand Master is a member of the Royal Family, he has appointed a Pro Grand Master to be his principal Masonic Advisor, and to act for him on occasions when he is unable to be present due to Royal engagements. 

W Bro Denis Raymond Stubley, Assistant Provincial Grand Master entered in Procession with the Active Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge and was saluted with five, after which the MW Pro Grand Master and the visiting Officers of Grand Lodge were received.

The Pro Grand Master was saluted with eleven after which he explained the object of the meeting. A deputation was formed, and the Provincial Grand Master Designate was escorted in, and addressed by the Pro Grand Master. "Dr David Chambers is not a Yorkshireman," he said whilst mentioning David's many talents, "but you will treat him as one of your own." After Dr David Chambers had taken his obligation, he was invested by the MW Pro Grand Master, who relinquished the Chair. I managed to take a picture of the unoccupied seat beforehand.

The new RWPGM appointed and invested W Bro Jonathan Smith as his Deputy before reappointing his Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and confirming the appointments of the other Provincial Grand Officers. He spoke about Freemasonry in the Province, stating "Enjoyment is the touchstone of what we are about."

I enjoyed lunch - the more so because it had been unexpected. The table was wobbly, however - one of the Brethren remarked that if a table or stool has three legs, it won't wobble - why, then do people insist on putting four legs on tables? I was going to say something about one at each corner when I realised the tables were round. I kept my mouth shut,

The MW Pro Grand Master presented a gift to our new Provincial Grand Master from the Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent in the form of a customised gold medallion encased in a lucite cube. "This is a personal gift," he explained, "and not for the Secretary to look after." He went on to explain that it was a very useful paperweight, given the amount of correspondence from the United Grand Lodge of England that would be coming David's way.

The afternoon Convocation was in good time, a little earlier than expected, and E Comp Dr David Chambers PGStB was installed as Grand Superintendent in and over Yorkshire North and East Ridings, but a fuller report of this may be found on the Humber Chapter Blog page.

It had been a most satisfying day, Bill and I reflected as we made our way back to Hull.

[Photographs of Bill Burnett, James Ashby-Kelly and Jim Kerr, the pedestal and the diners by Eddie Wildman. Photograph of Bill Burnett and Eddie Wildman by Stephen Hastings. Photograph of the Pro Grand Master from Freemasonry Today and photograph of Dr David Chambers from the Provincial website.Some are missing from the Provincial Team line-up - Jono had to dash to attend a wedding, and others had duties elsewhere.]

 

 

Wednesday 20th July 2022:

Report by W Bro Ian Syddall, Humber Lodge Tyler.

 

On Wednesday 20th July I attended Alexandra Lodge No 1511 which meets at the Masonic Hall Alexandra Rd, Hornsea. There were twenty-five members attending and there were fifteen visitors present. The visiting Representative’s DC, W Bro Brian Carlisle was admitted. An escort of Provincial Officers was formed I was part of the escort as the only Active Officer of the Year. W Bro David John Burnett PGJD, representing the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge was received.

Amongst the visitors were four Worshipful Masters including W Bro Peter Stokes of the Lodge of St Michael 7833; the total attendance was forty. Thirty-six members dined. I was there as a member of Humber 57.

The business of the evening was to raise Bro Kier Horner to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. He was escorted by the Junior Deacon Bro Thornton and the Senior Deacon Bro Greenway.

           The retrospect which was superbly delivered by W Bro Hawkes 

           The Sprig of Acacia by W Bro Pearson

           The Light of a Master Mason by W Bro Woods

           The Secrets were delivered by W Bro Rust

           W Bro Brian Massey gave an excellent delivery of The Historical Portion

           W Bro Ian Wood clearly explained the meaning of the Working Tools     

           W Bro Chris McGrath delivered with great sincerity, the Charge.

Bro Horner (now a Master Mason) then retired to be restored to his usual comforts; the meeting finished just after eight o' clock.

At the Festive Board we were treated to good conversation and good food in good company, I won a raffle prize and upon receiving it . . . I will have to tell you later if it proved beneficial, as it was a “Lottery Ticket” for the 23rd July . . . fingers and toes crossed!

A great night, Thank you, Alexandra Brethren!

[W Bro Ian Syddall ProvGChStwd of the Masonic Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings has provided links herewith to the Provincial Charity website  https://fcyner.org.uk and to Teddies for TLC  https://teddiesforlovingcare.org.uk/}

 

Saturday 16th July 2022:

The look of stunned surprise on the face of the Worshipful Master when the Technical Lodge launched into "Happy Birthday to You" as he lifted the gavel was priceless. Indeed, it was W Bro Atkinson's birthday, and on this occasion L5666 was also celebrating an initiation ceremony.

The high standard maintained throughout the year prevailed in the ritual - it was good to see some of the younger members taking on floor-work, and Mr Thekkootupurisham Nandakumar was succesfully made a Brother in the First Degree. He spoke very eloquently afterwards, thanking his Proposer, W Bro Hiten Thaker and his Seconder W Bro Allan McKay. 

I had the privilege of presenting Brother Mike Andrew with his certificate from the United Grand Lodge of England, confirming that he'd been initiated passed and raised, and the Lodge closed after reports and proposals, including one to raise funds to the purchase of a new minibus for Riverside Primary School. Hearty Greetings were given from visiting Lodges, including Minerva 250 (the WM, David Green, thanked the Technical Brethren for their huge attendance at his installation and for their good wishes) de la Pole Lodge 1605 and the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586, and also, of course, the Humber Lodge 57, premier Lodge in the Province.

The Festive Board (always enhanced by the master hand of Luke, the chef) was excellent: the Visitors Song was rendered by W Bro Phil Daniels and Happy to Meet Again by W Bro John Chapman. I believe the WM and some of the Brethren were going elsewhere afterwards to celebrate the Master's birthday: he still looks about sixteen years old even with the beard.

Eddie Wildman, organist

[Photograph of Nigel Goldthorpe, SW, Thekkootupisharam Nandakumar, EA, Robert Atkinson, WM and Dan Laughton, JW by Eddie Wildman, photograph of Hiten Thaker, Proposer, Nanda and his Seconder, Allan McKay by Paul Hillary.]

 

Wednesday 13th July 2022:

Eddie Wildman at Minerva Lodge 250.

This was the first meeting with W Br David Green in the Chair, and his new team did him proud. Dagger Lane was well attended - there were about thirty Brethren there, eight of them visitors from four Sister Lodges, and a goodly number of them - and the Minerva Brethren - were Entered Apprentices or Fellow Crafts - the Light Blues easily outnumbered the Provincial Officers there.

The Worshipful Master opened the Lodge firmly, in obvious control, and after the usual salutations asked the Assistant Secretary to give a eulogy for W Bro Darrald Perkins, whose funeral would take place the following day. He then invested his Inner Guard, Bro Chris Fear, his Almoner, W Bro Malcolm Sharman, and his Charity Steward,  W Bro Tadeusz Krawczyk. The latter two gave extensive reports at the end of the meeting, indicating the enthusiasm they were applying to their Offices. After some necessary housekeeping business and a couple of ballots, the main business of the evening was announced, the initiation of a new Candidate to Freemasonry, Mr Joshua Adam Smith.

I recognised him at once - he had been a pupil of mine at Wolfreton Scool about twenty years ago. The Worshipful Master had also been one of his teachers. There is a real satisfaction for teachers in seeing how well their past charges are doing, and this was certainly the case here; Josh now had his own business and is a happily married father.

He was challenged at the door by Bro Fear, and the excellence of ritual set the tone for the rest of the meeting. All did well; Bro Jim Bradshaw, the Junior Deacon conducting the Candidate round confidently and the floor work delivered by younger Brethren with panache. Unfortunately, I had not brought any gold stars with me, but had I done so, one would have been awarded to Bro Chris Fear and another to Bro Kurt Crawford, whose North East Corner was superbly rendered.

The Festive Board was tasty and lively: Brother Josh responded to his toast in good form and the Brethren took their leave of each other with smiles on their faces. A good night!

[Photograph of Bro Smith between his old maths and music teachers by Bro Kurt Crawford.]

 

Tuesday 12th July 2022:

Report by W Bro Malcolm Forbes, Charity Steward.

On a sultry evening I attended the Humber Lodge monthly meeting. There was the usual pre-meeting camaraderie before the Lodge meeting was opened at 6.30 pm.

It was good to see Worshipful Master Mike Potts taking the Chair for the meeting. After the opening the Brethren saluted Grand Lodge Officers W Bro Eddie Wildman and W Bro Richard Smedley.

After a portion of the Antient Charges were read out and the minutes of the June Lodge meeting were approved reports were received from the Almoner, Charity Steward and Royal Arch representative.

WM Mike Potts thanked Almoner W Bro David Terry for the personal help he had received and the excellence of his work.

As Charity Steward I highlighted the War of the Roses Cycle Challenge which will be taking place in September and which will involve cyclists, including W Bro Smedley and Bro Andrew Paulls from Humber Lodge, taking part in a 170 miles trip from Morecambe Bay to Bridlington to raise money for prostate and cervical cancer charities. I was pleased to second a proposition put forward by W Bro Ian Syddall that the Lodge should donate £400 in support of the Lodge's two participants in the event. Individual brethren were also encouraged to make donations on the Just Giving website. The Daggards have also contributed.

I also referenced the Connaught Court annual summer fair which is due to take place on 10th September in the Charity Steward's report; the ADC Bro Charles Alexander asked for donations of (full) bottles for the Whisky Galore Stall he is organising for the event.

Under any other business a discussion took place on the format of Lodge Festive Boards and whether they should take place before or after Lodge meetings. It was decided that the matter would be best resolved at a future Lodge Committee meeting.   

I gave greetings on behalf of Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642.

The main business of the evening was a Daggards presentation entitled "Hand over Back", a tale of duplicity, dishonour and a dreadful murder given by W Bro Eddie Wildman, W Bro Neil Armstrong, the Secretary of Kingston Lodge 1010 and W Bro Craig Maurier. The presentation took place in the dining room before the Festive Board. It provided a thespian delight as the participants delivered a review of a criminal trial which took place in 1813. As a former lecturer in criminal law I found the legal references most fascinating. WM Mike Potts thanked W Bros Wildman, Armstrong and Maurier for the entertainment they had provided at the conclusion of their presentation.

The Festive Board consisted of two courses, which was sufficient given the warmth of the evening. Two toasts were submitted. The raffle raised £71 to add to the £18.40 which had been taken in the alms collection at the close of the Lodge meeting.

It was a most enjoyable evening with good food, good company and grand entertainment provided by the Daggards.

 W Bro Malcolm Forbes, Charity Steward

[Photograph of Craig, Eddie and Neil by Richard Smedley.]

 

 

Thursday 7th July 2022:

W Bro Malcolm Forbes and I gave greetings as members of the Humber Lodge 57 at the conclusion of the meeting of the Constitutional Lodge 294 in Beverley. A balmy evening, it had been a pleasant drive (especially as Malcolm was behind the wheel) and we arrived in good time, parking close by. The Lodge was not expecting a great attendance - the summer months are when many of the Brethren are away on holiday, and the Cook at Trinity Lane had indicated that unless there was a minimum of seventeen, he was not prepared to cater. Malcolm and I decided that rather than gobble Fish and Chips in cardboard cartons, we would eat out in Beverley on this occasion. Others made similar decisions.

I was not asked to play the organ, so enjoyed a night off: the Constitutional a cappella singing is in a class of its own. The WM, W Bro Lee Travis Plumridge introduced the speaker for the evening, W Bro Terence Wilson whose forty minute dissertation on The History of English Freemasonry based on the Solomon article by Dickon Sandbach covered a wide range of topics. Indeed, the Grand Lodge Officer present remarked when giving hearty greetings that while endeavouring to make a daily advancement in Masonic Knowledge, he now considered himself a year in credit.

The reports, propositions, correspondence and AOB took another fifteen minutes, and the Brethren retired.

Malcolm and I enjoyed an excellent meal in the nearby Chamas. Malcolm's car bore the extra weight bravely on the way home: the Brazilian Experience had been wonderful, the service excellent, the food succulent and the ambience splendid. Yummy.

Eddie Wildman, visitor

 

Wednesday 6th July 2022:

The traffic was horrendous and it took me forty minutes to reach the Masonic Hall at Beverley Road - I could have walked there in less than that. The Kingston Lodge 1010 was not well attended on this occasion, possibly because the intended Candidate for the Second Degree had given apologies - he was unable to be there. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Michael Price PPSGD (Worcs) decided that the Ceremony of Passing would be worked, however, using a Past Master as the Candidate. W. Bro John Stebbings, the visiting WM from Lord Bolton Lodge 3263, agreed to do this.

There was a Representative of the Very Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge, W Bro Michael de Villamer Roberts, visiting on this occasion. This was the first time I had heard the Ruler's Rep announced in such terms (V W Bro Dr David Chambers PGSwdB carries this title between the standing down of the RWPGM and his official acceptance of the Office of Provincial Grand Master at the end of the month) but the Rep's DC, W Bro James Steele delivered it unfalteringly and impressively both in the Lodge and at the Festive Board  afterwards. 

There were many stand-ins for Officers. The Senior Deacon (who has a major role to play in the 2nd degree) had been assaulted the previous week and was not yet fit to attend - his part was taken by W Bro Paul Goldthorpe, who also gave the Ancient Charge concluding the ritual, moving from the Candidate's side to face him, and delivering the words in an almost conversational manner, making the experience personal without losing any of its dignity or meaning. Indeed, the whole ceremony was impressive.

The WM raised the Lodge to the Third Degree by the long method, then lowered it back through the Second Degree to the First, reports were dealt with expeditiously, and greetings tendered, including those of Humber Lodge 57. The Lodge was closed in due form.

The Festive Board was lovely, though a number of the Kingston Brethren appeared to have been glued to their seats and were content to let Grand Lodge Officers and visitors serve the food and take their plates away, which was doubtless noticed by the Representative of the VWPGMinC. He addressed the Brethren at length about the application of Charity funds and exhorted members to read the Communications from UGLE and Province sent to them via email.

The drive home took six minutes.

 Eddie Wildman

 

 

Tuesday 5th July 2022:

For an account of Eddie's visit to the Technical Chapter 5666 see the St Michael website.

 

Saturday 2nd July 2022:

The Beverlonian Lodge 9084 traditionally holds its business meeting in July and was this evening preceded by a committee meeting to facilitate the announcement of the new Master Elect and the deployment of officers. The meeting was not without incident, and as there were too few Brethren attending to justify a Festive Board afterwards I did not stay to talk; there had been road closures in Beverley (it being a race night) and I was pleased to leave early on this occasion and miss the rush. However, I was flattered to have been asked to present Grand Lodge Certificates to Brothers Ben Fuller and Kieran Rose-Newton and to point out those features on the document which have remained unchanged since 1819 (the Coat of Arms of the Grand Master alter of course when the holder of this preeminent position retires. Currently HRH the Duke of Kent is the Head of the Order. The certificate depicted here shows the Earl of Scarbrough at the top of the document.) I reflected on the drive home that the black and white carpet depicted on the certificate echoes the symbolic flooring of the Lodge Room and reminds us that while life has its joys and sorrows, the Institution stands firm even in difficult times. This reminded me that under the initiative of Ben Rose, the Beverlonian Lodge Building had served meals in recent weeks to hundreds of Ukranian refugees and those in financial difficulties. Let's not lose sight of those less fortunate than ourselves.

 Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 27th June 2022:

I was curious about the youngest Lodge in the Province; I hadn't yet visited Juno Lodge 10001. This was their fourth meeting - and the second initiation. I was pleased to give greetings as a member of Humber Lodge 57, and indeed, stood up to join in hearty greetings when others rose, including Technical 5666, Ridings Tablers 9586 and Phoenix 9963. Constitutional Lodge 294 had a contingen of six, in an attempt to claim the Travelling Gavel, as had the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586, who had only managed to hold the wooden artifact for a couple of weeks before losing it  to Juno (see the article below) but Phoenix Lodge numbered seven, and so won the claim. No doubt other Lodges will be trying to rescue the Gavel from the Sailmakers' Arms on September 20th. For further notes on the TG and a photograph, see the Travelling Gavel Page for this date.

W Bro Ben Rose opened the University Scheme Lodge in due (Humber) form and the Candidate, Mr Harry William Thomas DeWalmsley Dyer was initiated according to ancient custom. This being a new Lodge, there were occasional variations in the ritual, as its members comprise Brethren from many different Lodges with different workings, but particular mention shouid be made of Bro Tim Roberts, who having himself been initiated only the previous month, delivered the explanation of the Lesser Lights to the newly-made Brother Dyer.

The accompaniment to the opening and closing odes was prerecorded: it will take a little time to get used to this, I suspect, but from my point of view it was nice to sit and listen instead of playing the organ.  Brother Dyer spoke eloquently and well in response to the toast to his health, and the Brethren and visitors cheered him heartily.

Well done, Juno!

 [Pictured: Juno Brethren with their new Brother; Phoenix claimants proudly accepting the Travelling Gavel.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor

 

 

Friday 24th June 2022:

The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 had claimed the Travelling gavel only  two weeks ago; today it was wrested from their grip by the Juno Lodge, who had sent a delegation to Trinity Lane Beverley for this purpose. One Juno member was W Bro Paul Harper (the man behind Solomon) who gave an illustrated presentation about the Grand Lodge Certificate. He was assisted by W Bro Geoffrey Toumlin PPSGD from Alcuin Lodge 6300 in York and Entered Apprentice Carl Woodall who delivered a nugget entitled "Anno Lucis". An actual certificate was then presented to Bro Paul Holland by the Lodge Organist, W Bro Eddie Wildman, in his inimitable poetic version which neatly summarised the points made in the presentation. Bro Holland signed the document according to ancient custom and resumed his place in the Lodge as Junior Deacon.

Brother Martin Clark, Senior Warden,  gave a brief presentation on the subject of Lodge Membership, inviting comments and suggestions for the way forward at a future date. It was pleasing to note that social engagement was a significant factor in his exposition; taking Freemasonry into the wider world can only be of benefit to those who are not Masons and also to those who are. His comments were well received.

The Juno contingent happily boosted the RTL number, the coronavirus (or variants thereof) is still affecting attendances at Masonic Lodges. For the latest update, see the Coronavirus page.

Unfortunately the Worshipful Master was called away unexpectedly and had to leave immediately at the end of the Lodge meeting. W Bro Mark Green took over seamlessly for the Festive Board, and he is here photographed passing the TG in its box to W Bro Adrian Haywood, who is smiling broady.

For the names of the Brethren on the photograph above, see the Travelling Gavel page.

Eddie Wildman, RTL Organist

 

Thursday 23rd June 2022:

No Chef!

The Lodge of St Michael 7833 suffered an unexpected blow when the chef telephoned to say he'd tested positive to covid and would not be providing a meal that evening.

It was too late for the Steward to organize pizza or fish & chips, but there were few apologies from the Brethren - almost all the usual number turned up for the WM's first working night - and to take part in the promised fiendish Masonic Quiz.

Worshipful Master Peter Stokes called off the Lodge for the event and invited the Tyler to enter. The Brethren formed into five teams and scrutinised the quiz sheets, pencils at the ready.

There were some rumblings about the marking system (one point for a correct answer, take away a point for a wrong answer) but W Bro Eddie Wildman, Quizmaster, having dealt with schoolchildren for most of his life, insisted on this equitable method and no team finished up with a negative score.

The winners were appropriately grateful for the box of Smarties donated for their efforts, and W Bro Wildman was thanked for putting together a stimulating quiz.

The Worshipful Master called the Lodge back on, the Tyler returned to his post outside the door and the remaining business was dealt with in short order. The Brethren retired, and the bar being inexplicably closed, went home.

Despite there being no food, it was an enjoyable evening, and a good start for the WM's year.

 

 

Wednesday 22nd June 2022:

Capital of the Wolds: visit to Sykes Lodge by Eddie Wildman

A perfect summer's day. My good friend Bro Peter Kenyon-Brodie picked me up in Hull at five o' clock and we cunningly drove to Hessle by a series of side roads to avoid the rush-hour lockjams exacerbated by roadworks and bus lanes. Peter had estimated half an hour, but we were lucky and got there early. Peter rang Brother Alistair to say we were arriving - he was back from work, showered and changed and was just putting his shoes on.

Alistrair is Peter's son and my godson - they are both members of Phoenix Lodge 9963. They'd asked if I wanted to go with them to Driffield to visit Sykes Lodge 1040. I did, and Peter booked us in.

We had ample time, for the meeting was not due to start until seven, so Peter took the scenic route, looping round on the York Road and passing oddly named rural villages and hamlets such as Etton, Kiplingcotes and Garham. We were surrounded by hedges, meadows, fields, copses and farmland. Every shade of green was represented. This was a perfect summer's day to visit the Capital of the Wolds.

The town of Great Driffield and the village of Little Driffield form a civic parish. Driffield was listed in the 2019 Sunday Times report on the Best Places to Live in Northern England. Peter disagreed. "The best view of Driffield," he remarked, "is through your rear-view mirror as you leave." He was jesting - it had been his suggestion to go there in the first place.

Parking at Lockwood Street is seldom easy, so Pete dropped us by the distinctive door of the Lodge and went to find somewhere to leave the car. We waited outside in the sunshine - Ali checking his reflection in a car window as he put on his tie.

The Grade II listed building, built in 1878, was originally Mortimer's Archeological Museum, but it was purchased by the Freemasons just after World War One for £600. Sykes Lodge 1040 was formed 158 years ago and is well supported by the farming community.

Peter joined us - he'd found a spot nearby. We passed through the imposing portal and were warmly welcomed. We joined the Brethren in the Lodge Room upstairs.

The main business of the evening was to celebrate W Bro David Gilliat's fifty year's unbroken service to Freemasonry. Worshipful Brother David Gilliat, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies was to be interviewed by Worshipful Brother David Burnett, Past Junior Grand Deacon. There were also two other United Grand Lodge Officers there, and lots of Provincial Grand Lodge Officers - W Bro Gilliat has made lots of friends over the years - so the Lodge Room glittered with dark blue and gold. There were also plenty of Light Blues in various offices, and Brethren yet to reach their Third Degree. With forty people there, it was pleasantly full. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Steven H Goddard wisely suggested the Brethren remove their gloves. It was very warm.

A dispensation was read out - the meeting had been moved to this date to coincide almost exactly with Dave Gilliat's joining half a century ago.

Expertly encouraged by W Bro Burnett, W Bro Gilliat spoke of his life as a farmer - the family business traces back to the 1680s, he said, and his son Ian is continuing the tradition.

Not everyone held farming in high regard, he said, talking of his early experiences with the pre-war teachers at Pocklington School: "I didn't like them and I don't think they liked me." His diminutive size had caused him to be banned from the School Cricket Eleven - an arbitrary decision by a crusty old schoolmaster, made at a time when young and efficient teachers were just being demobbed.

David had gone on to enjoy Bishop Burton Agricultural College, joining the year it opened, and, as he modestly confessed,"ended up with letters after my name, surprisingly."

His passion, however, was ploughing, and as a member of the Driffield Young Farmers Club he was encouraged to take part in a number of prestigious championship competitions where he was highly placed. He also enjoys shooting and golf.

He had a fund of amusing stories - such as when a lady judge at Driffield Show was carried off on the horns of a tup - and how he, as a Steward, go the blame. 

He spoke modestly of his Masonic career, joining the Sykes Lodge 1040 on the 21st June 1972. He became WM in 1978 and received a plethora of Provincial honours subsequently, which he much enjoyed.

Even after a Lodge meeting, however, his conscientiousness as a farmer never flagged. There were always things to do. "A lot of lives depend on a farmer's job," he observed. "Checking stock after a Lodge meeting is important - to see they are properly looked after, fed and watered."

There was enthusiastic applause when David was presented with his badge and framed certificate. His response was typically modest: "If I hadn't had so many good friends , I'd not have stayued for fifty years - it's down to you, Brethren."

At the close of the meeting, I gave hearty greetings from Humber 57, and stood to join Peter and Alistair as they gave greetings from Phoenix Lodge 9963.

The Festive Board was sumptuous and I had the pleasure of responding to the toast to the visitors - a heartfelt thank you for the evening, especially to W Bro Gilliat, noting that good things come in small packages.

Peter took the direct route home. It was a balmy night without incident and we reflected on the meeting of old friends and the formation of new friendships. It had been, I concluded, as I bid farewell to Peter and Alistair and unlocked my door, a perfect summer's day.

[Photo of David Gilliat by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Tuesday 21st June 2022, Summer Solstice:

Representing at the HOGs' Lodge by Eddie Wildman

It's not the same; going to a Lodge as a visitor or going as the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. Even when the Lodge is known to you - and you are well-known to the Lodge, there's a subtle difference.

Being a Rep has its responsibilities, of course. There are high standards to uphold, and the Rep's DC (his personal Director of Ceremonies for the evening) does his best to ensure that the standards are maintained and the responsibilities met. One DC I know even carries a small brush to remove any dandruff that might have fallen on the Rep's shoulders.

An Active Provincial Warden or Officer of UGLE is expected to wear a tail coat when representing. There are two buttons at the back, and his dark blue apron belt should rest on these buttons. It is not just about being well turned out, however. The Representative is effectively the voice of the Provincial Grand Master that evening and so protocol is strictly observed.

Similarly, the Rep's DC has responsibilities accompanying the privilege of rank and will consult the Lodge's DC so that there is no uncertainty about organising an escort affording the visiting Representative the respect his office requires.

Representing the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master at the Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129 I was very pleased to have W Bro Barry Longstaff as my DC. His height, lean good looks and authoritative demeanour immediately lend dignity to an occasion and this evening at Dagger Lane was no exception. Bazza led me smartly to my seat next to the WM, W Bro Ian Dalton Storey, dismissed the escort and organised a smart salute. It is on occasions such as this that I feel proud to be part of our ancient institution. I responded appropriately and the meeting continued with the signing of the minutes, the temporary retirement of the two Entered Apprentices and the introduction of Brother Sam Dunstan, who accurately answered the Second Degree questions leading to the Third.

Hull Old Grammarians' was my mother Lodge and there were many familiar faces. When W Bro Beverley James Wilson Mackman explained the secrets I recalled he had done exactly the same to me. He was quietly celebrating fifty years in the Craft. W Bros Peter Griggs and Geoffrey Branton brought back happy memories with the Retrospect and Traditional History, but younger Brethren were also involved - the Junior Warden, Kevin Horler, the Deacons, Bros Musah and Elsworth (Bro Emmanuel Rashid Musah conducted Bro Dunstan very ably round the Lodge during the ceremony) and the Inner Guard, Bro David Stockton, plus others not in office. The ADC, Bro Mark Kieran Luscombe delivered the Charge. It was pleasing to see the balance of light blue and dark blue aprons, the comfortable continuance of a tradition that dates back not only to the consecration of the HOGs in 1929, but to the beginnings of Freemasonry itself.

Despite it being the Summer Solstice, it was not uncomfortably warm in the Lodge Room, but it was nevertheless a relief to remove my tailcoat and put on my jacket when we went down for dinner. By now it was getting late as there had been an address about the Royal Arch, a Certificate Presentation and a ballot upstairs. I was pleased to be able to commend the WM and the Lodge on the superb charity work undertaken during the year and to acknowledge the promotion of the Lodge Almoner, W Bro Stephen John Pickard to Provincial rank. W Bro Pickard had stood in for the SW that evening.

My DC, who had picked me up in his sleek Electric Leaf Lotus, took me back home. I was exhausted, but he was still as fresh as a daisy. He's cycled forty miles that morning for fun and was looking forward to upping the ante to seventy. Just the thought of all that energy made me tired, and I bid him a grateful goodnight. I went to bed immediately, relaxing from Representative mode into slumber, reflecting that while it's nice to be important, it's more important to be nice.

[Photograph of W Bro Longstaff & W Bro Wildman by W Bro Nigel Collier. Photograph of W Bro Ian Dalton Storey, WM by W Bro Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Monday 20th June 2022:

Holderness with A O'Neill.jpgHolderness Lodge 3563 had its last meeting before the summer break (a historical tradition relating to the early farming days when the Lodge met on the rich agricultural land on the north-east coast) and initiated Mr Andrew O'Neill at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull. There were visitors from several Lodges and the Lodge Room was well filled, the thirty-odd Brethren spacing themselves comfortably and enjoying the gentle breeze as the fire door was opened. (That's 30+ Brethren, not 30 odd Brethren, by the way.)

A eulogy to the late Brother Dave Hunter was given before the ceremony began, W Bro Paul Greenwood speaking about this humble man who was well loved by the Brethren. The Brethren stood in the traditional Masonic manner while "Abide with me" was played on the organ.

Paul was to feature later, as he was invested as the Lodge Director of Ceremonies; he had been unable to attend the Installation Ceremony the previous month. His predecessor, W Bro Steve Cox, relinquished the DC collar and was then given the office of Royal Arch Representative. W Bro Greenwood was also invested as Lodge Almoner and later gave his report in that capacity.

tyson, o'neill and kitchen.jpgIt was a new team, this being the first ceremony since the Installation last month (see 16th May on this page) and the WM, W Bro Richard Tyson set a fine example. I have visited too many Lodges recently where too many Brethren have read the ritual, often badly, but that was not the case here. There was not a book in sight, except in the hands of the Lecture Master, W Bro Malvin Sharpless, and remarkably few prompts were needed. A younger demographic is becoming increasingly evident in the Holderness Lodge. Entered Apprentices Holbrook and Jagger dilated on the Lesser Lights, the Warrant and Book of Constitutions, and Bro Kitchen, in his pristine Master Mason's apron, explained the working tools admirably. Having said that, some of the ceremony was done by older hands: W Bro Alan Coates' rendition of the North-East Corner in his musical Tyneside accent was a joy to hear, as was W Bro Ben Kelley's splendidly fluent Ancient Charge.

Afterwards, two more Candidates were proposed, to be balloted for later. W Bro Steve Cox had managed somehow to locate the original Past Master's jewel and expressed the wish that this be passed on to subsequent Past Masters as had been done in the past,

Bro Andrew Stephen O'Neill had obviously enjoyed the ceremony, and said so as he thanked the Brethren at the Festive Board, mentioning Bro Lee Atkinson who had expertly conducted him through the ceremony, and his eloquent proposer, Bro Jimmy Kitchen (Senior Deacon), All was over by ten o' clock and the sky was still light when Malvin drove me home - thanks, Mally!

[Photographs by James Ashby-Kelly: the Holderness lads with the latest Entered Apprentice; and Richard Tyson, Andrew O'Neill and Jimmy Kitchen (Seconder, Candidate and Proposer.)]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

Saturday 18th June 2022:

Technical Lodge 5666 met earlier in the day to enable its members to visit Minerva Lodge 250 at six o' clock. This was because Brother David Green, formally a member of Technical, was being installed as Worshipful Master of one of the oldest surviving Lodges in the Province - the Minerva Lodge Warrant dates back to 1783. Indeed, at the Festive Board afterwards, W Bro Keith Challis remarked that it was visiting an Open Day at Minerva that had persuaded David to become a Freemason, and it was entirely appropriate that he should become Master there.

It was a happy evening. That the Lodge is looking forward was evident from the successful ballot for a new member and the obvious enthusiasm of the Minerva Brethren. Its work with Charitible contributions was notable. The summons announced that the next meeting (13th July) would be a first degree ceremony.

Over twenty Technical Lodge members were there to witness W Bro Kevin Marshall install his successor. There were visitors from elsewhere, including, of course, the premier Lodge in the Province. The Representative, W Bro Andrew Popely, had travelled from Huby, north of York, for the occasion, and commended W Bro Richard Theaker (DC) for the Provincial honours he had received. The wine, the whisky and the port flowed freely - not to mention the beer, which W Bro Mike Cheeseman enjoyed in quantity. I have no doubt the Minerva Lodge Facebook and the Technical Lodge Facebook will be active! Minerva Lodge 250 also has a website.

It was a memorable night. David looked happy, sitting for a relaxing moment in the Master's Chair after the ceremony, his Wardens on either side as his Junior Deacon, Jim Bradshaw, took a photograph. Congratulations to all!

[W Bro David Green with W Bro Ken Marshall; and Bro Richard Marshall, W Bro Green and Bro Danial Marshall by Bro Jim Bradshaw.]

 

Wednesday 15th June 2022:

W Bro Eddie Wildman gave greeting from Humber Lodge 57 at the Phoenix Lodge meeting in the upper room at the Sailmakers Arms: an exceedingly warm and poorly supported meeting, it was decided to forgo the intended lecture in view of the paucity of Brethren present, but to close in due form and enjoy the summer heat in the tavern gardens with cool drinks and convivial conversation. The Secretary quite correctly deplored the manners of those Brethren who had given no indication of their decision not to attend; while the Phoenix Lodge 9963 is less formal than most, good manners cost nothing.

Eddie Wildman, Tyler

Tuesday 14th June 2022:

W Bro Ian Syddall (acting Secretary) writes about the Humber Lodge Meeting.


The Lodge was opened in due and antient form at 18:30.

The Acting WM Eddie Wildman (and not for the first time in this masonic year) welcomed the Brethren and explained that due to the absence of WM Mike Potts and the late cancellation of the Candidate for the evening, Bro James Procter, the planned business which was going to be James’ 2nd Degree (Passing ceremony) was postponed. Instead we had an evening of masonic education in the form of a quiz, which our acting WM Eddie had prepared.

The WM Eddie Wildman "Called Off" the Lodge, the Brethren organised themselves into groups of three and the quiz rules were explained.

With 22 points out of a possible 29 the winning team was “The Three Degrees” which consisted of W Bro’s Philip Watts, David Terry and Ian Syddall. The prize was a multi-pack of Smarties.

Well done to all who took part.

The Lodge was then "Called On" and the remaining business was carried out; the Lodge was closed at 19.30 hours.

The Festive Board was enjoyed by sixteen members: although the numbers were low the company was full of conversation, laughter and of course it's not the quantity it’s the quality that counts!

It was decided to defer the raffle till the next meeting.

W Bro Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward

 

Saturday 11th June 2022:

The logo of the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 uses the logo of the Beverley Grammar School enclosed in a square and compasses superimposed over a pair of pillars, and the summons displays the school motto beneath the logo: Adolescentiam Alunt Senectutem Oblecant. The Latin phrase is worthy of one of the oldest schools in the country but makes little sense out of content; however it certainly applies to the Beverlonian Lodge as much as to the school.

 

In fact, the four words are from Cicero, who was defending a poet against the charge of not being a Roman citizen in around 62 BC. Cicero's oration was discovered by Petrarch in 1333. The full quote reads Haec studia adolescentiam alunt, senectutem oblectant, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium ac solacium praebent, delectant domi, non impediunt foris, pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur, which translates as "These studies sustain youth and entertain old age, they enhance prosperity, and offer a refuge and solace in adversity, they delight us when we are at home without hindering us in the wider world, and are with us at night, when we travel and when we visit the countryside."

Both old age and youth were being entertained - and the future of the Lodge sustained despite the parcity of Brethren on this occasion. Many were away on holiday, and work commitments precluded the presence of others. I had become available because of a cancellation elsewhere, and arrived at Trinity Lane with about a dozen others to see Bro Thomas Baxter raised to the Third Degree.

Despite ongoing health issues, W Bro Peter Saxby took the Chair; the SW was also a stand-in, with W Bro Mike Collinson doing a splendid job. The Junior Warden, Bro Mark Fox, was in good form - he was to receive his Grand Lodge Certificate later that evening. Bro Kieran Alan Rose Newton, while in attendance, was not at the meeting - he was busy downstairs doing the catering, for the Trinity Lane cook requires an attendance of seventeen if he is to provide his services. Kieran is a star and "a solace in adversity."

It was a relaxed ceremony, and carried, for the most part, by senior Brethren. Brother Baxter relinquished his staff of office as Junior Deacon, as he was to be taken thnrough the ritual of becoming a Master Mason. There being no Entered Apprentices or Fellow Crafts present, he was examined in the questions (to which he responded confidently) and entrusted with the password and grip for re-entry into the Lodge. He he retired for preparation and the Lodge, too, was prepared.

The burden of the ceremony was in the hands of senior Brethren, with Worshipful Brothers Roger Lewis and Rod Taylor performing huge chunks of ritual; it is unlikely I'll see such good quality deliveries as these for a long time. Brother Dave Wilson explained the Working Tools of a Master Mason with impressive flair, Brother Baxter can wear his Master Mason's apron with pride, knowing he has been well and worthily raised!

I had the privilege of presenting Mark Fox with his Grand Lodge Certificate before the WM closed the Lodge. I did not stay for Kieran's sausages afterwards, but hurried home to write this blog. It had been a long night. Cicero's oratory sustained me as I drove: the ritual, I told myself, was "with us at night, when we travel and when we visit the countryside." Well done to all who took part.

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

Friday 10th June 2022:

The de la Pole Lodge 1605 was well attended; there were lots of visitors. I was there as the guest organist, and the ubiquitous Malcolm Forbes was there as a member; indeed his report as Almoner was the longest of the evening despite him telling everybody he had little to say! In compensation, the WM, W Bro Ben Kelly has a rapid delivery - yet the clarity of his words was such that no meaning was lost - and his perfect rendition of both the obligation and the ancient charge was a delight. It was a happy evening. The main business was the initiation of Mr Aaron Sutherland who was conducted round the Lodge by Bro Graham Thornally at a quick march (or perhaps it's just me slowing down.) It was certainly an impressive show for the Ridings Tablers' Lodge, who had turned out in force - there were eight of us, including myself, on a mission - that of collecting the Travelling Gavel.

There were three Officers of the United Grand Lodge of England present:, Jonathan Smith, Pat Cambage and myself. We gathered for a photoshot with Bro Sutherland and the WM. "Eddie, come and stand at the front," said Bro Mike Kelly, wielding his mobile phone camera, "You're so short we won't be able to see you otherwise."  Worshipful Brother Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith smiled patronisingly. "Perhaps if you take the shot from low down it will make him look bigger," he said. I ignored these comments with the contempt they deserved, of course. W Bro Cambage smiled tolerantly.

The Festive Board was a salad - and as the evening was sweltering, this was very welcome. The DC for the evening, W Bro Grahame Leonard Deighton PPJGW continued to maintain the momentum of the meeting upstairs, announcing the formal toasts with swift efficiency.Having stated the intention of  claiming the Travelling Gavel Upstairs when Bro Graham Hutchcroft gave
greetings on behalf of the Lodge, the RTL request was renewed during the Visitors' Response . and the WM relinquished the Humber artefact..

From my seat at the table, I could see our new initiate obviously enjoying himself and I scribbled a quick sketch on the paper tablecloth. "Not very flattering, but a good memento," remarked the SW, Bro Ian Fisher, "I'll tear it off and give it to him." He gave me an evil grin. "Legal proceedings may follow."

It was a splendid evening, and despite the amount of work covered, we were away for ten o' clock. Bro Paul Holland of the RTL carefully placed the Travelling Gavel in its box at the end of the meeting. "Worshipful Master," he said, "I thought you were absent-mindedly about to put that away again. Let me look after it, that's right."

Well done, de la Pole Lodge - and well done, Ridings Tablers!

For further info, see the Travelling Gavel Page.

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

[Photograph of the UGLEs by Bro Mike Kelly,  photograph of Paul Holland and Ben Kelly  by Bro Steve Walker.]

 

 

 

Thursday 9th June 2022: 

Malcolm Forbes'  Impromptu Visit to Thesaurus Lodge 3891

 

After the early close of the Humber Chapter 57 meeting which I briefly attended, I was invited to attend the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 Lodge meeting by W Bro Eddie Wildman, whose place I took at the Festive Board. It was a most gracious offer which I was very pleased to accept. It was a special night as female guests were invited to attend the Festive Board.

The Lodge meeting was opened by Worshipful Master Steve Burns. As he had previously been unable to attend W Bro Nigel Bell was invested as Junior Deacon. A ballot subsequently took place for two joining members. The ballot proved clear.

After the Lodge reports were presented, WM Steve Burns then presented three twenty-five years pins to W Bro Mike East, W Bro David Harrison and Bro Stuart Gamble respectively in recognition of their twenty-five year membership of Thesaurus Lodge. 

I gave greetings on behalf of Andrew Marvell Lodge and stood up to support the greetings given by W Bro Eddie Wildman on behalf of Humber Lodge 57. No other visitors were present.

The short Lodge meeting was duly closed so that the Brethren could meet up downstairs with their guests.

The layout of the Festive Board replicated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee street party celebrations in that the tables were placed so that there were two long lines of chairs on both sides of the long table. I was able to converse with Bro Andy East who was much better after feeling unwell in the Lodge meeting. 

A substantial buffet was provided. Two toasts were submitted The party atmosphere was enhanced by the singing of patriotic songs and musical standards as well as popular songs such as Sweet Caroline and We are the Champions. Everyone joined in the festivities. I was pleased to win a raffle prize.

I thanked WM Steve Burns for making me feel very welcome. I hadn't quite gatecrashed the party and did receive an invitation to attend future Thesaurus Lodge Lodge meetings and social events. I left at 9.45 p.m. with the party atmosphere in full swing.

Malcolm Forbes, Charity Steward

 

                                                                                                                                                                                

Wednesday 8th June 2022:

It was a good turn out to support the RWPGM at Grand Lodge in London, though as someone had remarked on WhatsApp many of the younger ones were at work, bless! But W Bro Richard Smedley and W Bro Ian Syddall from the Humber Lodge were there - Richard took advantage of a late train back and stayed for an organ recital on the magnificent instrument in the Grand Lodge Main Hall. The Provincial Grand Master stood proudly in the sunshine, his grandson beside him. Ian suggested that as the latest United Grand Lodge appointment in Humber 57 - and a double at that, Richard ought to buy everybody a drink.

 

Monday 6th June 2022:

                                    

Visit to Humber Installed Masters 2494 

by W Bro Malcolm Forbes

I attended the meeting of Humber Installed Masters at Beverley Road arriving at 6.0 p.m. in plenty of time for the Lodge meeting start time of 6.30 p.m. There were many familiar faces present and it was easy to engage in social interaction before the start of the meeting.

Worshipful Master Danny Betts opened the meeting. In attendance was the Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother Jeffrey Gillyon who is a member of the Lodge. Brother Chris Lefevre, the Senior Warden of Andrew Marvell Lodge, attended the meeting. Humber Lodge was strongly represented with Bro Terry Fisher as Secretary of Humber Installed Masters, Bro Craig Maurier as its Director of Ceremonies and also Bro Alan Todd.

After a portion of the Ancient Charges had been read out and the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7th February had been approved a ballot took place for myself and Bro David Haynes, a member of Thesaurus Lodge 3981, took place. Whilst outside the Lodge room waiting for the result of the ballot I found out Bro Haynes's sister-in-law lives two doors down from me in Thorngumbald. The result of the ballot which was held conjointly was successful and on re-entering the Lodge room we were both congratulated by WM Danny Betts and presented with the Lodge's by-laws before retaking our seats.

Following the ballot the annual accounts presented by Bro William Glanville were approved.

The main business of the meeting was to hear a talk by Bro Malcolm Sharman on the Queen and his personal reflections on her life and reign. The talk captured the mood of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which had taken place between 2nd and 6th June and was moving, informative and entertaining. The talk was relatively short but credit to Bro Sharman for encapsulating the debt of gratitude which the nation owes to Her Majesty.

I had to remember not to give greetings on behalf of Andrew Marvell Lodge as I had become a joining member of Humber Installed Masters

The meeting closed at 7.10 p.m.

The Festive Board provided good cheer. I was in good company and the three course meal was of the usual high standard. Two toasts were given. The PGM did not sit on the top table. 

It proved to be a very enjoyable evening. By 8.30 p.m. we bid our farewells and I was home for 9.0 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                Malcolm Forbes

Tuesday 31st May 2022:

I spent the last evening of the Month as a guest of the Constitutional Lodge 294, one of the most ancient in the Province, tracing its origins back to 1793, the time of the French Revolution. The meeting was one of peace and harmony; although the Worshipful Master, W Bro Travis Lee Plumridge had very evident health issues and difficulties with mobility, he opened the Lodge promptly in due form. The Wardens (who were responsible for the appearance of the Candidate that evening) were in fine fettle: Brother Sam Adkins (JW) had proposed him, and Bro John Chrystal (SW) had seconded the proposal. Before the initiation ceremony, however, I had the privilege of presenting Bro Adkins with his Grand Lodge Certificate. He is a tall man, and I found myself getting a crick in my neck - I'd have been better standing on the dais so I could speak face to face. He returned to his place well satisfied, I think, and I went back to my seat at the organ.

There was a ballot for a rejoining member - Bro Michael Anthony Noble, who had taken time out during the covid crisis. He was welcomed back with open arms - indeed, he later delivered the Ancient Charge in a faultless performance - but I am getting ahead of myself.

Next, Mr Ben Blanchard was initiated.  A hard-working farmer, he looked younger than his thirty-five years, and while he said he was nervous, he was an excellent Candidate, unflustered and obviously taking in what was happening with interest. W Bro Martin John Roland took on the role of Junior Deacon and conducted Mr Blanchard round the Lodge with military precision. 

It was a delight to see so many Light Blue Brethren involved and I will not name them all, but the NE Corner (Bro David Brazier), the symbolism of the Working Tools (Bro Sam Adkins)  along with the Ancient Charge (Bro Mike Noble) were stunning. The older hands were also magnificent paradigms; there is an enviable high standard in 294!

The sound of the bells of Beverley Minster accompanied the closing as Brother Ben retired to restore himself to his usual conforts. (There are ten bells, in the key of C, but I doubt anybody else at the meeting counted them pealing.)

Reports followed, and a new candidate was proposed and seconded, I gave greetings on behalf of Humber 57, along with W Bro Malcolm Forbes (a member of Constitutional, so it is considered poor form to give greetings on behalf of another Lodge, otherwise I am sure he would have given greetings as WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642.) There were four visitors. Brother Ben Blanchard, now smartly attired, returned in time to hear the Brethren sing the Closing Ode.

The Festive Board (and the meeting upstairs) were, I am told, enhanced by having an organist present, and the Brethren acquitted themselves well in the Entered Apprentice Song, after which Freemasonry's newest member responded to the toast proposed to him. He seemed thoroughly pleased to be in such excellent company. I asked him if he had much work to do when he returned to his farm. "Well, the lambing's over now," he smiled, "but we'll be sheering soon. We're always busy."

I drove home, looking forward to a nice cool drink of lager to help me write up these notes. It had been a splendid evening.

[Photograph of Bros Ben and Sam by  W Bro Gavin Collinson]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

 

Saturday 28th May 2022:

I still make mistakes. Although I've been a Freemason for over thirty years I still get things wrong. When I saw the material prepared for the inaugural Joint Building Lodge of Instruction meeting at Beverley Road Masonic Hall I thought to myself "This is Booooring. It will never work." But I was wrong.

"A not-so-brief history of Freemasonry" was the title - my heart sank. And it was from the Solomon website. Don't misunderstand - Solomon is a great research tool, full of interesting articles - some of them are my contributions. It has been expertly developed and expanded largely through the far-sightedness and industry of W Bro Paul Harper and it is excellent reading. But I had understood the purpose of this meeting was to attract younger Freemasons to become more involved with the Craft, wih their Lodges, and to increase their friendships with like-minded Light Blues - and particularly to form a forum for Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts to find common interests within Freemasonry. The younger Brethren are the future, of course: if our Fraternity is to go forward we have to accommodate and encourage the newcomers. I was not sure that a presentation from Solomon was the right route. 

A great deal of the Solomon website material is better for private reading rather than for being read out aloud - there is a world of difference in the delivery of a topic by an experienced speaker and someone declaiming a somewhat academic essay, though the "nuggets" (Paul Harper's term for short items to provoke interest) are becoming increasingly popular at Lodge meetings. 

There were some younger Brethren present- not as many as I had hoped, but my expectations hadn't been high. A Saturday evening in May sunshine was an incitement to BBQ and the Liverpool v Real Madrid Champions League final match was on TV - but I thought I'd show willing. There were a lot of Past Masters there. but, as I said, those young Masons with a genuine desire to learn and to become involved made the exercise worthwhile.

While Mike Cheeseman had done much of the spade work, Barry Longstaff had been asked to put this presentation together only a couple of days before. Bazza had carefully organised it into sections with PowerPoint images and cunningly delegated some of the sections to be read out by the visiting Brethren - focussing, bless him, on the Light Blues present.

There was enough material to give rise to discussion, and this was where it became interesting: people began to ask questions - and suggest answers, and it was evident that even some of the old hands were becoming enlightened, Also, those youngsters present stated that this was what they'd been missing - rehearsal was all very well, but this gathering was looking not so much at what we do, but why we do it. What are the landmarks, exactly? What do the solstices have to do with Masonic meetings? Why is the discussion of religion and politics forbidden?

So I was wrong - and delighted to be wrong! The meeting was a success, and hopefully will be the first of a number of Lodge of Instruction get-togethers. Let me exhort our own newcomers to look out for the next one - which I am sure will be another opportunity for stimulating conversation in good company.

The bad news is that the Liverpool team was beaten 1-0.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Friday 27th May 2022:

Eddie Wildman is a Founder Member of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge as well as a Past Master of Humber 57: here is his report of a RTL third degree ceremony.

The summons calling the Brethren to convene at the Masonic Hall, Trinity Lane, Beverley stated that this was the 195th meeting of the Lodge. In a few months, I reflected, we would be celebrating the two-hundredth meeting - somehow it didn't seem like so many, and despite the blip in calculations caused by covid, it doesn't seem twenty-seven years ago when the Lodge was founded. But I am older now, and feeling my age, Time for the younger ones to be taking the Lodge forward, I thought, as I turned on the organ, 

In fact, the Lodge has moved on and thankfully the younger Brethren are proving their worth, though there were a number of absences this evening - some because of holidays. And even though the business of the evening was a third degree ceremony, there were four Entered Apprentices in the Lodge Room at the start of the meeting. Tonight they were able to witness what they will later realise was an unusual event.

One valued member of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 is W Bro Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith, one of the first initiates into the Lodge. He became a member in 1986, and progressed rapidly through the offices, becoming WM in 2003, going on to receive Provincial and eventually Grand Lodge honours, and becoming a Ruler in the Provincial Chapter. However, it was a surprise to us nonetheless when an announcement from Province told the Masonic world that in July he would become the Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

I confess myself delighted at the news. I was even more delighted to have the honour of marking the occasion at the RTL of presenting him with a star - a move which obviously tickled his sense of humour. He responded in kind - thanking the Lodge for the recognition. (And should anyone be concerned that the photograph was taken during the Lodge meeting - worry not, W Bro Dr Ling Faang Yu, the Senior Deacon, kindly took the picture afterwards.)

There was a report following this brief presentation, and W Bro James Steele entered as the Representive's DC to announce that W Bro Paul Harper stood at the door of the Lodge as the representative that evening of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. An escort was formed, and W Bro Harper was welcomed onto the Lodge, and he took his place at the right of the Worshipful Master, W Bro Connor Ferguson (probably the youngest Master on the circuit.)

The main business of the evening was to raise Brother Michael Paul Holt to the Third degree. The WM obligated him superbly, the Retrospect was delivered by W Bro Roger Lewis from the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 - with the Sprig of Acacia interpolation intoned by W Bro Barrie Jeffery accompanied by solemn quiet chords on the organ. The Historical Oration and Tracing Board were given by W Bro Wildman and the Working Tools explained by the Senior Warden, Bro Martin Clark. The Charge was rendered superbly by Bro Chris Woodhead, Lodge Secretary, whose precision of elocution is an example to us all.

The Master lowered the Lodge directly from the third to the first degree and the Entered Apprentices were readmitted for the reports and resolutions. Bro Holt returned, now restored to his usual comforts, looking elegant in his new Master Mason's apron.

I did not stay for the festive board, so regrettably missed the comments of W Bro Paul Harper at the Festive Board, but it had been a pleasure to be there that evening - especially with visitors from the Andrew Marvell and De la Pole Lodges who were familiar faces.

[Photo of Eddie & Jono by Ling Yu; photo of Bro Michael Holt by Eddie Wildman.]

 Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

Thursday 26th May 2022:

Eddie Wildman gave greetings from Humber 57 at the Lodge of St Michael 7833. Here is his account of the evening.

It cannot be denied that the Lodge of St Michael is sometimes leisurely in its delivery of ritual, so much so that the Installation ceremony is traditionally called to commence at 4:30 pm. I arrived an hour beforehand, to find that several Brethren were already setting up tables to prepare for the Festive Board later. Julie (Peter's partner) was there too and had baked some delicious shortbread - I don't think there was any left at the end of the evening.

Despite the early start, the Brethren and visitors were ready to roll, and had signed in, so when the DC, W Bro Henderson PPSGD announced "The appointed hour has arrived" exactly on time, everyone was ready, with their mobile phones turned off, and the Worshipful Master, W Bro John Watkins, was escorted into the Lodge Room. The meeting was opened melodiously and efficiently. There was a report, and W Bro Barry Longstaff (recognised less than a month previously for his services to Freemasonry and invested with his Provincial Stewards' collar by the RWPGM at the York convocation) smartly entered and asked for a Provincial escort to honour the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Michael de Villamar Roberts PJGD. It was an auspicious begining, and Bazza's efficiency somehow communicated itself to the Brethren - or perhaps vice-versa, for the meeting continued with an enviable momentum.

I shall not dilate on the raising of the Lodge to the Second Degree wherein the Master Elect was obligated for the first time, but again the ritual was smoothly managed; nor on the retirement of Brethren who had not yet been through the Chair (identifiable from the rosettes on their aprons.) Brother Stokes was installed into the Master's Chair according to ancient tradition. The Brethren were readmitted and perambulated round the Lodge saluting the new Master while W Bro Terry Lynn sang the Masonic Anthem from the Senior Warden's Chair in the West. The application of the working tools as a guide to our morals was explained by some of the younger Brethren, and particular mention should be made of Brother Tony Tyler's rendition of the tools of the Entered Apprentice Freemason.

The Worshipful Master appointed and invested his officers. A note should be made that the Senior Warden Elect, Brother Adrian Thompson BEM had been called to receive honours at Buckingham Palace, so we will look forward to hearing all about that at the next meeting. 

I had the privilege of giving the Address to the Master and W Bro Peter Wright PPJGW gave the Address to the Wardens. Brother John Burton, just appointed as Senior Deacon, delivered the Address to the Brethren.

W Bro Peter  Stokes then invested his predecessor with a Past Master's Jewel, and Worshipful Brother de Villamer Roberts gave a lively and informative description of the Grand Lodge Certificate, which he presented to Brother Tony Tyler. Greetings were given from visiting Lodges: Brough Lodge 5464 was well represented.

Despite the amount of work done upstairs, we were still earlier than anticipated at the Festive Board. Indeed, in his response to the fifth toast, W Bro de Villamar Roberts remarked that it was a pleasure to be speaking shortly after nine and not at 10:30. He spoke of our changing society and the necessity of embracing change, maintaining that the old traditions should not be considered irrevocable - in this day and age, he opined, the Ladder System employed by many Lodges might be questioned. "The key aspect of Freemasonry," he stated, "is enjoyment."

It was a happy evening. The toast to the new WM was given by W Bro David Whittall, who said that, like the other Brethren, he regarded it as a privilege to belong to the Lodge of St Michael, and was looking forward to the year. W Bro Terry Lynn PPJGW sang the Worshipful Master's Song and everyone joined in the chorus.

The Lodge Preceptor, W Bro Isaac Jackie Chapman PPGsuptWks gave the toast to the IPM and his officers, mentioning that circumstances had precluded W Bro Watkins taking the Chair earlier, but now his wife had insisted. Brenda's support, especially as she is unwell, was appreciated by all the Lodge. "Our Immediate Past Master has done his best," Jackie said, "and no-one can ask for more than that. And his Officers have supported him with great gusto."

John's response was more than a little emotional, but he thanked the Brethren for their support and said he would pass on their kind regards to Brenda.

Mention should be made of the toast to Absent Brethren with its unique tune and words put together by two Founder members of the Lodge. Almoner W Bro Whittall explained that the marriage of lyrics and melody resonated with him particularly, considering those Brethren who for whatever reason could not be with us that evening.

It is a tradition that the ladies get together while the Brethren celebrate the annual Installation, and this evening was no exception. The Worshipful Master had generously supplied the wine and the port and we were in a jolly mood. No doubt the ladies were too. I didn't join them at the Holiday Inn on this occasion, but took my leave with the words of St Michael's Lodge final song ringing in my head: "We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne."

[Photographs:John Watkins, IPM; Peter Stokes WM; Michael de Villamar Roberts, Representative; Peter and John, and Terry Lynn, vocalist, stand-in Senior Warden and all-round good egg. All taken by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman

Tuesday 24th May 2022:

A brief email from Bro Charles Alexander, ADC of the Humber Lodge:

 

Well tonight I joined Hull 182 Royal Ark Mariners at Brough lodge in Sutton.

It was a different ceremony and was really enjoyable, the festive board afterwards was great, I have joined a great Masonic Order and made some new friends; I'm looking forward to the next meeting so that I can watch the ceremony that I have just completed, Thanks to my Proposer and Seconder and also the deacons who guided me through the ceremony.

Fraternal Regards

Charles Alexander

 

Monday 23rd May 2022:

 Last month the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 initiated a Candidate for Freemasonry; this month, another was initiated - a sign that the Lodge is moving forward after the covid pandemic. 

 

 

The two Entered Apprentices ("Bookends" one photographer unklndly remarked) in the photoshot have a marked similarity in appearance. The one on the left of the picture is Bro Stuart Richardson, the one on the right is Bro Nigel Henry.

The Worshipful Master processed in to the singing of the Opening Ode to the tune "Innocents" arranged by W H Monk in 1861. The name of the tune refers to the singing of the hymn on the Feast of the Holy Innocents: "Little flowers of Martyrdom" but of course, the words of the Opening Ode are not the same. The use of this tune Masonically is unusual - Andrew Marvell Lodge is the only Lodge I know of that sings it. In Humber Lodge we do not sing an opening ode.

 

The Worshipful Master, Malcom Forbes opened the Lodge, noting that his Senior Warden, Chris Lefevre, had received Provincial honours last Saturday and the Brethren greeted this with acclamation. The Tyler, W Bro Peter Kenningham was invited in to be invested, then he returned to the Candidate, Mr Stuart Richardson, who was being prepared to be made a Mason that evening.

 

Mr Richardson's confidence in answering the questions put to him drew nods of approval from the Brethren round the room, and the Junior Deacon, Brother Chris Wright, took him through the initial perambulations while the Organist played the tune "Lux benigna" (Lead kindly light.) The music is by Hull-born John Bacchus Dykes, and was composed in 1867. The Worshipful Master obligated Stuart Richardson. The Address at the North East Corner was given by W Bro Wildman, the Working Tools were explained by the Junior Warden, Bro Ian Fuller, and the Chaplain, W Bro Adrian Hayward delivered the Ancient Charge. Brother Richardson, having given very commendable attention to the ritual, retired to restore himself to his usual comforts,

Bro Richardson returned after the Mentor's and Lodge Membership Officers's reports. The plethora of reports was offset by the efficiency of the Secretary, W Bro John Towler, who had already emailed all salient correspondance to the Brethren.The Lodge was closed in harmony with the singing of the Closing Ode to the tune "St Sylvester" again by Dykes (1862), the same tune used by many Lodges -including some in Singapore, and the Brethren retired to the Festive Board below to toast our newly-made Brother with song, including another Dykes favourite, "Melita" following the Junior Warden's toast submitted to the Absent, Sick and Seafaring Brethren.

[Photographs of Bros Richardson, Fuller, Forbes, Lefevre and Henry; and of Bro Richardson with W Bro Forbes by Eddie Wildman.]

 Eddie Wildman

 

 

 

Saturday 21st May 2022:

Technical Lodge 5666 recognised the honour afforded to W Brother Paul Hillary who received the active rank of Provincial Junior Grand Warden at the convocation on Saturday 14th (see below.) He was brought in on a report, with visitor W Bro Richard East of the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 as his DC. Richard himself had also been accorded honours with the active rank of Provincial Grand Pursuivant. Indeed, there were other Technical Brethren who had achieved Provincial recognition - a great honour for the Lodge, which is thriving in these difficult times. The Lodge Secretary, W Bro Mike Cheeseman, when informing the Lodge of these honours modestly failed to mention his own active rank of Provincial Grand Mentor ratified for another year, but mentioned, in addition to Paul, W Bros Hiten Thaker, John Chapman and Steve Berry who now wore collars proclaiming them to be Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacons.

The business of the evening was to initiate Mr Malcolm Amir Hussain-Gambles who was proposed by his father. Malcolm was the tallest man there - and the Technical Lodge already has some lofty Brethren. He was conducted round the Lodge by the Junior Deacon, who, despite being called Alan Large, was half the size of the Candidate. This was not, of course, a problem: Freemasonry welcomes all good men who fulfill the necessary qualifications, and it was obvious in the first minutes of his initiation that Mr Hussain-Gambles was going to an assett to the Craft.

It was pleasing to see the involvement of younger members of the Lodge in taking office and in the delivery of the ritual. Brother Adam Tunnicliffe explained the lesser lights perfectly, and Bro Steve Walker, still an Entered Apprentice, gave the Address at the North East Corner.

The next item of business was Brother Adam Tunnicliffe being presented with his Grand Lodge Certificate by the Lodge Organist, and was reminded to take it with him when visiting elsewhere.

The Lodge was closed in due form and the Brethren retired to the dining hall. The toasts following the Festive Board were sincere and happily short - (some Lodges have Brethren who, though they have nothing to say, insist on providing evidence.) W Brother David Turner sang the Visitors Song and Happy to Meet Again was performed by W Bro John Chapman, PPJGD.

[Photograph of Entered Apprentices Steve Walker, Malcolm Hussain-Gambles, Ed Thompson and James Neve with WM Rob Atkinson by the kind courtesy of W Bro Paul Hillary, ProvJGW.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

Thursday 19th May 2022:

For an account of the meeting of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 on this date please click on the link.

Monday16th May 2022:

There was a tremendous atmosphere at Holderness Lodge 3563 which marked the beginning of its 110th year with the Installation of Brother Richard Tyson. The Masonic Hall at Beverley Road (click this link for details) was buzzing when I arrived (W Bro Richard Smedley kindly picked me up) and I had time for a cup of tea before going to the Lodge Room to sort out my music. We were all in place for six o' clock and the WM, James Ashby-Kelly gavelled promptly; there was a lot to get through, including successfully balloting for a joining member.

The Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Howard Bean announced that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Alan Armbrister demanded admission (rulers demand admission, all others request admission)  and he was preceded by a team of Provincial Officers including Ian Syddall from Humber Lodge. Richard Smedley was of course already in place as an Active Grand Lodge Officer, and I was at the organ, so the Premier Lodge in the Province was well represented.

James kept up the high standard of ritual he had established throughout the year as he took the Master Elect through the necessary obligations: those who have not yet taken the Master's Chair were readmitted and paraded, and it was pleasing to see the younger members delivering ritual in the explanation of the working tools in each degree, after which the newly installed WM appointed and invested his team of officers.

For the difference between installation, appointment and investiture, see this nugget.

W Bro Armbrister delivered the address to W Bro Tyson, I gave the address to the Wardens, and the address to the Brethren was given by W Bro Malvin Sharpless. 

W Bro Richard Smedley sang the Masonic Anthem with everyone joining in the chorus.

The transition between Worshipful Masters was well managed; W Bro Tyson had obviously rehearsed his words and delivered the ritual with authority and without hesitation. He took reports and closed the Lodge, and after a brief pause for photographs, the Brethren went below for the Festive Board.

We were a little late starting the meal but the Holderness Brethren rallied round and assisted the waitresses. The food was brilliant (Luke Pyrah sets very high standards!)

Richard Smedley was agin in fine voice at the after-proceedings. The song to the Worshipful Master followed the toast to W Bro Tyson, and the toast to the IPM was followed by "Bless this Lodge" as W Bro Ashley-Kelly had had to forgo vocal contributions due to covid restrictions. The visitor's toast was followed by the visitors song "Brethren from the East and West" and the toast submitted to the Absent, Sick and Seafaring Brethren was followed by Dykes evocative setting "to those in peril on the sea." I am always moved by this music, written in 1861: John Bacchus Dykes was born in Hull and was very familiar with the tragedies which frequently affected the fishing industry. The Parting toast was followed by "Happy to meet again" in which the Brethren joined in the chorus. Thus people left that night with a song on their lips. It had been an excellent evening.

[Photographs by Mike Kelly: Ian Syddall, Richard Smedley and Eddie Wildman from the Premier Lodge in the Province; W Bro Alan Armbrister and W Bro Richard Tyson.]

 

Saturday 14th May 2022:

 The Convocation at York


It was something of an effort to pull myself out of my pit at 07:00 am, but I had almost everything ready for departure at 07:45. I made a few sandwiches and wrapped them, adding some healthy fruit, and was ready for the Humber Lodge ADC, Brother Charles Alexander when my phone rang precisely at quarter to the hour with the message that he’d arrived and was waiting outside. I checked I had everything: two lots of regalia, jacket and tailcoat, lunchbox, and went to the car.

Charles admits he’s a geek – he is irresistibly drawn to gadgets. His vehicle has every conceivable add-on, some of which he demonstrated as he headed down Spring Bank West to pick up Stan.
    “Google, telephone Stan Smith” said Charles as we turned into Stan’s street. Actually, the call was unnecessary as Stanley was already at the door waiting for us, but I was still impressed.

The journey to York University was without incident. Indeed, such were the features on Charles’ Citroȅn Aircross that he could have sat back and dozed, the built-in automatic steering, sign recognition and autobraking rendered a driver unnecessary. Apart from one occasion at the Fulford Roundabout where a mad motorist suddenly weaved in front of us (and I learned more Scottish swear words than I thought had existed), we enjoyed a relaxed drive, debouching at the University in a conveniently close parking spot, and we ambled to the Central Hall in good time.

The campus in the May sunshine was a delight to the eye. York University, however, is probably the only educational establishment in the country where the walkways and outdoor benches are covered in goose shit.
     “It even makes Scarborough look good,” murmured David Gylliat of Sykes Lodge 1040.

There are lots of wildfowl, the greylags, barnacle and lesser snow-geese vying with the pintails, grebes and pochards in fertilising the area along with the swans and feral pigeons. They are also exasperatingly vocal. Whoever designated the term Mute Swans was obviously deaf. I wondered how such good-looking creatures could make such ugly sounds as I listened to the background of whoops, screeches and asthmatic chuckles. One unseen avian in the rushes made a hideous coughing noise like the expectorations of a sixty-a-day smoker.

I decided to forgo the hidden mysteries of Nature for the time being and made my way into the Central Hall which sits elegantly on the side of the lake. Already the place was filling up with Freemasons, all with black cases. Some people were already putting on their Chapter regalia. I took a snapshot of Stan and Chas before we went upstairs to take our seats.

The practice of holding the Chapter and Craft Convocations on the same day enabled those who wanted to attend both to do so without having to make two journeys. It also allowed Freemasons who only wished to attend one event to spend half a day there, with or without lunch. Charles, Stan and I were there for both gatherings; Worshipful Brother Phil Watts turned up for lunch and the afternoon session.

The morning’s meeting was admirable: the red-collared Provincial Stewards exercised a military proficiency and everything went like clockwork – hardly surprising with people such as Richard Smedley (in his new Grand Chapter regalia) and E Companion Ian Syddall making sure everything was in place.

While it has been good to attend Convocations at the York Racecourse, there’s something rather grand about the University venue with its steeply raked seats and impressive auditorium by the elegant lakeside. As a shorty who can’t see over people’s heads I approve, and don’t really mind having to scrape my shoes clean afterwards. I like York Uni.

The Programme (red on one side for Chapter, black on the other for Craft – one would have thought that blue would be more appropriate) announced “The Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter Yorkshire North & East Ridings will commence at 10-00 am,” adding in parentheses “(Companions to be seated by 9.30am)”. If I’d been picky I would have pointed out the inconsistency of punctuation (a dash for the first time, a dot for the second) and the erratic spacing before the “am” which also transferred to the pm timings on the other side, but magnanimously ignored it while looking for similar typos on the page (there were several on both sides, all involving dots and spaces.) But as Emerson once wrote: “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

It was a good idea to have the Companions in place early as it took a while for them all to find their seats and settle. But they were ready for the processionals which began at 9.45, as the Stewards escorted distinguished Excellent Companions and honoured guests to the raised stage. It was spectacular, all present wearing the distinctive colourful regalia and sashes of the Order. Meanwhile Companion Nick Page, (soon to be appointed as Provincial Grand Chapter Organist) played the clavinova magnificently – a lovely selection of music including Ronald Binge’s Elizabethan Serenade and Sailing By; the latter can be heard just before the Shipping Broadcast every night on Radio Four. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the music, either – Charles’ face lit up when he recognised a Scottish favourite. Fortunately Stan and I managed to stop him bursting into song.

Just before the top of the hour, a Companion staggered in, panting, and struggled up the stairs. I moved over to give him a place next to me. “Sorry, sorry,” he muttered, trying to catch his breath. “I went to the Race Course by mistake.” I smiled. “I heard a rumour that one of the visiting rulers went to the wrong university,” I said. “At least, you’re here now. Relax.”

The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent with his team of Provincial leaders entered, with the Provincial Grand Chapter Sword Bearer, Excellent Companion Steve Hastings proudly leading the way. "Another Humber Chapter Companion," I said to myself.

I’ll not detail the business – the programmes were distributed online to everyone and I have no doubt that an account will soon appear on the Provincial website - except to mention that the Most Excellent Superintendent apologised: he was suffering from a chest infection and therefore would not come down to invest all his appointed officers personally. I believe there had been a Plan B where the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith would have presided, but this was not needed. Jono and the Second and Third Grand Principals were reappointed. The meeting concluded with the collection of alms and the singing of the national anthem, and the outgoing procession was magnificent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had declined the invitation to dine with the officialdom at the Galleria restaurant at the University, Stanley and Charles joined some of the Humber Brethren at table 29, and Charles thoughtfully persuaded someone to take a snapshot which he sent to me during lunch (Gadget Geek) but through some administrative error, the meal was delayed by an hour. None of the diners were very happy about this. Clockwise round the table  from eight o’ cock on the picture are Stan Smith, Phil Watts, Richard East, his father Mike, Ian Syddall, Steve Hastings and Charles Alexander. The Easts are from Thesaurus Lodge, but they were very welcome nonetheless.

Oblivious to this, I had taken my pack-up sandwiches and joined my friend Garry Millett from Thesaurus Lodge 3891 on a bench in the sunshine that was relatively free of avian droppings. We immediately became the centre of attention of a gaggle of geese and a battling of ducks. “It’s your fault,” I said, “they’re coming after the Millet.” Garry ignored the feeble pun. “Persistent, aren’t they?” he said. There were discreet warning signs advising that the birds should not be fed, but the fowl creatures were either illiterate or simply rude. I tackled Garry with the conundrum. “What’s the difference between ignorance and indifference?” I asked him. “I don’t know and I don’t care,” he said, flapping his hands at a bird that was trying to get hold of his lunch box. “Duck off,” he told it. I think that’s what he said. He obviously made himself understood, for it waddled away with affronted dignity.

Satisfactorily fed and watered, I wrote up these notes, then wandered over to the restaurant to photograph the diners. I’m not sure they all enjoyed their meal as much as I’d enjoyed mine, but at least they weren’t hungry anymore. I asked Phil why he looked grumpy on the photograph. "I thought I wasn't in shot," he explained. "Grumpy is my normal expression."

The delayed lunch had a knock-on effect on the afternoon’s gathering. Once again, the Brethren (they’re called Companions in the Chapter, Brethren in the Craft) were required to take their places before the Craft Convocation proper began. The Provincial Grand Assistant Director of Ceremonies apologised to everybody for the delay and recognised that some people with trains to catch or on a hired coach might have to leave before the end, in which case, would they do so discretely. Once again the pre-ceremonial procession was a paradigm of dignity, though a couple of Brethren reminded me of the waddling geese. The massed blue and gold - and the impressive line-up of white aprons (for the first time, Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts were permitted to attend and were greeted with acclamation when they stood to be recognised) added to the occasion.

The RWPGM included an extra item on the agenda. The Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes, a charity that transports blood and samples for the NHS had a representative driver from their vital emergency service at the meeting. The Provincial Grand Master spoke of the invaluable work the bikers did out-of-hours, and the fine work done by various Lodges in support, while a magnificent new motorbike was being unveiled just outside the Central Hall. This was shown on the screens inside, and the Brethren applauded as the RWPGM handed over the keys to the smiling driver.

Right Worshipful Brother Gillyon asked newly-made Companion Simon Rehill to speak to the Brethren about the Royal Arch Degree. Brother Rehill delivered an eloquent address. After reappointing VWBro David Chambers as his Deputy and W Bros Stubley, Johnson and Armbister as Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, mindful of the unexpected lateness of the hour and that some Brethren had other appointments to keep, the Provincial Grand Master gave his address at this earlier stage in the proceedings He spoke of the difficulties the Craft has experienced and overcome during the covid years and congratulated the Brethren. He then stunned the assembly by announcing that he had decided to retire, and that Very Worshipful Brother  David Chambers would take over as Provincial Grand Master on 30th July. It was an emotional moment, and VWBro Chambers showed the enormous respect the Brethren have for Geoffrey by leading the singing of "For he's a jolly good fellow". The rafters rang, and the applause during the standing ovation was huge. I'm sure that others, like me, had tears in their eyes.

The appointment and promotion of the Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge then followed. W Bro Smedley was (again) congratulated on his Grand Rank, and Humber Brethren W Bros Stanley Smith and Philip Watts were both awarded the rank of Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon.

Sitting among the Grand Lodge Officers I received some odd looks as I applauded heartily (some of them consider it infra dig to display approval) but I didn't care. "They're from the Premier Lodge in the Province," I said.


Congratulations to Ayton Lodge 9595 who won  the award for outstanding services. This Lodge has become integral in the local community - in the words of W Bro Jonathan Smith, the submission "included the vast majority of the members rather than . . . one grafting individual."

Further details of the convocation will of course appear in due time in the Provincial Year Book, but I have written enough, I think, for the Humber Lodge blog. The ride back was smooth, (I suspect Stanley nodded off in the back) and despite having done nothing all day I was tired. But before closing, let me thank Stan and Chas for their excellent company - it was a pleasure to be with them. It was also good to be back among the Brethren at large - I'd missed York University.

 

And the geese.

Eddie Wildman, spectator.

 

An official report is available; please see

https://yorkshirenerfreemasons.org.uk/craftnews/240-message-from-the-provincial-grand-master

 

 

Friday 13th May 2022:

The de la Pole Lodge 1605 tyled at 6:30 instead of the usual 7:00. This was because the following day would see the Annual Convocation at York University - some Brethren were staying in York overnight in order to ensure everything was properly prepared for the morrow, and others, requiring an early start, were keen to finish early this evening.

Unsurprisingly, the numbers were down on the usual turn-out, but there were still three dozen Brethren there, including some stand-in officers, which the WM acknowledged in his brief summary at the Festive Board. Eddie Wildman was there as organist. 

After the rapid opening, Brother Michael Charles Kelly (who had been initiated on November 12th - scroll down to that date for an account of that evening) was examined in the questions before retiring to change into the Candidate's costume for the Second Degree. (As it was a warm evening, he was probably the most comfortably clad amongst us.) The ceremony proceeded without a hitch: mention must be made of Bro Fr Graham Thornally who not only led the Candidate flawlessly round the Lodge Room, but also delivered the Secrets with great aplomb.

The Lodge was lowered to the First Degree and the Entered Apprentice returned, after which W Bro Wildman presented Bro John Constable with his Master Mason Certificate. John eloquently expressed his thanks for the welcome afforded him by the de la Pole Lodge,

Greetings were given by the visitors, including W Bro James Ashley-Kelly, WM of the Holderness Lodge 3563, brother to W Bro Ben Kelly, the WM of 1605 and also to the newly-passed Michael Kelly. I'm not sure of the correct collective noun here - possibly a congratulation of Kellies? (Someone suggested "a nuisance of Kellies" but I'm sure he was joking.)

The Festive Board (Chicken salad) was ideal for the ambient evening; only the first two toasts were submitted, and the Brethren were taking their leave by 9:30. All in all, it had been a very good ceremony and an excellent night. Well done, de la Pole!

Eddie Wildman, Organist.

[Photograph of John Constable, Michael Kelly, Ben Kelly and James Ashby-Kelly by Grahame Deighton. Note the travelling gavel by the WM's pedestal - still unclaimed!]

 

 

Thursday 12th May 2022:

Worshipful Brother Stephen James Burns' first working night as Worshipful Master of the Thesauris Lodge 3891 was the ceremony of Passing an Entered Apprentice to the second degree in Freemasonry. His new team of officers was in place and W Bro Richard East, the Lecture Master, cannot fail but to have been proud of the Brethren who had worked hard at learning the ritual and floorwork. The Candidate was Brother Carl Moore, who had been initiated on 9th September 2021 (see this blog page) - his confident answering of the questions before retiring to prepare himself for the Passing Ceremony showed that he, too, had done his homework, and W Bro Ian Johnson, AsstProvGM, congratulated the WM, his team, and Fellow Craft Bro Moore when giving greetings on behalf of the Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge. Two joining members were proposed - to be ballotted for next meeting.

Eddie Wildman, Organist

[Photograph of Bro Carl Moore by Eddie Wildman]

 

  

Wednesday 11th May 2022:

Minerva Lodge 250 had its last meeting before Installation, a second degree wherein Bro Will Drelaud was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason. However, not being needed as Organist during the ceremony, I took the opportunity to act as Mentor and spent time outside the Lodge with Bro Terry Palmer, an Entered Apprentice who admirably deconstructed the Grand Lodge certificate, noting features which appeared in the Lodge Room and speculating on their meanings. We returned when the Lodge was lowered to the First Degree, and listened to W Bro Dr Hitendra Thaker PPGSwB, the Provincial Liaison Officer as he explained his role as a friendly link between the Dagger Lane Lodge and Province.

I travelled home with Hiten after the Festive Board - I felt privileged to sit in the coupe BMW - and we both remarked on the fantastic colour of the City Hall, illuminated in purple against the gradually darkening western sky.

I look forward to seeing him again at the convocation in York on Saturday.

Eddie Wildman

[Photograph by Hiten Thaker.]

 

Tuesday 10th May 2022:

Traditionally, the tables are set up with purple candles for Founders Night; as the dining room was occupied by a private let during the day the Brethren rallied round at 5:40 (thanks, Ian, Craig, Allan) setting up the tables and chairs, laying the tablecloths and distributing the plants, the candleabra and the Humber placemats. The bar staff organised the place settings while the Brethren were upstairs - it looked impressive.

It was a busy evening for me; as the WM had given his apologies that afternoon I took the Chair.

W Bro Richard Smedley came in on a report and an escort was organised to welcome him into the Lodge, he having received Grand Lodge Honours in both Craft and Chapter (see blog entry for 28th April.) As Acting WM it was my pleasure to welcome him with his impressive UGLE collar and apron and to congratulate him on behalf of all the Brethren.

Richard then resumed his office as Senior Warden (the place having been filled by the ADC, Bro Charles Alexander in the interim.) I then had the delightful duty of Passing Bro Robert Parkinson to the degree of a Fellowcraft Freemason. Robert had learnt the answers to the necessary questions superbly, and the ceremony proceeded smoothly. Then followed a moving eulogy by the Lodge Almoner, W Bro David Terry, speaking about the late Brother Arthur Sharp (details on the Celebrations and Regrets page).

The next item on the agenda was W Bro Winston Pannett receiving his certificate for sixty years' service to Freemasonry. In his informal nterview he spoke about his National Service where he had enjoyed being a radar operator in the wilds of Scotland at the height of the Cold War period, and undertaken many sporting activities including shooting and tennis. At eighty-five he is still surprisingly fit! The Brethren learned of his subsequent meteoric rise in retail and his forming his own business in Hull in addition to his Masonic career. (He had joined the Whitwell Lodge 2104 in Durham as a Lewis in 1961, just after being married, and progressed through every office, becoming WM in 1974. Moving to Hull in 1976 he joined the Humber Lodge 57, where he held various offices over the years, including that of Treasurer for twenty-seven years. He spoke wistfully of being a Steward "in the old days" and exhorted the younger Brethren to aplly themselves to the Craft: "You'll only get out of it what you put into it.")

After the Lodge closed, the Brethren hied downstairs to the Festive Board - there were ten visitors including a delegation from Pelham Pillar Lodge in Grimsby. The ADC rattled through the first five toasts in jig time, and then the toast to the Founders was submitted. This took the form of a PowerPoint presentation, the slides managed by Masonic Researcher Neil Armstrong. His picture of himself in a space suit raised an appreciative chuckle. The presentation, which explained that the spiritual founders of our Lodge are remembered in this annual ceremonial, made mention of the links of the Humber Lodge to its daughter Lodge, Pelham Pillar, and the embezzlement of the funds collected for the setting up of this enterprise by the dastardly William Cooper Robinson, one time WM of the Humber Lodge. For this reason, a bag of money is ritually exchanged between the Lodges (see 2nd December 2021 on this blog page.) This took place during the Senior Warden's toast to the visitors, and the Pelham Pillar WM, W Bro William Franklin Ewers, gave an eloquent response.

The raffle raised £115 and the Brethren left shortly after ten o' clock, humming the chorus to the closing song "Happy to Meet Again."

My personal thanks to all the Brethren who took part in the very worthy evening.

Eddie Wildman

[Photograph of Bros Parkinson, Wildman, Pannett and Smedley by Neil Armstrong.}

 

Saturday 7th May 2022:

"The Worshipful Master Robert Atkinson and his Lady Susanne extend a warm welcome to you all, and they thank you for sharing their Ladies evening with them and hope it will be a memorable evening for each and everyone." Thus said the elegant menu cards (matched by the napkins) - the dining hall looked wonderful, with a red and white theme - the tables laid out for over eighty diners who enjoyed good food in good company following the Bucks Fizz Reception. W Bro Philip Daniel sang the song to the Ladies; Mrs. Atkinson's response to the toast was eloquent and well appreciated.

The meal was followed by "an evening of Northern Soul, Soul and Ska, music and Dancing" and there was a palpable sense of happiness in this Masonic social reunion after so long an absence. While most of the Brethren were members of the Technical Lodge 5666, there were plenty of visitors from elsewhere, and the Humber Lodge was represented by W Bros Eddie Wildman and Ian Syddall. A splendid evening!

 

 

Wednesday 4th May 2022:

Kingston Lodge 1010 saw its first initiation in five years: Mr Ben Wells had been proposed in December by the Senior Warden, W Bro Whereat and seconded by the Chief Steward, Bro Watkinson, successfully balloted for in February, and was made a Mason today. It is true that some of the Brethren were a little rusty with their ritual after so long a recess, but the ceremony was performed with great sincerity and Brother Wells was well and truly established as a fit and proper person to become a member of this ancient Lodge. Particular mention must be made of the Ancient Charge, a stunning delivery by the Lecture Master, W Bro Simon Ramshaw PPJGW. Brother Wells thanked everyone at the festive board and professed a particular interest in Charity Work, which brought a smile to the face of Eddie Wildman, who had delivered the Address at the North East Corner - which is, of course, about the importance of Charity as one of the main features of Freemasonry. The Lodge Membership Officer, W Bro Paul Goldthorpe is going to be kept busy: the Kingston Lodge is planning another initiation later in the year. Well done, Kingston Lodge! And as the Organist remarked, given the date: "May the fourth be with you."

[Photograph of WM Mike Price and Bro Ben Wells by Eddie Wildman]

 

Friday 29th April 2022:

See the Chapter blog page for an account of the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586, where Excellent Companion Mark Green's brilliant exposition and following quiz took the Companions by storm.

 

Thursday 28th April 2022:

Richard Smedley in a "short but sweet" email sent the following blog about his receiving Grand Honours in both Craft and Chapter - to the delight of all at Humber Lodge!

 

Masonry has moments which are indelibly imprinted into the memory. 99% of all Freemasons will say that their initiation is one of those memories. However, on the 27th and 28th April 2022, I had the honour of being invested to the rank of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft in person by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent and to Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Holy Royal Arch by the Most Excellent Pro 1st Grand Principal, Sir Peter Geoffrey Lowndes. These memories will, like my initiation, remain with me forever. The two days in London were even more delightful as a number of my good friends in Masonry also received appointments and promotions in the Craft and in the Chapter. A once in a lifetime experience, that I know, over time, many more in the Province will get to enjoy in their Masonic careers as I have just done.

 

Richard Smedley AGDC, PGStBr

 

Tuesday 26th April 2022:

It was time for the organ's MOT at Dagger Lane; it had behaved very well over the last year, but inevitably there were things needed to be done - some mechanical and electrical issues, and a lot of tuning. An organ is a big box of whistles (thankfully, gone are the days when the wind had to be pumped in by hand - I remember as a child I sometimes had to pump the organ at church - which after four verses of a hymn began to get very tiring, especially if the organist was pulling out all the stops so more wind was needed) and there are hundreds of whistles, some 16 foot long, some only inches high. It's a two-man job; someone has to go inside the organ to get at the pipes, while someone else presses the keys, one at a time, and each note on one rank (e.g. the gedackt) has to be compared with the same note on another rank (e.g. the open diapason).

Graham Smales and his trusty henchman Pat came to do this job: a long process, they began at 10:30 and left at 3:30. They've worked together frequently and seem to read each other's minds. At one point the instrument was half-dismembered (Some of the big pipes at the front had to be taken down so that Graham could reach the pipes inside) and he'd climbed the ladder and was reaching precariously inside to tune the tiny piccolo pipes - I envisaged the whole lot collapsing. "The real problem," he told me when he'd clambered down and I went up to take a look, "is if you tap the collar of a tiny pipe to lift it and the tuning ring flies off and gets lost." "Yes, agreed Pat, "Done that, got the tee-shirt."

Of course, having the organ completely in tune is no guarantee that the Brethren will sing in tune - but at Humber Lodge we are blessed with some fine singing voices!

[Photograph of Graham and Pat by Eddie Wildman]

 

Monday 25th April 2022:

Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 had plenty of visitors for the first initiation in years, some of them from Lincolnshire, where the new Candidate resides. Mr Nigel Henry had been proposed by the WM, Worshipful Brother Malcolm John Forbes (also a member of the Humber Lodge 57) and seconded by the Director of Ceremonies, Worshipful Brother Colin Shields. From the serious attention Nigel gave to the proceedings it was clear that he was taking in what was being said in the ritual - often the Victorian syntax is difficult to grasp at first - and his comments at the Festive Board were well considered. I am sure the AML has received an excellent Brother into its bosom.  The Junior Deacon, Brother Christopher Wright also delivered the Address at the North-East Corner very effectively, and I had the privilege of delivering the Ancient Charge - it had been a steep learning curve, but well worth the effort, for I maintain that only when one has commited the words to memory and allowed them to sink into the mind can one fully understand them and convincingly convey their meaning to others.

It was a pleasure to be there: the response to the visitor's toast (by W Bro Ian Giles, a senior Provincial Officer from Lincolnshire)  was an eloquent tribute to the friendly welcome accorded to the guests at the Beverley Road Masonic Hall, and the happy smiles on the faces of the Brethren as they departed was a heartwarming testimony to an excellent night.

Welcome, Brother Henry, into the world-wide fraternity of Freemasons!

Eddie Wildman, Organist for the Andrew Marvell Lodge

[Photograph of Bro Henry and W Bro Forbes by Eddie Wildman]

 

Saturday 23rd April 2022: Scunthorpe:

Charles Alexander's account:

 
We were invited to attend a meeting at the Industry Lodge No 4662 in Scunthorpe in the Masonic Province of Lincolnshire by  a good friend, Bro Thomas Houldsworth,  Craig Morrison and myself attended. It was a special  meeting on that night:  after the Lodge was opened in due and ancient form it was called off to allow the visitors  from the Thistle &  Rose Lodge No 169 of the Scottish Constitution  to carry out a demonstration of a Scottish first degree ceremony, the ceremony was very interesting, a lot of the words of the ritual were very familiar, but the floor work was completely different with the majority of the ritual being carried out by the Immediate Past Master. I think that the significant difference was how the Scottish Brethren come to order in the Lodge. After the ceremony was completed the Lodge was called back on and the business of the Lodge was completed. The festive board after was very enjoyable and the banter was great, I won a prize in the raffle so all in all it was a great evening.
 
 
 

Saturday 23rd April 2022, York:

I had the pleasure of travelling to York with W Bro Kevin Priestley, ProvGSwdB and was fascinated to learn of his bread-making expertise and culinary skills in addition to his Masonic involvement in Provincial enterprises. It is always  good to find out more about one's fellow men, and Kevin had a wealth of stories to tell as he drove easily to the historic city. The event was the Invictus Lodge Installation meeting. This military Lodge number 9960 was consecrated in 2018 and is doing very well; its plethora of Candidates carries a caveat not to grow too fast, as the APGM W Bro Alan Armbrister gently remarked when he spoke at the Festive Board.

I had been asked to play the organ for the installation of Bro Graham Hughes as Worshipful Master, and having already visited the Lodge under the superb leadership of W Bro Sean Carroll l was interested to see how the latter would install his successor. He did a fine job. Indeed, the proceedings took rather less time than expected (I commended the Brethren on their military precision when responding to the first rising)  and the first five toasts were given (including W Bro Armbrister's response) before the meal was served. This of course allowed more time at the end for those who wished to linger over the port, but the membership covers a huge area and some of the Brethren were grateful for the opportunity to leave a little earlier than expected.

The cameraderie characteristic of convocations of the armed forces was much in evidence. While some Lodges appear to be struggling, the new WM, W Bro Graham Hughes has no shortage of material for his year in the Chair. Indeed, he announced towards the end of the evening that he anticipated there would be four new Candidates next month - "A double double."

Kevin drove me home - for a Saturday Night, and St George's Night in addition, the roads were remarkable quiet. But we agreed it had been a splendid Lodge visit - a good ceremony, good food in good company.

[Photograph of W Bros Armbrister, AsstProvGM, Graham Hughes WM, and Sean Carroll IPM by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Friday 22nd April 2022 pm:

The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9685 enjoyed an excellent Initiation ceremony , There were eleven visitors, some from Olicana Lodge 1522 in Ilkley in the Province of Yorkshire West Riding (their IPM, W Bro Mark Wheeler spoke eloquently on behalf of all the visitors saying they had had a good time) and this was reflected in a brief address from W Bro Gordon Setterfield, who has been a Freemason from Time Immemorial and who hadn't visited RTL for over a decade owing to his many Masonic commitments; Gordon said he'd thoroughly enjoyed himself and would soon be back. There were visitors from the Province of Lincolnshire - a number of the RTL Brethren have moved to the South Bank over the past few years, but still attend regularly, bringing Masonic friends with them -we are proud to welcome visitors from far afield as well as locally.

The delivery of the ritual was fluent and well rehearsed, seasoned with the smiles and good humour so characteristic of the Tablers' Lodge. At the Festive Board the singing was  enthusiastic, including an impromptu rendition of "On Ilkley Moor B'aht 'At" and Barrie Jefferies' moving delivery of the Masonic Chain at the end was particularly effective, the Brethren remaining standing to sing "May we all meet together" before the Tyler delivered his poignant concluding toast. The newly-made member, Brother Carl Woodall ("I'm a Yorkshireman - there's no aitch in my name") seemed quite at home with the other Entered Apprentices after the ceremony and I am sure he will be an asset to RTL.

As a founder member, I realised that when the Lodge was consecrated twenty-seven years ago, the WM was only one year old. As Anthony G Oettinger remarked, "Time flies like an arrow: fruit flies like a banana."

[Photographs: W Bro Gordon Setterfield, and Bro Carl Woodall with W Bro Connor Ferguson, WM, by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 22nd April am:

Wyke Millennium Chapter installed two Humber Brethren into Principal Chairs: see the Humber Chapter blog page.

Thursday 21st April 2022:

Excellent Companion Peter Wright PPGScN relinquished the Chair of Most Excellent Zerubabbel a month later than expected to E Comp Peter Henry Barnes PPGReg, the later having been unable to attend the Installation meeting the previous month (see this date on the Humber Chapter Blog page.)

 

Wednesday 20th April 2022:

Worshipful Brother Richard East wore the distinctive Phoenix Lodge tricorne for the first regular meeting under his mastership at the Sailmakers' Arms in Hull Old Town. The Easter break had reduced attendance, but two joining members were balloted for and accepted. A lecture took place on behalf of its author, W Bro James Steele who was ill; W Bro Ben Rose delivered the slide-illustrated talk, which promoted the sampling of fines beers and ales by Freemasons. This led to a discussion as to whether the Phoenix Lodge 9963 might wish to adopt a strap-line to indicate a common interest with other similar minded Lodges in different Provinces; the WM suggested that an email poll might be collected and a committee decision based on the outcome be put before the Brethren at the next meeting, and the Lodge Secretary agreed to make the necessary arrangements. A number of Humber brethren are also members of the Phoenix Lodge, including Craig Maurier, Richard Smedley and me. I am the Phoenix Tyler for this year.

The Lodge, which had been set up beforehand was then dismantled and the room returned to its previous condition, after which some of the Brethren, doubtless inspired by the subject matter of the presentation, sampled the beers and ales in the bar below. There is no Festive Board following the Phoenix meetings, except at Installations.

[Photograph of Richard East and the Phoenix Lodge Cloth by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 18th April 2022:

As our Almoner was taking a well earned break when Ann, wife of W Bro Winston Pannett, came out of hospital, I took the liberty of sending flowers to her on behalf of the Lodge. She had broken her foot, and Winston was now looking after her full time, which had prevented him from attending our last meeting for his fifty-year certificate presentation on the 12th inst. I hadn't expected a thank-you note, but received a beauifully hand written card. Ann's signature was also on the front of the card, and a message on the back confirmed that the picture was from an original watercolour. I hadn't known she was an accomplished artist! "Many thanks for the lovely flowers and good wishes from you and the Lodge members," she wrote, saying that although immobilised at home she was glad to be back "and Winston is being a brick." Get well soon, Ann!

 

 

Saturday 16th April 2022:

As it was the Easter weekend (and Bank Holiday on Monday) quite a few Technical Brethren were away on holiday, but the WM, Rob Atkinson, led a very successful Third Degree ceremony at the Masonic Hall Beverley Road. Indeed, W Bro Mike Cheeseman, Provincial Mentor, stated that of all the many meetings he had attended, this was one of the best he had ever seen.

Technical Lodge 5666 has a reputation for excellence - the LoI is well supported, and the Brethren work hard at the ritual and floor work. Bro Adam Tunnicliffe had thoroughly learned the answers to the questions, thereby enabling him to take a higher degree, and after preparation he was escorted round the Lodge by the Deacons and obligated by the Worshipful Master. The repeated phrases were almost seamlessly linked, and subsequent deliveries were equally fluent. I had the privilege of giving the historical oration, and the smaller than usual attendance lent an intimicy to the story: Adam was obviously paying close attention, and even asked pertinent questions about his Raising at the Festive Board.

Congratulations to all who took part - but in particular Brothers Ash Vesali and Adam Large, the Deacons. Let me also thank W Bro David Turner, who kindly rang me and asked if I wanted a lift to the Lodge - it was very welcome! A very pleasant evening - good ritual, good food and good company!

[Photograph of the WM and Bro Tunnicliffe by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Thursday 14th April 2022:

"It is daunting for a new Worshipful Master in the Chair," said W Bro Malcolm Forbes, on the two mile trek to where he had parked his car, "so Stephen Burns did very well indeed." I didn't answer, because Malcolm's legs are twice as long as mine and I'd used all my breath just keeping up with him. But I had forgotten that it was only last month when Stephen was installed, and it was only when he'd invested those unable to be at the last meeting that I was reminded.

The Thesaurus 3891 meeting at Dagger Lane had included a successful ballot for a joining member (and two more next month) and several reports, but the main thrust of the meeting was a short talk by W Bro Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward about Provincial and local charities, Malcolm was there as the Charity Steward of the Humber Lodge, but also present was Bro Martin Tomkins, Charity Steward of the Lord Bolton Lodge 3263, and of course the Thesaurus Charity Steward W Bro Michael Burkitt PPJGD. Ian's talk was comendably concise, arguing that while Charity was a key element of Freemasonry, modern legislation has given rise to a necessarily careful approach to avoid complications. There is a well-planned infrastructure to manage this on a Provincial basis. He suggested a careful look at WS https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-search/-/charity-details/5090445/charity-overview and explained why local concerns were more likely to receive aid, as well as the advantages of envelopes in lieu of raffles (thereby increasing the donation by 25%.) Due diligence, he warned, was always needed, for scams are becoming more prevelant - he cited a couple purportedly aiding foster children who were in fact using the money gained for property development and sales. He exhorted the Brethren to consider standing order forms (with documentatio provided at the tables afterwards.)

Following the various reports, W Bro John Charles Watson PPGStB rose to commend the Lodge Almoner, W Bro Richard East, for his kind support when he and his wife were very ill, mentioning that he had been in a very dark place but the Lodge's support had been instrumental in bringing him back to health. W Bro Richard East, soon to be awarded the Active Rank of Provincial Grand Pursuivant, was acting this evening as Director of Ceremonies.

The Festive Board was up to expectations: the toasts were given expeditiously and the Brethren retired (or in my case, trotted) to their vehicles. But I had to agree with Malcolm. Despite the Stand-ins, and those Brethren new to their Offices, it had been a good, sincere ceremony - and the charity collections that evening had been exemplary. Thank you, Thesaurus Lodge!

[Photograph of Ian Syddall by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Wednesday 13th April 2022:

Worshipful Brother  Ronald William Thornton PProvJGW was initiated into the Ware Lodge 3002 on March 14th 1972, fifty years ago. To celebrate his half century of continuous membership of a regular Lodge of Freemasons The Minerva Lodge 250 invited Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Ian Johnson to attend the meeting, and the latter interviewed Ron, eliciting a thumbnail sketch of his life since his birth in Hull in 1936, the effects of WW2 on the city, Ron's evacuation to Goole and eventual return to be a pupil at Eastfield School. "I was there, too," quipped the APGM, "but much later." Ron spoke of life in the merchant navy and travels over the world, and how he'd met his future wife at a dance - he evidently fancied her the first glimpse he caught of her. "This was proper dancing," he insisted, "not noisy discos." Then followed fifty-one years of happy marriage, with Ron, now moving from selling early TV sets and radios, to join Lyons Tea and to climb the promotional ladder in York and London, eventually becoming a catering manager for everywhere north of the Thames. It was in Hertfordshire he was introduced to Freemasonry - he hadn't realised how many people in the operatic society he'd joined were also members. He retired to Howden well versed in the Craft (though in Emulation working) and, on being impressed with Minerva Lodge in Hull, became a member there - "in the days they had fourteen meetings a year."

A pleasant evening upstairs under the mastership of W Bro Kevin Marshall was followed by a light-hearted Festive Board where Ron was prevailed upon to cut the celebratory cake to spontaneous applause. The WM, having won a bottle of red wine at the raffle, presented it to Ron, who's fondness for the tipple is well known. The DC, W Bro Richard Theaker concluded the evening by announcing the two formal toasts, after which the Brethren took their leave of each other with mirth and merriment. Well done, Minerva Lodge!

[Photographs by W Bro James Steele]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Tuesday 12th April 2022:

I was privileged to take the Chair at Humber Lodge 57 due to the indisposition of the WM, for a special ceremony undertaken on behalf of the Phoenix Lodge 9963 of which I am a founder member. It is the practice of the Phoenix Lodge to build bridges with other Lodges by offering the opportunity of performing second degree ceremonies with Phoenix initiates (while third degrees are undertaken back at the Sailmakers Arms in an upper room.) This gives those Phoenix Brethren still unfamiliar with other Lodges the opportunity to visit elsewhere, to experience different ceremonies and to make new friends . The Humber Lodge was blessed with a dozen visitors, many of them from Phoenix.

The Senior Warden, Bro Charles Alexander, in accordance with Masonic protocol, appointed me into the Chair for the evening, and the Lodge openend in due form. Brother Alistair Kenyon-Brodie was spot-on in his answers to the questions put to him by the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Bylov, and after the EAs retired, entrusted with the necessary information to gain admission to the Second Degree, whereupon he retired to prepare, under the guidance of W Bro Malcolm Forbes, who was acting as Tyler that evening.

The Brethren worked well in passing Brother Kenyon-Brodie to the next stage in FM, Bro Craig Fish, the Senior Deacon confidently escorting him through the ceremony. The floor work was ably delivered by senior Brethren and Brother Alistair was succesfully instructed as a FCF. W Bro Richard East, Worshipful Master of the Phoenix Lodge, presented him with a list of questions for perusal for the next stage in his Masonic development. The Lodge was lowered to the first degree and the EAFs readmitted.

W Bro Ashby-Kelly introduced himself as the Area Lodge Liaison Officer, explaining that he was a friendly link to the Province should the need arise.

The Festive Board (Melon, Chicken and Leek Pie, Rice pudding) was enjoyed by all (It did our hearts good to see 89 year old W Bro Ken Graham tucking into the rice pudding with gusto - many thanks to our Almoner, W Bro David Terry for bringing him along) and the toasts proceeded apace in a fine friendly atmosphere. The visitors (many from Phoenix, including Alistair's father) were obviously enjoying themselves and Alistair thanked them, and all who had supported him, in his response to the toast to the Candidate, raising a chuckle when he called me Worshipful Brother Godfather - a role I'm honoured to acknowledge. Bro Peter Kenyon-Brodie responded to the toast to the visitors, echoing his son's thanks to the Lodge for the opportunity for Alistair to take his second degree in the same building where he himself had done the same thirty years ago. It had been a happy, convivial evening, and £185 was raised in the raffle for the Almoner's fund (thanks, Malcolm.) The Tyler's toast was submitted at 9:30 and the Brethren retired with smiles on their faces.

[Photograph by Bro Craig Fish]

Eddie Wildman, Stand-in WM

 

Saturday 9th April pm 2022:

The earlier meeting (see blog below) was over at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road when I arrived with W Bro John Stebbings, Master of the Lord Bolton Lodge 3263. Not all the Brethren had gone however: many bikers were leaving the car park when we drove in just after four o' clock . The consecration ceremony had involved over ninety people, and John and I thought that there would be much work to do tidying up and reorganising the  tables in the dining room.

I shouldn't have been surprised to find a handful of Lord Bolton Brethren there already with their jackets off, shifting tables and stacking chairs; the Brethren of 3263 had had similar thoughts about getting the place ready and had also arrived early. As my DC for the evening remarked, "Work horses, not show ponies," - without being asked they had set to work.

I went upstairs to find that the Charity Steward, Martin Tompkins was clearing up in the Lodge room, setting out the pedestal and the Lodge banner ready for that evening's first degree ceremony. There was little for me to do other than scribble down a few notes for my response to toast number five - for that evening I was representing the RWPGM, who had presided over the consecration ceremony that morning. (He'd been in fine form, I hoped I could do as well!)

I know the Lord Bolton Lodge quite well, and had visited the month before with Neil Armstrong to give a presentation (see 12th March on this blog page) so it was good to be able to go again with Neil as my DC and to commend the Brethren on the work they were doing. The business that evening was the initiation of a new Candidate - the second initiation since lock-down. The Brethren had worked hard at learning the ritual and the Worshipful Master led an impressive ceremony.

The conviviality continued through the Festive Board: despite Luke the Chef having been there since six that morning, the quality was still as high as ever, the steaks succulent (and the lager welcome!) It was a good evening!

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Saturday 9th April am 2022:

A consecration is a special event, and the ceremony of the consecration of the Widows Sons Lodge 10011 was no exception. Masonic Bikers from far and wide (including  Sussex, East Midlands, Linconshires and the Lake District together with the West Riding of Yorkshire and more local venues came to join in force. Not all were enormous bearded gorilla types, not all had wild beards or eccentric haircuts, not all were terrifying, but there was an element of friendly adventure about them, and a sense of fraternity amongst the dozens of helmeted, leather clad Brethren even when they doffed their 'cuts' and colours and entered the Beverley Road Lodge Room in full Masonic dignity to become founder members of this latest Lodge.

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Jeffrey Gillyon was the Consecrating Officer: he entered in procession, took the Chair and appointed his Officers. The Petitioners formed around the Lodge Board (distinguished by the stacked helmets) and the Warrant was read and approved. 

I shall not dilate on the Consecration itself with the symbolic scattering of corn, the pouring of wine, oil, and the sprinkling of salt, nor on the dedication and Lodge constitution - suffice it to observe that it was a remarkably accomplished ceremony under the watchful eye of the Provincial DC, W Bro David Broadley, as was the Lodge business following, managed by W Bro Dr David Chambers, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, who installed W Bro Andrew Hunn as the Primus Worshipful Master of the Lodge. The addresses to the WM, the Wardens and Brethren were delivered by the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters after W Bro Hunn had appointed and invested his Officers. 

At this point, the Provincial Grand Master and his Officers retired, and as I was part of the procession, cannot comment on the Lodge business which followed. Nor did I stay for lunch (delicious-looking meat pie - Luke the chef had been busy preparing the day before and had begun the day's work in the kitchen at six that morning. I went home, for I had work to do, and returned shortly after four o' clock, just as the bikers were leaving with a mighty roar of revving speed machines.

Read about what happened next  in the blog above.

[Photographs by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Friday 8th April 2022:

I was grateful for the prompt finish to the evening, though all of us had enjoyed the de la Pole Lodge meeting at Beverley Road. De la Pole Lodge 1605 is named after the first Mayor of Hull, Sir William de la Pole, Lord of Myton and of Holderness, who held the position from 1332 - 1335. It is of note that Myton Lodge 9808 and Holderness Lodge 3563 both meet at 69 Beverley Road, along with Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642. The marble statue of Andrew Marvell next to the minster, incidentally, is by the same sculptor responsible for the statue of Sir William de la Pole in Nelson Street, (pictured) William Day Keyworth Junior.


I had the pleasure of presenting a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro Rob Borkowski on this occasion, and with the help of W Bro Neil Armstrong, gave the short lecture Hansel and Gretel in the Freemasons Lodge examining the connections with this ancient folk-tale and the Craft degrees; there was no other ceremony. The Festive Board proceeded equally swiftly, and as W Bro Atkinson, WM of the Technical Lodge 5666 remarked: "Only two toasts? We'll be home in time for Coronation Street!" I observed that the last time I had Coronation Street, Ena Sharples was a leading character. The younger Brethren looked puzzled, not having heard the name. The WM, Ben Kelly submitted the loyal toast and that to the Grand Master with alacrity, drew the raffle (which I again failed to win) and bade us all good night. William de la Pole would have been proud of him.

The reason for the early finish was that the following morning the building was needed for the Consecration of a new Lodge, and there was much to do in preparation, not least by Luke Pyrah the Chef, still busy in the kitchen. Some of us would be at that meeting, and I, as one of them, looked forward to an early night so as to be fresh for the morrow. (Watch this space.)

[Photograph of Eddie (the one wearing the apron) by Neil Armstrong.]

 Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 7th April 2022:

See the Humber Chapter Blog Page for an account of the Installation of the Principals!

Wednesday 6th April 2022:

There were over thirty people present at Kingston Lodge's festive board; this included wives and gentlemen who might be considering joining the Craft. Upstairs, after a brief Lodge meeting whereat W Bro David Terry gave greetings from Humber Lodge 57 (Malcolm Forbes and Eddie Wildman were there, too) the visitors had enjoyed a convivial time. The WM, W Bro Michael Price, caped and top-hatted and with a white tie, introduced himself as representing Simeon Mosely, founder of the Kingston Lodge 1010, for this date marked the 158th year of its consecration. He then relinquished the floor to W Bro Neil Armstrong, who delivered an excellent presentation entitled A Meaux in Tales of Kingston. The pronunciation of this hamlet is rendered as "Mews" and Neil could not resist the pun, unfortunately.

His illustrated talk was gripping. It included the history of the City Charter, the Lodge Warrant and the events comprising the development of each, and held his listeners spellbound. His researches led to speculations on the origins of the three coronets displayed on the city arms and used as the Lodge logo, the originof the name "King's Town upon Hull", a frank look at the dentist Simeon Mosely and other characters who have impacted not only on the Lodge but on the City. He touched on the present building at 69 Beverley Road, not too far distant from the original meeting place at the Royal Hotel and mentioned significant events in the life of the Lodge. After the acclamation following his short dissertation and the retirement of the WM, several visitors stayed to look at some of the interesting features in the unique Lodge Room before going downstairs for pre-prandial refreshment at the bar.

Roger and Barbara Watkinson had worked magnificently in preparing for this White Table event, skilfully assigning the guests to particular places and providing the pots of kalanchoes for the ladies. Mrs Watkinson had thoughtfully brought along her well-organised spreadsheet so that when Brethren couldn't remember what they'd ordered (I have to put up my hand as one such) she had the answer to hand. 

The chef, Luke Pyrah, once again produced excellent fare; there was a choice for each course; mushroom soup or melon with raspberries, salmon or roast beef, crême brulée or sticky toffee pudding; the conviviality increased and each table enjoyed good company. The raffle raised a considerable sum for the Sea Cadets, W Bro Price's chosen charity for the year.

Only two formal toasts were given, but the Absent, Sick and Sea Brethren were remembered, and the Worshipful Master led the singing of Eternal Father to Dykes' evocative naval hymn. (John Bacchus Dykes was a Hull man, and while he was not a Freemason, his hymn tunes are used Masonically throughout the world.) W Bro Price (PPSGD (Worcs)) thanked everyone for being there, and reminded the Brethren that next month the Lodge was initiating a Candidate. It had been, as W Bro David Terry remarked, a most enjoyable evening, and the Humber Brethren present extend their sincere thanks to Neil Armstrong and the others who had worked hard to give everyone such a splendid time.

Eddie Wildman

[Photographs of W. Bros Michael Price and Neil Armstrong by the Lodge DC.]

 

 

 

Monday 4th April 2022:

The Lodge of Instruction of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 convened for the Preceptors Festival - a first degree demonstration by the Brethren hopefully in advance of their taking office under the direction of the new (and hypothetical until elected) Worshipful Master, Peter Stokes. Covid had decimated attendance, unfortunately (indeed, the current figures indicate that in this part of the country one person in every ten is affected) and some of the old hands stood in at the last minute, but as the Preceptor, Jackie Chapman, remarked, there was nonetheless some excellent work. He mentioned in particular Bro Adrian Thompson BEM who delivered the Address at the North East Corner at half an hour's notice. He also paid tribute to Bro John Burton who's masterly rendition of the First Degree Tracing Board (Extended Version) was a tour de force demonstrating the chess player's capacious memory. The visitors (including three from Humber Lodge 57) were well impressed. The Candidate, the incumbent WM in the Lodge proper, W Bro John Watkins, was quite emotional in his response to the toast at the Festive Board and exhorted the Brethren to keep up the good work. The raffle (in aid of the hypothetical Master Elect's chosen charities) raised £95. The evening ended in the traditional Lodge of St Michael manner with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

 

Saturday 2nd April 2022:

The Fulford Golf Club, refurbished since our last visit, is where the Knights Templar Brethren of the Provincial Priory of North  and East Yorkshire, accompanied bytheir wives enjoyed the annual Ladies Festival. As Bro Knight Malcolm Forbes remarked in his address to the ladies, it was the first time they had been able to meet for over two years. As the Right Eminent Provincial Prior Timothy Grant Dillon noted in his closing remarks, it was well attended - outdoing the previous occasion while the ladies looked equally lovely.

The Humber Preceptory 223 hosted the occasion, and indeed, the Humber Knights enjoyed a larger table than any other. A good percentage of the Knights of Humber Preceptory are also members of Humber Lodge 57: Eddie Wildman, Malcolm Forbes, Craig Maurier and Ian Syddall were all there in their tuxedos. It was a delightful occasion with good food and good company: there was a splendid atmosphere, all under the direction of the Provincial Marshall, Chris Thomas (pictured just behind the Right Eminent Provincial Prior.)

Of particular note was the guest singer, Melissa-Jane, who travelled from Nottingham and entertained with her stunning contralto voice: Black Velvet was my favourite number but they were all remarkable.

The raffle raised over four hundred pounds.

Should any Humber 57 Brother be interested in finding about the Christian Order of the Knights Templar, please check out the website and don't hesitate to ask any of us if you have any questions.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Wednesday 30th March 2022:

Worshipful Brother Michael Noel Cheeseman, Provincial Grand Mentor visited the Minerva Lodge of Instruction's Final Night and could not fail to have been impressed at the high standard of ritual and floor-work in the Initiation ceremony with Brother David Green in the Master's Chair. Following a long tradition in the Minerva Lodge 250, the current Worshipful Master acted as  the Candidate at the Final Night, while his intended successor took charge of the Lodge. This enactment is always done without regalia, and while the ceremonial is taken seriously, there is a good-humoured element too. On this occasion, as the "Candidate" was invested, several Brethren by prearrangement donned flat caps in recognition of Kevin's status as a dealer in Hull.

It would be invidious to name particular Brethren as all present performed well - what was particularly impressive from my viewpoint (and Mike Cheeseman's) was that apart from the IPM and the Director of Ceremonies (W Bro Richard Theaker) none of the ritualists had been through the Chair; the average age of the Minerva Brethren is substantially lower than that of many local Lodges.

The conviviality continued at the Festive Board, and various toasts submitted and proposed. The Senior Minerva member, W Bro Christopher Brown, proposed a toast to the Lecture Master, W Bro Danny Betts, complimenting him on the "cajoling and persuading" which had persuaded the Brethren to such an excellent standard, providing "a damned good omen for the coming year."

Brother David Green (WM) W Bro Kevin Marshall (Candidate) W Bro Michael Cheeseman ProvGMntr


W Bro Betts responded, remarking that it was a team effort, "What we saw was a very competent delivery by all across the board," he said, but with a caveat: those who didn't turn up. for whatever reason, health, work, etc., had not only missed a good night but needed to be encouraged back into the fold. Wise words; he recognised the danger of complacency and discouragement through absence for whatever reason, and his exhortation to contact the missing Brethren (including a number of visitors who had promised to come) elicited nods of agreement from many there. W Bro Cheeseman concurred in his response to the visitors toast, reminding the Brethren that they can play their part by visiting other Lodges.

Before the raffle was drawn Brother Green continued another tradition, that of awarding a prize to the most outrageously dressed Brother present. Bro Wayne Sutherby's floral jacket made him the undisputed winner. The tables were cleared and the Brethren took their leave of each other well before ten o' clock. It had been a happy evening. Well done Minerva Lodge!

[Photographs and text by Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist]

 

Monday 28th March 2022:

Covid is still with us, alas, and yesterday the Andrew Marvell Charity Steward, W Bro Andrew V Peach PPJGW tested positive and so he and his wife were unable to attend the Charity Night at his Lodge. This was unfortunate, for Andrew had worked tirelessly in organising the event, and he would have presented the speakers who will receive Charitable donations from the 5643 Relief Chest. Andrew would undoubtedly have provided a more eloquent report than this write-up. Nonetheless it was an enjoyable and informative evening.

There was a brief Lodge meeting, during which the Andrew Marvell Brethren successfully ballotted for a new member and a joining member) after which the Brethren joined their wives, friends and invited guests where three presentations were made before dinner.

The first presentation, by two ladies, Sandra and Cath, was introduced by W Bro Chris Lefevre, who spoke of hedgehogs being an important part of our wildlife environment before handing over to the speakers. They explained that since the closure of Hedgehog Rescue in 2017 the volunteer Holderness Hedgehog Hospital nursed sick and injured hedgehogs before re-releasing them into the wild. Their advice on diet (saucers of milk are not good for hedgehogs - some varieties of cat food are ideal, as long as they don't contain mealworm) and their dismissal of the belief that hedgehogs are infested with fleas was interesting and enlightening. They spoke of global warming and climate change and its effect on erinaceinae ("the juveniles live with us as they are not yet strong enough to cope in the wild") and the cooperation of the neighbourhood in the saving of this increasingly endangered species.

The Worshipful Master then introduced Brian Riley who told everyone that he had been the Lions Council Chairman world wide and that in 2017 he had organised an event to place 22,00 cans of food across the Humber Bridge to feed the hungry as part of the Lions' centenary celebrations. His wife Margaret had produced a bereavement kit for children who might have lost a loved one or a pet to help them deal with grief, and gave copies to Malcolm should anyone wish to read them. He dilated on books about protecting the environment, spoke of his support of the Candlelighters (Humber Lodge's Charity in 2020-21) and gave an Obituary to Common Sense from the London Times.

W Bro Malcolm Forbes invited people to take their seats at the dinner tables so that everyone was able to see the screen set up for the next speaker, Mr Mark Kensett, son of Lodge Mentor W Bro Barry Kensett PPGSwdB, who then introduced him. Mark spoke with quiet passion about the Hessle and Anlaby Food Bank, illustrating his words with images in a well-prepared Power Point presentation. Mark had even brought a typical food parcel, which, surprisingly, also contained toiletries and other items which this listener, for one, had always taken for granted. He explained that the national picture showed the increasing need for foodbanks between 2008 and 2021; there were now, he said, more food banks in the country than branches of McDonalds. To my personal delight as an avid reader of Terry Pratchet, he cited the Vimes Boot Theory as a means of explaining the precarious impoverished situation of an increasing number of people, His images of volunteers packing boxes in Hessle Community Centre, loading for distribution, and the amounts collected were both heart-warming and distressing. This was practical work to help those in need. He mentioned help from various chain stores such as Heron and Morrisons, and there were many suggestions from the floor before he concluded with his intentions that the Charity should become a community hub rather than merely a source of supplies.

After the acclamation afforded to the presenters, the Brethren served up the typically sumptuous meal. (The Beverley Road Lodge building enjoys the services of Luke Pyrah and his culinary skills are much admired round the Province.) The raffle afterwards raised £80, and the proceedings concluded at around 9:30 - it had been an interesting and enjoyable night, and I believe almost everybody went home with the satisfaction of knowing they were contributing to worthy causes, and also with the slightly uncomfortable awareness that there is always much more that can be done.

On behalf of the WM and members of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642, I would like to thank Andrew Peach for his magnificent efforts in pulling all the above together. 

Eddie Wildman

[Photographs of Sandra and Cath, Brian Riley, and Mark Kensett by Eddie Wildman]

 

Friday 25th March 2022:

Mr Alexander John Street, the Candidate to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry in the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 went through the initiation ceremony with considerable poise. He was obligated by the WM, Worshipful Brother Connor Ferguson and the subsequent ceremonial was allocated to the members. It was a pleasure to observe the younger Brethren- not only those with rosettes on their Aprons, but those without, taking an active part - Brother Graham Hutchcroft, who stood in as Senior Deacon and delivered the First Degree Working Tools with commendable skill, Brother Paul Holland, who as Junior Deacon conducted the Candidate through the ceremony, and Brother Martin Clark as Senior Warden, who had proposed Mr Street to the Lodge. W Bro Eddie McGee's rendition of the Ancient Charge was riveting, holding not only Bro Street's attention, but that of all present with his well articulated message.

The Lodge Mentor, W Bro Steve Hastings presented the Candidate with a forget-me-not badge, which has a particular significance for Freemasons, and Brother Peter Jones delivered a nugget on some of the more obscure terms used in the ritual.

Perhaps the increased intensity of the covid pandemic in recent weeks was responsible for the low numbers - even the cook was absent, but the Lodge was not lacking in quality singing at the Festive Board (Fish and Chips - organised by the WM) and there was no shortage of volunteers to help with the washing up. Congratulations, Ridings Tablers' Lodge, congratulations, Brother Alex!

Eddie Wildman PGOrg

 

 

Thursday 24th March 2022:

The Lodge of St Michael 7833 enjoyed an excellent third degree ceremony at Dagger Lane. Unlike most other local Lodges, the Lodge of St Michael (consecrated in 1962 and nearing its sixtieth birthday) practises Emulation ritual, following the strictures of the Founders who insisted that the working in the three degrees would be distinctly different. New Master Masons are advised to visit this Lodge to see the differences! (Similarly, the Chapter of St Michael 7833 uses different ritual, practising the Domatic working.)

Brother Tony Tyler was succesfully raised to the degree of a Master Mason, and remarked at the Festive Board afterwards that he had been moved by the experience, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The Brethren responded with acclamation: the Lodge of St Michael is pleased to welcome Tony into its ranks now wearing a blue-trimmed apron. As the possessor of such a Masonic surname, Brother Tyler now resumes his duties as Brother Inner Guard.

Congratulations, Tony!

[Photograph of Bro Anthony Thomas Tyler by Eddie Wildman.]

Wednesday 23rd March 2022:

See the Chapter blog for Eddie Wildman's visit to the Chapter of St Andrew 4683 on this date.

Tuesday 22 March 2022:

See the Chapter Blog page for Ian Syddall's visit to Wilberforce Chapter on this date.

Monday 21st March 2022:

The Holderness Lodge 3563 has long enjoyed amicable relationships with Humber 57 and tonight was no exception. At the Festive Board (lamb hot-pot) Humber Brethren/Companions reflected on the excellent ceremony where Brother Paul Foster was raised to the degree of a Master Mason. Bob Wallace (see 21st February) stood in as Junior Deacon; Tom Lee supplied the Retrospect,; Stephen Hastings (see the Chapter Blogs) explained the Secrets, and Eddie Wildman delivered the Historical Oration. Malvin Sharpless as Prompter was not with us - he stood in for the Junior Deacon as the latter was unable to stay for the meal. The WM, James Ashby-Kelly obligated Brother Foster with his usual flair. Congratulations to all concerned!

[Photograph of James A-K (with collar) and Paul Foster by Eddie Wildman]

 

Saturday 19th March 2022:

Technical Lodge 5666 enjoyed a well executed raising ceremony; Bro Mike Andrew evidently enjoyed his third degree and warmly thanked everyone in an email afterwards. W Bro Rob Atkinson obligated the candidate, W  Bro Paul Hillary delivered the retrospect, and after the SW, Bro Nigel Goldthorpe had invested Bro Andrew, W Bro Eddie Wildman had the privilege of recounting the historical oration. W Bro Philip Daniels explained the Secrets, W Bro Rob Gorman the Working Tools and Bro David Turner gave the Ancient Charge. There was a commendable sense of pace to the ceremony: nothing was hurried, but there were no hesitations. W Bro Mike Cheeseman, who had mentored the EAs and FCs during the time the Lodge was in the 3returned with these worthy Brethren to continue his Secretarial duties. A splendid evening.

[Photograph of Mike Andrew MM and Rob Atkinson WM by Eddie Wildman]

 

Thursday 17th March 2022:

A number of the Humber 57 Craft Lodge are also members of the Humber Knights Templar Preceptory 223 and this evening Preceptor Ian Syddall was pleased to welcome into the Preceptory Alan Todd, proposed by Craig Maurier and seconded by Eddie Wildman. Malcolm Forbes is the Second Constable. Alan's loyalty, commitment and reliability in the Craft are much appreciated and we look forward to him taking an active role as a Templar Knight.

 

Wednesday 16th March 2022:

See the Chapter blog for an account of the Kingston Chapter Installation!

 

Tuesday 15th March 2022:

The official announcement from the United Grand Lodge of England was distributed today and the Brethren of Humber Lodge 57 are delighted that our Senior Warden, Worshipful Brother Richard John Smedley has been honoured with the Active Grand Rank of Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Craft and the Rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Chapter. Congratulations, Richard! We are all so proud of you!

We're looking forward to your being invested with your Grand Lodge Collar in London and you buying us all a drink when you return!

[Photograph of Richard by Eddie Wildman]

 

Tuesday 15th March 2022:

The Worshipful Master has come into possession of the pictured apron with cuffs and a sash, and a collarette (pictured) which may or may not be part of the same Lodge/Order.

He wonders if anyone is able to identify it, so that it can be returned to the correct establishment. I think it is from the Royal Antedeluvian Order of Buffaloes, but I could be sadly mistaken. If you have any ideas, please contact me or Mike Potts.

The Worshipful Master's contact details are, of course, on the Lodge summons.

This give me the opportunity to remind Brethren that there is a masonic regalia exvhange scheme in the capable hands of W Bro Jimmy Kerr, on regaliaexchangener@gmail.com whereby you can dispose of regalia, jewels etc. for recycling when promoted, and perhaps find exactly what you now need at a friendly price!

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 14th March 2022: 

The Lodge of St Michael installed two of its Principals with the MEGS and a team of Active Officers (including Humber Companions) - look for the report by Stephen Hastings on the Chapter Blog!

 

Saturday 12th March 2022:

Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 being one of several endangered Lodges meeting at the Beverley Road Masonic Hall, and having amongst its Brethren members of the Beverley Road Committee, asked the Daggards for a presentation outlining the various problems faced by the Lodges meeing there. Eddie Wildman and Neil Armstrong put together  a powerpoint show where the issues were highlighted and suggestions for solutions invited from the representatives of the attendant Lodges  Indeed, some useful and surprising comments were received and it is hoped that some advancement will result. Mutual Defence and Support - Are our Lodges Going Down the Plughole? led to pertinent observations and suggestions which continued round the Festive Board afterwards. Craig Maurier, as usual, was the Techie, operating the quickly changing slides admirably, and Neil stunned the watchers by denouncing Eddie for his negative attitude. W Bro Andy Hoggard stood in for the Worshipful Master, John Stebbings, who had been laid low with covid.

[Photographs of Eddie and Neil by Bazza Longstaff. Eddie is the handsome one.]

 

 

Friday 11th March 2022:

De la Pole Lodge 1605 saw an admirable presentation "An Introduction to the Members Pathway" by W Bros Russ Garbutt and James Kerr, which mentioned essential points without the detailed analysis often afforded in such projects. It exhorted the Brethren to consider their own roles in the Lodge in relation to others, and in particular those who might, for whatever reason, feel neglected, along with practical advice regarding planning, attracting, engaging and retrieving Brethren. 

W Bro Eddie Wildman presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to the Junior Deacon, Bro Graham Thornalley, explaining the symbolism on the document.

Following the Almoner's excellent report, Bro John Holmes, who had returned to Hull from the Ukraine at the beginning of the current invasion, thanked the Brethren for the many kind wishes he had received regarding his wife Liliya who had remained in Odessa until prevailed upon to join her husband in the UK. The messages of support from the Brethren he had relayed to her had been most worthwhile, he said, Liliya and John appeared on BBC's "Look North" a few days ago.

Fish and Chips at the Festive Board, and a prompt finish. Time for an early bath!

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 10th March 2022:

W Bro Garry Edward Millett, PPGSwdB has presided over the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 for the last two years - and indeed, before that. His relaxed demeanor and firm control established him as an experienced Worshipful Master from the beginning of the Installation meeting at Dagger Lane. On this occassion, the Lodge was visited by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Allan Armbrister, with a team of eight Active Provincial Officers including W Bro Steve Cox, Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies who ensured all went smoothly. However, before the entry of the APGM, W Bro Ian Paul Johnson PJGD and IPM of the Thesaurus Lodge was saluted with five as he is also an Assistant Provincial Grand Master; it is rare to find two such notables together in a regular Lodge meeting, but this was necessary for what was to happen later. The other Officer of UGLE was saluted, after which the DPGDC informed those within that W Brother Allan Ramsay Armbrister demanded admission.

The APGM took the Chair and introduced his team of Provincial Officers, which included W Bro Ian Syddall of the Humber Lodge 57. The gavel was passed back to the WM, the minutes of the last meeting signed, and various reports given before the Entered Apprentice was invited to leave.

The Master Elect, Brother Stephen Burns was obligated, and the usual process of installation was ably managed by Garry Millett. Master Masons, Fellow Crafts and the Entered Apprentice were readmitted and Stephen Burns was proclaimed before appointing and investing his Officers. The Addresses were given by W Bro Ian Johnson, W Bro Richard Smedley and W Bro Eddie Wildman, the latter two being members of Humber 57. Richard sang the Masonic anthem (accompanied by Eddie on the organ) and the new WM in the Chair concluded the proceedings with well-learned ritual. 

However, before the Lodge was closed, W Bro Ian Johnson made a presentation to W Bro Armbrister of his official warrant; W Bro Allan had been waiting for some time for this beautifully framed document, but until now a sufficiently important occasion had not occurred. W Bro Armbrister thanked his Brother Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the honour afforded him.

W Bro Armbrister had much to say at the Festive Board about the need of a Lodge profile, the need to appeal to a wider membership and the opportunities of small Lodges such as Thesaurus 3891 to advance, recommending the use of the Pathway initiative as a means to attracting more members and reminding everyone that this was a shared responsibility. W. Bro Malcolm Forbes (a member of 57) responded to the toast to the visitors, and RIchard Smedley sang the WM's song, the Visitors Song and "Happy to Meet again."

The organist asked Malcolm for a lift home, and Malcolm readily agreed. However, he had parked the car about a mile from the Lodge, so that by the time he arrived home, Eddie was totally exhausted. ("Serves me right for begging a lift," I said to myself.)

[Photographs: Stephen Burns WM with Garry Millett IPM; APGM Armbrister and APGM Ian Johnson with the Warrant. Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Wednesday 9th March 2022:

Of all the Installation Ceremonies I have ever witnessed over the last thirty years, that of the Lodge of St Andrew 4683 was without doubt the most polished and sincere. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Eddie A Brook gave a superb performance from the first lifting of the gavel; his installation of his successor, Bro Matthew Owen, into the Chair was not merely word perfect, but accomplished with dignity and genuine feeling. The Lodge room was well attended, and everyone paid close attention; nobody read their ritual, there was no tutting from the dark blue contingent. No-one dozed, we were all agog, caught up in the dignity and drama of the ceremonial. The four Entered Apprentices who re-entered when the Lodge was lowered to the first degree were a clear indication that the Lodge of St Andrew was moving forward; one of the newcomers presented W Bro Owen with the Working Tools of that degree.  

W Bro James Steele, smartly attired in the red collar and apron of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge was the DC for the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Chris Thomas. who complimented the outgoing and incoming team on their sterling work. W Bro Philip Daniels sang the Anthem, the Master's Song, the Song to the Visitors and the concluding "Happy to Meet Again"; it was a pleasure to accompany him both in the Lodge Room and downstairs.

Mention must also be made of the superb repast; the steak was beautifully tender and the chocolate cheesecake served with chantilly cream was exquisite.

One of the best nights ever.

[Photograph of W Bros Matt Owen and Eddie Brook by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

Tuesday 8th March 2022:

The intended initiation for Humber Lodge's March meeting did not take place; the Candidate asked that the ceremony be deferred. The Secretary called upon Eddie Wildman to see if he had any material that could be given as a lecture, and so Hansel & Gretel at the Freemason's Lodge was offered. Eddie had delivered this talk twice already: once for the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642, and once as an educational Masonic Zoom for Barry Longstaff, to an international audience of about ninety.

However, in order to take advantage of the screen and projector downstairs in the dining room, it was decided that the WM, W Bro Michael Edwin Potts, would open the Lodge upstairs in due and ancient form, deal with the essential business, and close, after which the Brethren could enjoy the lecture with drinks in their hands.

The Lodge meeting, though brief, was fruitful. It was a pleasure to see some of the older Brethren there; some had been ill for some time, as the Lodge Almoner remarked. Indeed, David Terry had brought Ken Graham to the meeting, and it was a delight to see the joy on his face as he greeted his old friends. There was some discussion regarding the Lodge's charitable response to those Ukranians fleeing the war with Russia; while Freemasonry is not political, it is essentially humanitarian, and it was decided that donations would be collected at the Festive Board in lieu of the usual raffle. One of our members is Ukranian and has family over there - he thanked all the Brethren for the good wishes and offers of help he had already received.

Brother Craig Morrison spoke buying a picture donated by one of our younger Brethren as a gift for his sister. She put it up for auction and a £200 profit was raised, which was to be donated to the same cause at the Festive Board. (More about this on another blog later.) The Daggards also promised a substantial donation. 

Reports were delivered and the Lodge was closed, and the Brethren, armed with drinks from the bar, patiently listened to the Masonic connections to be found in the Brothers Grimm's folk tale before dinner was served. The Worshipful Master thanked Bros Eddie Wildman and Richard Smedley (technical guru and tale-teller) for their fascinating contribution.

During dinner a form was sent round for the donations. Over eight hundred pounds was raised. Our Tyler, W Bro Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward will report - watch the Charity Page for his comments. It was an early finish (and it was good to be home before ten o' clock to write this blog!)

Eddie Wildman, Immediate Past Master

 

 

Saturday 5th March 2022:

Beverlonian Lodge 9084 saw the initiation of thirty-one year old Jack Sherwood, He was proposed by his twenty-three year old brother Peter Brown, who gave the Address at the North-East Corner, was led round the Lodge by Brother Thomas Baxter, who also delivered the Ancient Charge.

It was refreshing to see how many younger Masons were in office - the grey-haired and experienced sat back and happily reflected that the Lodge was moving forward in strength and youthful vigour. Congratulations to the WM, W Bro Tony Dickens who presided magnificently, and also to young Bro Kieran Newton who organised an excellent fish & chips Festive Board.

It was an excellent evening at Trinity Lane, Beverley, and, as a visitor from Pickering remarked: "Please ask us to come again."

[Photograph of Peter and Jack by Eddie Wildman]

 

Thursday 3rd March 2022:

Hull Old Grammarians' Chapter 5129 installed new Principals: see this date on the Chapter Blog page.

Wednesday 2nd March 2022:

While Freemasonry is not political, it is fast moving when aid is required. The following information was sent today from the Masonic Charitable Foundation and United Grand Lodge of England regarding the plight of Ukranian refugees.

Freemasons give £50,000 to British Red Cross to provide aid to Ukranian refugees

 

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees will be given help and support from Freemasons in England and Wales, following a £50,000 grant to the British Red Cross.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF, the Freemasons’ Charity) and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) have been monitoring the growing refugee crisis of over 500,000 Ukrainian people who have been forced from their country or been internally displaced from their homes.

We are seeking to identify the most critical needs and we are pleased to be able to support and work with the British Red Cross in helping the growing number of refugees.

Many Freemasons have contacted the MCF and UGLE to ask how they can offer further support in addition to this grant. We have therefore established a dedicated Ukraine Crisis fundraising appeal using the Relief Chest Scheme to allow Freemasons, their families and friends to donate.

We encourage Freemasons and others wishing to support Ukraine to donate via the Relief Chest online appeal page at mcf.org.uk/ukraine.

In addition to this national appeal, Freemasons from Lodges across England, Wales and overseas have been sharing their own stories about volunteering, fundraising and donating at the local level.  

We are inspired by their efforts and proud to be able to join them in responding to this growing humanitarian crisis.

 

Signed by Les Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Dr David Staples, Grand Secretary and Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, there is the opportunity to donate online.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is the national charity of Freemasonry under the United Grand Lodge of England. UGLE is the governing body of Freemasonry in England, Wales, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and some Districts overseas.

 

Wednesday 2nd March 2022:

Ian Syddall travelled to Driffield for a Chapter Installation. See his report on the Chapter Blog Page for 2nd March.

Tuesday 1st March 2022:

Our Royal Arch Representative, W Bro Ian Syddall was one of the Companions from Humber Chapter at the Technical Chapter Installation, and he responded to the toast for the visitors. He has submitted a report - please see this date on the Humber Chapter Blog page. 

It also being pancake day, let me report that as my kitchen was still out of commission, I was unable to indulge in a pancake, but the sacrifice was worth it: the leak in my kitchen is now repaired. 

 

 

Monday 28th February 2022:


Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 opened at 6.30 precisely, the Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Colin Shields calling the Brethren to attention by pointing out the escape routes in the event of fire and admonishing those that had not yet turned off their mobile phones to do so. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Malcolm Forbes opened efficiently and called W Bro Barry Kensett to the dais to be invested with the Lodge Mentor's collar, There was a successful ballot for a new Candidate, then the Brethren enjoyed a presentation by W Bro Kevin Priestley of the Wilberforce Lodge 2134 (another Lodge named after one of the notable sons of Hull) on the subject of prostate cancer. Kevin's talk was delivered in a conversational style, mentioning that he spoke from personal experience, and exhorting to Brethren to take a PSA test (prostate-specific antigen) to discover if they were at risk. Prostate cancer, he told us, is more prevalent among men than breast cancer amongst women, He spoke of the intention to raise awareness amongst the Brethren of the Province by having free testing available at the annual convocation in May.

At the risings before the closing of the Lodge, the Brethren expressed their appreciation, in particular W Bro David Terry, Almoner of the Humber Lodge 57, who from a medical viewpoint and as a retired vetinerary surgeon, spoke of the incidence of prostate cancer in dogs, the commonest type being adenocarcinoma. Like human men, aging dogs can also have a benign enlargement of the prostate, accompanied by similar symptoms. 

Over 15% of the Brethren there that evening belonged to the Humber Lodge.

From a personal point of view it was nice to escape the problems of the leaky pipe (though talking of prostate symptoms reminded me that my kitchen floor was still awash) and to enjoy Luke Pyrah's cooking. An instructive evening.

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 26th February 2022:

I was hoping the bad luck which had injured my back and burst a waterpipe in the kitchen wouldn't transfer through to the Phoenix Installation on Saturday morning at Dagger Lane, but one of the notes on the organ stuck and wouldn't stop playing so the instrument had to be abandoned. W Bro Richard Smedley managed the anthem a cappella, however, and the ceremony was succesful despite some confusion over start times. Both Assistant Provincial Grand Masters were in attendance; W Bro Armbrister taking his seat on the dais and observing keenly as W Bro Ian Parkinson relinquished the Chair to W Bro Richard East. At the Festive Board the downstairs keyboard was brought into play as Bro Chris Fuller led "Here's a Health unto her Majesty" following the loyal toast, and W Bro Smedley delivered the Worshipful Masters Song and "Bless this Lodge" with aplomb. Humber Lodge 57 was of course well represented, as W Bro Ian Syddall was part of the Active Team escort, W Bro Malcolm Forbes was there in the capacity of a visiting Worshipful Master, W Bros Smedley and Wildman are also members of the Phoenix Lodge 9963.

[Photograph by Eddie Wildman]

 

Friday 25th February 2022:

"Thank you all for supporting my raising," texted Paul Holland on whatsapp, "it was a truly memorable evening with remarkable ritual and knowledge. I am blessed and proud to be a Master Mason in the Ridings Tablers' Lodge." Paul's message came through on the Saturday morning - he was evidently still buzzing, and I have no doubt most of us were, for it had been an impressive ceremony, and answering texts confirmed this. Paul had prepared well in answering the questions beforehand and the ritualists were excellent - W Bro Andy Green's sepulchral delivery of the retrospect and W Bro Terry Fisher's conversational walk round story telling of the Traditional History meriting particular mention. Also of note was the way that Paul was obviously paying close attention to the events reported in the ritual; let me say that the Brethren of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 are equally blessed and proud to have Brother Paul as a Master Mason amongst us. Well done all (especially the brace of Brethren from Humber 57!)

Eddie Wildman

RTL Organist

 

 

Thursday 24th February 2022:

Malcolm Forbes' little white Ford was unbuffetted by high winds or adverse weather on our journey to the Inquirimus Lodge of Installed Masters 8132 in the fair coastal town of Filey, and the return trip was likewise without incident. Malcolm and I discussed the meeting with smiles - it had been a good gathering of some thirty souls, eleven of whom were visitors.

The Worshipful Master, WB David Burnett PJGD approved the minutes of the previous meeting's installation and invested WB Andrew Walker as the Lodge Membership Officer. The Area Membership Officer, WB Tony Dyer PPJGW gave a brief but brilliant exposition on these new roles and their importance in a changing Masonic Society wherein social media has become a significant factor.

The next business was to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of WB Colin Mullender. The WM gave an account of some of his Masonic accomplishments and commended his fitness: "If you go for a walk with him," he said, "he'll beat you, no doubt about it."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several Brethren were proposed and seconded as joining members - Inquirimus is doing well - before the Lodge was closed and the Brethren hied to the festive board (yes, there were balloons. And a cake) to continue the merry meeting.

[Photograph of Colin Mullender and his good friend (and driver) Bill Hamilton by Eddie Wildman. Photograph of Eddie's tablecloth caricature and of Colin and his friends at Inquirimus Lodge by Chris Harland.]

 

Tuesday 22nd February 2022:

See Ian Syddall's comments on Brough Chapter on the the Chapter Blog page.

Monday 21st February 2022:

Holderness Lodge 3563 packed a doubly whammy at its February meeting when Bro Lee Atkinson was impressively raised to the third degree; his place as Inner Guard was occupied by W Bro Bob Wallace, after which the latter returned the sword to the new Master Mason, and Brother Atkinson resumed his duties by the door.

It was then the turn of Worshipful Brother William Kerr Wallace to take the spotlight, wherein he was deftly interviewed bu W Bro Eddie Wildman, who invited Bob to share details of his early life in Singapore, his return to the UK and an education in Hull, his joining the RAF and his subsequent posting back to the place he has always regarded as home - and where he was initiated into Freemasonry by his father. The interview concluded with a presentation of a certificate from the RWPGM congratulating Bobb on his fifty years in Freemasonry.

A visitor remarked afterwards that there was a vast history and hidden knowledge in Holderness's Old Timer, and he thanked the Lodge for having been given an insight into someone who usually kept himself modestly in the background.

Eddie Wildman and Malcolm Forbes stood to join in the greetings from Humber 57 submitted by W Bro Tom Lee.

For Malcolm Forbes' comments please go to the Andrew Marvell website.

[Photographs: Lee Atkinson and the WM James Ashby-Kelly; James Ashby-Kelly, Bob Wallace and Eddie Wildman, by C Wilson. The WM has forgotten his collar but we were all too polite to mention it.]

 

Saturday 19th February:

There are few precedents for a son to propose his father into Freemasonry. Wolgang Amadeus Mozart proposed his father into a Lodge in Vienna in 1785, and more recently, John Chapman proposed his dad into the Technical Lodge in Hull.

There are even less recorded occasions when the son has been in the Chair when his father was initiated, but today we witnessed such an event. W Brother Rob Atkinson proudly obligated his father in a flawless ceremony, full of dignity and sincerity. Unlike many Lodges in these difficult times, Technical Lodge 5666 is thriving with an impressive number of Brethren eager to take their second and third degrees and with more potential candidates in the pipeline.

As the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Martin Egermont remarked "The ceremony ticked all the boxes. I don't think I've ever seen an initiation as good as that one!"

Well done all!

[Photographs of W Bro Rob and his father, and the line-up of some of the younger Brethren by Eddie Wildman.]

 

Thursday 17th February:

See the Chapter blog page regarding the St Michael and Constitutional Chapter meetings.

Wednesday 16th February 2022:

While storm Dudley lashed the country, some Humber Brethren bravely ventured out to meetings. Ian Syddall visited Alexandra Lodge 1511 in Hornsea on the East Coast; Malcolm Forbes and Eddie Wildman travelled to Greater Driffield, some twenty miles inland. Here is Ian's account:

Hornsea:

I attended a meeting of the Alexandra Lodge No 1511 on Wednesday 16th February 2022. The meeting was held at the Masonic Hall Alexandra Road Hornsea HU18 1PU.
I was one of two visitors: we received a very warm welcome.

I was asked to sit up on the Dias as I am an Active Provincial Officer, and when the DC approached me and inquired if I wanted to be greeted as such I declined.


I was then reminded that as an Active Officer it was only right that I receive greetings. (You learn something new every day in Masonry!)


The main business of the evening was to Pass Brother Keir Horner; he answered his question with no hesitation. The Senior Deacon conducting him through the ceremony was foot and word perfect and the rest of the ritual was sincere and eloquently carried out.


The weather outside was not particularly good: as the wind blew it sounded like a train passing, but of course there is no train line near the Lodge. At the festive board the warm friendly atmosphere continued and the other visitor, who was from Bristol, gave a grateful response to the toast on behalf of us both. The food was excellent.


Thank you, Brethren, of Alexandra Lodge No 1511

Driffield:

According to Wikipedia, Driffield, also known as Great Driffield, is a market town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The civil parish is formed by the town of Driffield and the village of Little Driffield. It was the birthplace, Malcolm Forbes informed me, of the famous Ashes cricketer Jack Brown, a superb batsman who made his first class debut for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1889. "I have umpired here at Driffield Cricket Club," Malcolm said, "but not as long ago as that."

Malcolm's car was buffetted by high winds and lashed by rain as we tootled along the country roads, but we arrived at Lockwood Street in good time, and entered the imposing doorway into the Lodge building. Another early arrival was Graham, the guest organist, who had generously supplied the Lodge with another instrument when the tired old organ there had started to belch smoke. The corpse of the old organ stood forlornly at the top of the stairs; I gave it a little pat as I passed - it had served the Lodge well for many years. Interestingly, the Lodge has acquired an ancient harmonium, returned from a church where it had been on loan many decades ago, but I am aware that most readers of this blog will be just as interested in old  keyboard instruments as I am in cricketing statistics.

W Bro David Boynton, Worshipful Master, led the Lodge through a succesful ceremony where Brother Stephen Randle was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason. The ceremony, as the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro David Burnett remarked, was very well done. For me, the highlight was the explanation of the Working Tools, an extended version I have never heard before. These tools appear on the Lodge logo.

Malcolm and I enjoyed the meal afterwards - Chicken Kiev - and as Malcolm was driving, I enjoyed a couple of pints of lager too. Malcolm won a prize at the raffle; he is extraordinarilly lucky that way. We made good time getting back despite the wind, which had closed the Humber Bridge to high-sided vehicles and was producing alarmingly high energy with the offshore wind turbines. My energy was low, however, and I clambered happily into bed when Malcolm dropped me off. It had been an excellent evening.

[Photograph of David Boynton and Stephen Randle by Eddie Wildman]

 

Saturday 12th February 2022:

Whilst steeped in Craft Masonry, the Cildru Court 134 is not a Craft Lodge, but belongs to the Masonic Order of Athelstan in England, Wales and its Provinces Overseas. This morning's ceremonial welcomed the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Linsey, Right Worshipful Michael Carter KAG and a team of Provincial Officers; the Worshipful Master for the ensuing year was declared; W Bro Tony Calvert continuing in that Office; and three Candidates were instructed in the mysteries of the Order. Such is the nature of the Order of Athelstan, First King of All England, that some of the visiting Provincial and Grand Lodge Officers were happy to take on active roles in the ritual, which was impressive. After the opening, W Bro Tony Calvert relinquished the Chair to the Court Secretary, W Bro Mark Richardson, who conducted a smoothly coordination ceremony before handing the gavel back to Tony for the closing. Lunch followed. Three members of Humber 57 Craft Lodge were in attendance.

 

Friday 11th February 2022:

De la Pole Lodge 1605 had a comfortable attendance of thirty for the Raising of Brother Graham Thornally, who professed he had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Worshipful Brother Jimmy (Two Kilts) Kerr PPSGW stood in as Senior Deacon, and his Ayreshire directions to the Candidate (who had a refined Nottingham accent) were matched only by Worshipful Brother Stan McKewan's Glaswegian description of the Master Mason's Apron - at times the Brethren could imagine themselves tramping through the heather.

The third degree is the longest ceremony apart from that of Installation, and Worshipful Brother Peter Spencer, Provincial Grand Tyler (Hull accent) moved the afterproceedings along expeditiously with some rapid gavel work. The hour being late, there were only two toasts: to Her Majesty the Queen, and to the Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent.

Humber Lodge 57 was represented by W Bros Malcolm Forbes and Eddie Wildman.

[Photograph of Graham Thornally and Ben Kelly by Eddie Wildman.]

 

Thursday 10th February 2022:

W Bro Ian Syddall reports:

I attended a meeting of the Old Hymerian Lodge 6885 at the Masonic Hall Beverley Road, Hull. On this occasion I had forgotten to confirm my meal, however a quick phone call to their Steward W Bro Roy (David) Holborn and it was sorted.

The Representative of the Right Worshipful Master was W Bro David J Burnett PJGD and I was part of the Escort and in fact I was the only Provincial Active Officer as one or two had had to cancel at the last minute

As visitors we received a very warm welcome.

This was the Old School Lodge's Installation, where the current WM Christopher Shuttleworth graciously stepped aside to let the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Richard Bate occupy the Chair for this very special occasion, that of installing his father W Bro Graham Bate into the Chair of King Solomon.

The Installing DC was W Bro William H Fisher PGSwdB who despite having only had a few hours’ notice did the task with panache.

There is a theme going-on with this Lodge because they have another father and son in the names of W Bro Anthony Cadle who was in the Chair 2015-2016 and who installed his father W Bro David Cadle in 2017-2018.

At he Festive Board we again enjoyed a warm friendly atmosphere and the food was excellent.

Members of the Humber Lodge were in attendance with W Bro Malcolm Forbes, and, playing the ivories both in the Lodge and at the Festive Board, W Bro Eddie Wildman PGOrg.

One thing that was different from the usual installations was there was no raffle on this occasion, but that did not detract from a wonderful evening.

Thank you Old Hymerian Lodge!

{Photograph of W Bros David Burnett, Richard Bate and Graham Bate snoozing after the meal by Eddie Wildman]

Ian Syddall Provincial Grand Charity Steward

 

 

Wednesday 9th February 2022:

W Bro Malcolm Forbes, Master of Andrew Marvell Lodge, Charity Steward of Humber Lodge and Almoner of De la Pole Lodge reports on the Minerva Lodge meeting:

              A VISIT TO MINERVA LODGE – A WISE MOVE

For my most recent Lodge visit I consulted the oracle and visited Minerva Lodge  in search of Masonic wisdom.* The Lodge lived up to its name. It was the first visit I had paid to the Lodge since the first lockdown in March 2020.

I was in the company of Humber’s Immediate Past Master Worshipful Brother Eddie. As always whenever Eddie is present he adds not only his musical accompaniment but also his gravitas and humour to the proceedings.

Some three dozen Brethren attended the Lodge meeting and Festive Board. Eleven visitors were in attendance, seven of them from De La Pole Lodge, whose Worshipful Master lay  claim to the travelling gavel in the Lodge meeting (see the Travelling Gavel Page for write-up and photograph.)

The visitors were made to feel very welcome.

The start of the Lodge meeting was slightly delayed due to the unavailability of the first candidate on the summons. After another Entered Apprentice was welcomed back into the Lodge as a rejoining member and various Lodge reports were presented the Lodge at short notice conducted a second degree ceremony for Brother John Robertson. Minerva Lodge always prides itself on its ritual which differs from that of Humber 57, and to visitors it provides an innovative alternative to traditional ritual.

Worshipful Brother Eddie accompanied the Entered Apprentices out of the Lodge during the passing ceremony. I remember in my early days of Freemasonry how beneficial it was to talk to such a senior Mason who was able to distil his knowledge and experience to an initiate in such circumstances when I was unable to witness the ceremony.

The three course Festive Board of tomato soup, steak pie and either dessert or cheese and biscuits was well received.

The response to the visitors toast was given by the Worshipful Master of De La Pole Lodge, W Bro Ben Kelly. Amongst the merriment of the response he demanded the travelling gavel from Minerva Lodge.

After due deliberation of the rules regarding the legitimacy of the claim by the Lodge Secretary, the Master of Minerva Lodge, W Bro Kevin Marshall duly presented the travelling gavel to the raiding party from De La Pole. Photographs were taken of the group from De La Pole Lodge with me trying to hide in the background. The hold on the travelling gavel may only be short-lived as Humber Lodge, the premier Lodge in the Province, may look to wrest the gavel from the grasp of De La Pole Brethren in the near future.

Minerva Lodge is a popular Lodge to visit. Its Ladies Night was announced for 18th March at Beverley Road Masonic Hall and other social events are in the pipeline.

A good night was had by all.

Malcolm Forbes

* Minerva was the godess of wisdom, for those without the benefit of Malcolm's classical education. 

[Photograph of W Bro Kevin Marshall and Bro John Robertson by Eddie Wildman; photograph of Jimmy Kerr, Ian Fuller, Eddie Wildman, Ben Kelly, Michael Kelly, Kvin Marshall, Malcolm Forbes and David Duffill by Dean Marshall.]

 

Tuesday 8th February 2022:

Worshipful Brother Danny Betts, who had been installed as Worshipful Master of the Humber Installed Masters Lodge 2494 the previous evening (see 7th February) responded on behalf of the visitors at the Humber Lodge Festive Board and remarked that it was a pleasure to see so many visitors, some even from Lincolnshire supporting the newest initiate; the Lodge room had been full, and now, after a hearty meal, so were the Brethren. It had been a good evening:

Worshipful Master W Bro Mike Potts led a polished ceremony; the ritual was excellent, and Brother Matthew Barber, having been succesfully initiated into the Craft, professed he had enjoyed the experience. Brothers Barber, Procter (see 11th January) and Parkinson (see 9th November 2021) were presented with Humber song sheets following the rendition of the  songs at the Festive Board. The Humber Lodge is blessed with some fine singers, with possibly one or two exceptions. The Masonic Chain was delivered by W Bro Fisher. Well done everybody!

[Photographs: Mike Potts and Matthew Barber; Robert Parkinson, James Procter and Mike Potts by Charles Alexander]

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 7th February 2022:

From W Bro Terence Ward Fisher, Secretary of the Humber Installed Masters Lodge 2494:

On Monday 7th February 2022, several members of Humber 57 attended the Installation of W. Bro. Danny Betts as the new Worshipful Master of Humber Installed Masters Lodge No 2494, at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull.

The installation was conducted, as one would expect from an Installed Master Lodge, with pomp and ceremony and great fanfare. A Festive Board worthy of the occasion followed. The evening was graced by the presence of W. Bro. Ian Johnson, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, a Lodge member, and W. Bro. David Burnett, the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master, and several other distinguished guests and members. An evening to remember.

Humber Installed Masters Lodge was formed in 1893 following a meeting of Humber 57 members, who resolved: “that a Lodge of Instruction for Installed Masters be formed under the sanction of the Humber Lodge No 57.”

The Lodge defined its objectives:
     a) To facilitate the acquirement of a correct knowledge of Ritual and Ceremonial; of the government of Lodges;          and the general routine of Lodge business.
      b) To endeavour to raise the tone and character of Masonry by literary and scientific investigation and                         communication by lectures, discussion, and such other means as may appear likely to conduce to the                         advancement of Freemasonry.

The Lodge is now almost certainly the largest in the Province, with over 120 members. As its title suggests, members are reigning or past Masters of a Lodge under the English Constitution. That said, all Masons can attend a meeting, listen to lectures, unless restricted, join in discussions and enjoy the fraternity, and after meeting Festive Board.

The Provincial Grand Master and one of his assistants are members and are nearly always present, unless their masonic duties take them elsewhere.

Humber Installed Masters Lodge should be the Lodge all past masters aspire to join. The Lodge meets only four times during the year, February, (Installation), June, October, and December (election night). June and October are usually dedicated to lectures, which are not confined to Freemasonry. In past years the Lodge has heard the official Prestonian Lecture, authorised by Grand Lodge, (on the Scout Movement and its association with Freemasonry); lectures on Hull railways stations (21 at one time), music hall theatres (scores), HMS Pickle, which saw action at Trafalgar, veterinary stories given by our own W. Bro. Terry, and many more. All very interesting, provocative and thought enhancing.

Has this piqued your interest? There are several members of the Humber Installed Masters in Humber 57 – just ask!

Terry Fisher, Treasurer and Librarian of Humber Lodge 57,

[Photograph by Chris Thomas]

 

Sunday 6th February 2022:

Loyal Toast: the Queen and the Craft

Today we honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the historic occasion of her platinum jubilee. She is the first British monarch to reign for seventy years.

The monarch has been honoured in the first Masonic toast from time immemorial, and there are strong connections with royalty and Freemasonry. Queen Elizabeth is, of course, our patron. Our present Grand Master, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, KG GCMG, GCVO, CD, ADC is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent, and King George VI.

 

 

 Saturday 5th February 2022:

Humber Lodge's most recent Entered Apprentice gave greetings at the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 following the successful initiation of Liam Robinson, who at six and a half feet tall towered over many of the ritualists. The Lodge has a high percentage of younger men in its ranks (Brother James Procter felt at home and was delighted to find  that the Junior Warden had studied at college with him) and the floorwork was magnificently delivered by some Entered Apprentices as well as long-established Brethren. Bro Constable from the De la Pole Lodge responded eloquently to the Visitors toast, speaking of the value of visiting elsewhere, and Bro Procter heartily concurred. "Now I've seen it from the viewpoint of a spectator," he said, "I'm looking forward to visiting again. Beverlonian Lodge is doing another First Degree in March - and I don't mind driving next time!"

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 4th February 2022:

W. Bro Malcolm Forbes, WM of Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 and Charity Steward of Humber Lodge 57 visited Brough Lodge 5464. Here is his report.

A BROUGH GUIDE

For the second consecutive month I travelled to the wilds of Sutton to attend the regular Lodge meeting of Brough Lodge on the first Friday of the month.
As a visitor I was made to feel at home by both old and new faces. The warm welcome contrasted to the cold weather outside.
The highlight of the Lodge meeting was the second degree ceremony which took place. It was good to see the number of Entered Apprentices attending the meeting. The January Lodge meeting had seen a double initiation so clearly Brough Lodge is a healthy and vibrant Lodge.
A number of stand-ins supplemented the regular Lodge Officers and everyone performed with great credit. Provincial Officers stood in as Junior Deacon and Inner Guard.
After the meeting we went downstairs to enjoy a scrumptious and sumptuous Festive Board. Four courses for £13 represented fantastic value. My aperitif was a Seven Up – I have always been one to live it up and live dangerously.
I enjoyed the Festive Board even more in the knowledge that I would not have to reply to the visitors toast. There were four visitors altogether and the response to the visitors toast was given by a brother from Alexandra Lodge in Hornsea.
For any member of the Lodge wishing to enjoy a thoroughly good evening Brough Lodge is well worth a visit.

Malcolm Forbes

 

Thursday 3rd February 2022:

It is always pleasing when a Lodge member receives recognition from Province and I am now able to divulge the names of those in Humber 57 to whom honours have accrued. Their appointments begin technically on 14th May
2022 when the recipients are officially acknowledged and invested with their collars by the RWPGM, though some (like Ian) are continuing in the Provincial work they have been doing for the last year. Congratulations to Worshipful Bros:

     Ian Syddall, continuing his active service as Provincial Grand Charity Steward

     Stanley Smith for his first appointment as Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon

     Sergei Byelov for his first promotion to Past Provincial Grand Registrar

     Philip Watts for his first promotion to Past Provincial Junior Grand Deacon.

In addition, a few days earlier, the Province opf Lincolnshire will be investing our own Worshipful Brother Craig Maurier as Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works.

Well done all!

Eddie Wildman

  

Thursday 3rd February 2022:

The new Provincial Website is now live: https://yorkshirenerfreemasons.org.uk/ (see FAQ & Links)

Wednesday 2nd February 2022:

W Bro Neil Armstrong, PPGSwdB took the floor in the Kingston Lodge 1010 for "A demonstration walk through the Third Degree with Commentary". Visitor Bro Craig Morrison kingston logo.jpgfrom Humber 57 (with W Bros David Terry and Eddie Wildman) remarked eloquently  that having recently been through his third degree, he had thought doors were closing behind him, but found that instead, more were opening.

Indeed, Neil's dissertation, ably backed with demonstrations from the WM, his Wardens and his Deacons, gave rise to many questions; it was a fascinating, well presented display which introduced the deeper elements underlying the Craft without any of the esoteric meretriciousness adopted by some Masonic explorers. Thanks were tendered with equal sincerity during the greetings - it was a worthy night.

Eddie Wildman

 

Tuesday 1st February 2022:

Good News! An email from Mark Richardson states "The kitchen installation works have been finished and the kitchen is cleared for opening and use again from today." The installing team were unimpressed by the previous engineer's comments which had quite uneccessarily limited the last few meals to salads and cold collations, but now things are better than before! There is now room for a fish fryer to be installed in the Dagger Lane kitchen which will undoubtedly meet with the approval of the Brethren.  Well done, folks!

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 31st January 2022:

It was bitterly cold outside but the sun shone in a perfect blue sky, and St. Mary's Church Cottingham was warm inside for the mourners gathered for the funeral of Brenda Graham, sadly departed wife of W Bro Ken Graham, one of the elders of the Humber Lodge. Ken, of course, was there, supported by his son and his family, and a traditional service, led by the Reverend James Hargreave was a fitting closure for Brenda, who had struck her head in a fall and been in a coma for six weeks before quietly passing away. Despite the masks, the congregation sang the old hymns: Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer, How Great Thou Art and Lord of All Hopefulness, beautifully led by the organist, Julian Savory. In the setting of the stone arches  with light streaming through the stained glass windows, the occasion was a celebration of Brenda's life rather than a time for misery,

David Terry spoke eloquently of this in his eulogy. whilst acknowledging the shock to the family at the loss of a loved one. He spoke of Brenda's life, from her birth in 1938 and evacuation to Lincoln during WW2;, her subsequent education leading to a teaching career, and of  first meeting Ken at a dance at Hull City Hall, after which he had walked her home. A five year courtship led to their marriage in December 1952 - the honeymoon in Jersey was distinguished by an unanticipated snowfall. When their son Francis was born in 1967, Brenda gave up teaching and became Ken's invaluable assistant as he expanded his business. David spoke of the Graham's cottage in Rosedale, Brenda's favourite place, of holidays in different parts of the globe, and of the happy arrival of the grandchildren, now following academic paths: "Francis, Ruth and Ken," he said, looking directly at the family from the brass eagle lectern, "you must be as proud as Brenda was."

The Minister, himself an excellent speaker, thanked David for the lovely warm tribute, adding as he was about to begin the concluding prayers, that "while we continue to pray, we can be confident that Brenda is praying for us."

There was a strong Lodge support from Gordon Wiles, Trevor Whitfield, Tom Lee, Terry Fisher, Craig Morrison, David Terry, Winston Pannett and myself. Many of them brought their wives, for Brenda had been well respected by many. There were other ladies from the societies to which Brenda had belonged.

The recessional music was Crimond and Jerusalem, a firm avowal of faith voiced in these traditional tunes.

The funeral arrangements were smoothly managed under the direction of Richard East.

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 29th January 2022:

"Whence Come You" - a talk from author Ben Zion - see this date on the Zoom Page.

 

Friday 28th January 2022:

While Eddie Wildman was in Beverley (see below) Craig Maurier, Charles Alexander, Craig Fish and Craig Morrison of the Humber Lodge 57 visited St Peter Lodge 7648 at the Masonic Centre in Cleethorpes. Here is Brother Morrison's "nugget" about the event.

 

The night started with a new Candidate going through his initiation, which was conducted extremely well. It should be noted that the two Fellow Craft Brothers who recited their ritual were absolutely word perfect and a delight to listen to.

We then moved to the festive board and enjoyed an Address to the Haggis to mark Brother Robert Burns' affiliation with the Craft. Once again the address was played out fantastically and received in good form. The festive board was a resounding success with great food and the whisky was flowing. Brother Craig Fish and myself had a few but alas Brother Charles Alexander had to drive (my turn next year!)

I would like to thank W Bro  Craig Maurier for the invitation, and to extend congratulations on his forthcoming promotion to Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works.

It was a great night and new friendships were forged.

Fraternal greetings to all, and thanks to the Brethren and the many visitors at St Peter!

Brother Craig Morrison, Inner Guard

 

 

Friday 28th January 2022:

I am a founder member of the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586. Its warrant of Constitution is dated 18th November 2017 so its development has been severely hampered by the covid pandemic. Consequently the installation this evening had some recycling amongst the Companions.  Companion John William Ellwood (a member of Humber Craft Lodge) took the Chair of Joshua, or 3rd Principal, while E Comp John Bridges PP3rdGPrin stepped into the Office of Haggai, and E Companion Howard B Newton moved up to the Chair of Most Excellent Zerubbabel. E Companion Steve Hastings ProvGSwdB, the RTC Treasurer who formed part of the escort when the Ruler demanded admission, is also a member of Humber Chapter 57.

I do not report on all the meetings I attend - some Brethren and Companions have manifestly struggled post-pandemic and are still building their teams, but this meeting was one of the best performances of a Chapter Installation I have witnessed. Manifestly well rehearsed and choreographed, the meeting flowed while retaining the good humour that characterises the Ridings Tablers' Lodge and Chapter. The only Companion with an open ritual book was the Lecture Master, and he was rarely required to prompt. I was most impressed by the delivery of the ritual regarding the robes worn by the three principals: E Comp Fred Harrison, Lecture Master explained the Z's robe; E Comp Tony Dyer , Mentor, dilated on the H's robe; and Comp Ian Dixon, a newly-made Companion, gave the ritual for the robe of Joshua. All three word perfect.

 The visiting Ruler was Excellent Companion Paul Harper, PGSB, Second Grand Principal and he presented the IPZ, E Comp Chris Harland with his collar and an IPZ jewel, remarking that it was an emblem of figurative graduation and deserving of respect for the work done as MEZ. At the festive board afterwards, Chris thanked everyone, but made particular mention of the stalwart organisation and management of E Comp Mark Green, whose efforts had kept the Chapter in good fettle during particularly trying times. The spontaneous applause following his comments indicated that the Companions were whole-heartedly in agreement.

A splendid evening, well supported by RTC Companions and lots of visitors.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 27th January 2022:

The Lodge of St Michael 7833 performed a third degree ceremony, with Bro William John Failey becoming a Master Mason invested with the blue-trimmed apron with the three rosettes. It was a long ceremony - this Emulation Lodge retains the relaxed, thorough working recommended by its founders in 1962 - and included the long closing following John Burton's excellent performance of the Third Degree Tracing Board, but the visiting Worshipful Masters from De la Pole 1605 and Technical  5666 Lodges were nonetheless impressed; there is a dramatic element in the St Michael ritual which is rarely seen elsewhere.


There was a good atmosphere both in the Lodge Room and at the Festive Board; Brethren were pleased to greet each other without wearing masks, and to join hands at the end for Auld Lang Syne - another feature of this splendid Lodge, though many wisely sanitised their hands afterwards! It was particularly pleasing to see the DC, W Bro Paul Henderson back after his battles with ill health (spontaneous applause from the Brethren), and to congratulate Bro Adrian Thompson MBE who, as a recipient of the British Empire Medal, has been invited to a garden party with Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of his work in the field of Marine Artistry and charitable endeavours on behalf of the community of Hull.

Many thanks to Brenda Watkins, wife of the WM, who provided table decorations with a somewhat Scottish theme in recognition of the meeting;s proximity to Burns' night. The night was advancing, so only the first two toasts were submitted, and the Brethren took their departure in a happy mood.

 

Tuesday 25th January 2022:

 Holderness Lodge 3563 was granted dispensation to Initiate Mr Andrew Jagger on this date, and the ceremony was impressive. The floor work was performed, for the most part, by the younger Brethren (at least half a dozen were EAs or FCs, and there were more amongst the visitors.) I have rarely seen such obvious commitment, or such quiet pleasure after work well done.

At the Festive Board W Bro Paul Hillary (who as the Liaison Officer for Holderness was prevailed upon to explain his function as a Lodge Friend providing an easy link to Province should it be needed) remarked that the ritual was delivered in an almost conversational tone, which made it particularly meaningful to the Candidate.

Brother Jagger expressed his thanks and appreciation in his response at the Festive Board, saying he was looking forward to becoming involved in the workings of the Lodge, and that he recognised his old teacher from when he was a pupil at Hull Grammar School. (I failed to recognise him, however - I recall no pupils with such a distinctive haircut.)

There were ten visitors from nine Sister Lodges; now that the Covid restrictions are becoming relaxed, it is good to see the numbers increasing.

The toasts were all over by 9:30, and the Brethren left, buzzing contentedly, while the WM, Worshipful Brother James Ashby-Kelly wore a broad smile, having presided over a most successful evening. "A cracking night!" he said.

Eddie Wildman

[Photograph of W Bro James Ashby-Kelly and Bro Andrew Jagger by ERW]

 

Monday 24th January 2022:

Report from Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward

 

On Monday 24th January 2022, I visited Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 which, was consecrated in 1937 and had reached its eighty-fifth birthday. The business of the evening was to Proclaim the Master Elect, W. Bro Malcolm John Forbes, Malcolm is, of course, the Charity Steward for the Humber Lodge 57.

A dispensation from the RWPGM was read out as this was going to be Malcolm’s third year in the Chair.

The Lodge was attended by the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro William E Glanville PAGDC who is also the Provincial Grand Secretary. His DC was W Bro Paul Brown (see 19th January below) and on this occasion four past Provincial Officers and myself as ProvGChStwd formed the escort.

The Installing DC W Bro Andrew Peach carried out his role perfectly. The ceremony was of course shorter than a full-blown installation, but suitably dignified and well coordinated. Malcolm invested his Officers for the forthcoming year.

Following the meeting, the festive board was a delight with plenty of good food, good conversation and company. Luckily, the tablecloths were paper, as Eddie Wildman took the opportunity to draw sketches of the Humber Master, Worshipful Brother Mike Potts and our ADC, Brother Charles Alexander. Fortunately I was out of Eddie's view.

With Malcolm, Mike, Charles, Eddie and myself, the Humber Lodge was well represented.

Thank you, Andrew Marvell Brethren for an excellent evening.

Ian Syddall

[Ian was too kind to mention my embarrasment whilst accompanying the song to the Worshipful Master, which was ably rendered by W Bro John Towler.

During the last verse, the cable from the keyboard to the socket decided to part company with the instrument, and the sound disappeared mid-bar. Happily, John was not fazed by this and continued a cappella, and everyone joined him in the final chorus, while the two technicians in the room, John Stebbings and Ian Fuller, fixed the instrument. Note to self - always check that the connections are secure before playing!]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Thursday 20th January 2022:

The United Religious Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and its Provincinces Overseas is usually referred to as KT or Knights Templar, and Humber Preceptory and Priory No 223 is essentially a Lodge belonging to this Order. However, the Knights Templar is a strictly Christian degree, and people wishing to join must be members of both Craft and Chapter to qualify. There were four members of Humber Craft Lodge attending the meeting of the Priory where Eminent Knight Nick Brokenshire was proclaimed Eminent Prior; these were Eddie Wildman, Craig Maurier, Stephen Longthorp and Michael Potts. In Knights Templar, there are two ceremonies. The ceremony wherein a Knight Templar becomes a Knight of Malta is known as the Malta degree.  It relates to the story of the shipwreck of St Paul on the island of Malta. The ceremony took place at Dagger Lane, and Bro Kt David Stapleton was installed as a Knight of Malta. The evening was enhanced by the attendance of the Provincial Sub-Prior E Kt Keith Marshall and a team of Provincial Officers, who took part in the proceedings.

Should you be interested in this chivalric Order, please contact one of the Humber Brethren who are members and check out the website http://www.yneknightstemplar.org/the-precepts-of-knights-templar/ 

 Eddie Wildman

Wednesday 19th January 2022:


Brother Craig Morrison gave greetings for Humber Lodge at the Installation of W Bro Paul Brown as WM in the Alexandra Lodge 1511. It had been a pleasant journey with Craig at the wheel; we arrived just in time to sign in and settle down in the distinctive theatre seats of this ancient Lodge (consecrated in 1874) and enjoyed the unique Hornsea working as the Lodge was raised to the third degree. Worshipful Brother Malcolm Pearson successfully installed his successor when the Lodge was opened as a Board of Installed Masters, and afterwards Paul appointed and invested his officers. It was reassuring to see Tony Calvert in the Senior Warden's Chair: he had suffered a stroke on New Year's Day (see 7th January) and to hear W Bro Bob Denton coaxing melodious sounds from the wheezy old organ in the Lodge Room.  As ever, the camaradie of the Alexandra Brethren was warming - this is a most friendly Lodge, and Craig and I departed with smiles on our faces. The only negative note was sounded by Craig's Satnav, which refused to acknowledge we were going back to Hull and insisted on trying to return us to the seaside, but we stoically ignored her and drove back on the scenic route, watching rabbits hopping under the hedges as we passed.

Eddie Wildman

Tuesday 18th January 2022:

I received an email from Charles Alexander (ADC) noting that the website did not have a page for L o I and that this was a serious omission. Quite right! Charles, you can kick off with the first report.  Here's the link!

Monday 17th January 2022:

W Bro Malcolm Forbes had kindly offered to drive me to Whitby for the Lion Lodge 312 Installation ceremony, where I was representing the RWPGM. Surprisingly for the time of year, it was a beautiful day, the sky a cloudless cerulean, the air crisp and clear. The Lodge meeting was scheduled to start at 4:30. so we set off early and enjoyed the magnificent vistas of the North York Moors. As we approached a distant farmer was burning stubble: "Is that a forest fire?" quipped Malcolm. The sunlit fields, the grand sweep of the sea, the aroma of the conifers tinged with the smell of burning hay lifted my spirits; I felt privileged to view the splended scene.

We arrived at John Street in good time for the meeting. As a Grand Lodge Officer, I was directed to an upper room with my DC, W Bro Rob Watts, and there donned my tail coat and tried to look dignified. As Rob is much taller than me (and younger, and handsome) I looked like a cricket ball next to a bat, but nobody was unkind enough to say so. Everyone wore masks in the beautiful Lodge Room (see pictures of the MH on the website https://lionlodge.org/index.php/home/masonic-hall-whitby/ which is being renovated even as I write this blog - Tony Foote's expertise puts my feeble efforts to shame) and the ceremony was conducted by W Bro Bill Morton, who installed his successor, W Bro Peter Green into the Master's Chair in due form.

Masks were removed when the Brethren took their places at the Festive Board and it became clear how well integrated this Lodge (and the other Whitby Lodge, Caedman 6965) is, enjoying a real sense of community. The mutual support is impressive. The generous donation to the Provincial Charity fund is much appreciated.

It was dark, of course on the way back, and our return route had to be reorganised because of road works, but we only got lost once ("I nearly always get lost," I confided to Malcolm. "So do I", he muttered. "Let's try going down this road instead") but happily I arrived home before midnight. Many thanks to the Lion Lodge - and to W Bros Watts and Forbes for giving me such a splendid day.

[Photograph of Eddie and the new WM, W Bro Peter Green at the festive board by W Bro John Davies.]

 

Saturday 15th January 2022:

Technical Lodge 5666 enjoyed a first class initiation ceremony, and the ritual was excellent, much of it delivered by the younger Brethren, some of them recent Entered Apprentices. It was a fine example of Freemasonry at its best. A surprise visit from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Ian Johnson, failed to fluster the WM, W Bro Rob Atkinson; his steady, measured delivery inspiring his team to emulate his approach. The Candidate, Mr James Neve, was well impressed, as were the visitors, including eight from Minerva Lodge who came in force to claim the travelling gavel (and succeeded.) It was an enjoyable evening and the frequent sanitising of hands in no way detracted from the dignity and good humour of the occasion. Brother Neve was caricatured on a tablecloth at the festive board by the organist, who unobtrusively crept into the photograph of the Minerva recipients as he is also an honorary member of Minerva 250.

[Photographs by John Chapman]

Eddie Wildman

Friday 14th January 2022:

Worshipful Brother Ben Kelly should have been enjoying a well-earned holiday in Sweden, but it had to be cancelled in the light of covid complications, so he was able to attend the de la Pole third degree ceremony as WM after all. However, wih exquisite courtesy, he asked the IPM, W Bro Michael Bastiman to lead the Candidate in the Obligation, knowing that Mike had spent time revising this. The ritual during the evening was stunning, as the Candidate, Bro John Constable, remarked afterwards, in a sincere thank-you to all who been there. "It was significant ritual and it meant a lot to me," he said, going on to thank the Senior Deacon, W Bro Jim Kerr "not only for conducting me round, but for your positive happy character." (Jim Kerr had discovered an ancient Humber jewel in a Masonic exchange, which he gave to me before the Lodge opened, and I was proud to wear it during the ceremony, so I too was thankful to him!) It was a splendid evening - the fish and chips at the festive board were first class. Thanks, de la Pole Lodge 1605!

Eddie Wildman

Thursday 13th January 2022:

Three of the Daggards Quartet (Eddie Wildman, David Terry and Craig Maurier) are members of Humber Lodge 57, while Neil Armstrong is Secretary of the KIngston Lodge 1010. Their first Daggards Zoom of 2022, Aliens with Attitude, was performed for a Masonic learning circle centred in Dorset - see the Daggards Website.

 

Thursday 13th January 2022:

A report from the Humber Lodge Tyler, Ian Syddall, who modestly omits to mention that he was one of the active Provincial Officers present, and who of course stood when greetings were given on behalf of Humber 57.

 

On Thursday 13th January 2022 I visited the Constitutional Lodge 294 who meet at Beverley Masonic Hall Trinity Lane. The Lodge was formed in 1793 and is one of the oldest lodges in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings.

The meeting started at the earlier time of 1700 hours, the main business for the evening was for the WM Daniel Longley to install his successor the Master Elect Bro Travis Plumridge into the Chair of King Solomon.

Bro Plumridge had been very poorly for quite some time and because of this, the ceremony was a very compassionate, caring and emotional affair. The DC W Bro. David Turner PPGStwd, was particularly attentive to the Master Elect.

The evening was attended by Assistant Provincial Grand Master Denis Raymond Stubley and six active Provincial Officers.


The Lodge presented the APGM with a cheque donation of £500 for the Yorkshire Charity North and East Ridings. (YCN&ER).

Ian Syddall ProvGCh Stwd

 

 

Wednesday 12th January 2022:

Minerva Lodge 250 initiated Mr Christian Hill in the mysteries of Freemasonry in a smoothly coordinated ceremony with W Bro Kevin Marshall in the Master's Chair and the floor work impressively performed by Brethren in light blue aprons: the increasing number of Candidates joining this ancient and respected Lodge is a reflection of the commitment and enthusiasm of its members. 

One of the earliest Lodges in Hull, the Minerva Lodge was founded in 1783 and moved to its present location in 1802. You can read about it on the Minerva Lodge website.

Eddie Wildman

 

Tuesday 11th January 2022:

A report on the first Humber Lodge ceremony of 2022 by W Bro David Terry PPSGW.

 A Splendid Initiation Ceremony

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong! The saying “The best laid schemes o’mice an’men” adapted from a line in “To a Mouse” by the Scottish poet and Freemason Robbie Burns comes to mind where our January meeting is concerned.

Firstly, the candidate, who was to be initiated had to attend a hospital appointment and so a rapid reshuffle of the list of candidates awaiting initiation was undertaken.

Secondly, our Director of Ceremonies (also our Treasurer) was struck down by Covid 19 and was unable to attend.

Thirdly, our Worshipful Master Michael Potts also succumbed to this evil virus.

Not the greatest start to our Masonic year!

The Lecture Master, W Bro. Phillip Watts, worked hard in filling the gaps in the new team. W Bro. Winston Pannett stepped into the breach as Director of Ceremonies, a role he relinquished thirty years previously. He carried off his duties with great aplomb.

Our Immediate Past Master and Officer of Grand Lodge, W Bro Edwin Wildman stepped into the role of Worshipful Master. This was seamless as he had occupied the Chair of King Solomon for the previous twenty-four months.

Our initiate was James David Procter who will help to lower the average age of our Lodge considerably. He conducted himself with dignity throughout what was an excellent initiation ceremony. There was excellent ritual from all who took part. Most noteworthy was the excellent performance by our Inner Guard, Bro Craig Morrison who demonstrated how a sword should be handled! His military background is well imprinted!

After the initiation ceremony was completed the Worshipful Master presented Bro Craig Morrison with his Grand Lodge Certificate. This was performed in a most unique and dramatic manner as the presentation was in the form of a rhyme which explained all the salient points of the document.

W Bro. Malcolm Forbes was called to the dais where the Worshipful Master presented him with a birthday card and badge. Congratulations Malcolm, you hardly look a year older!

The Lodge was closed in “Due and Ancient form”, the Brethren congratulating our newly made Brother James and Worshipful Master Eddie as they retired from the Lodge Room to the Festive Board.

An excellent meal was provided by our chef, Roy, who served up fishcakes followed by roast chicken and stuffing. This was followed by a delicious raspberry panna cotta dessert. So much for the January weight loss regime!

The five toasts were given as was the toast to our newly made Brother. This most important toast was given by W Bro. Sergei Byelov, who had proposed James into the Humber Lodge. We learned that James was a married man with two children whose daily avocation was as an HGV driver. The Entered Apprentice’s Song was sung with great gusto after which Bro. James Procter responded to the toast in a confident and appreciative manner.

We had only one visitor, Dr Colin Hardisty, who responded to the Senior Warden’s toast and Visitors song by dishing the dirt on W Bro. David Terry’s school days at Hull Grammar School.

Throughout the Festive Board, our Worshipful Master raced between his seat at table and the keyboard with the grace of a young gazelle,* the music that Humber Lodge is renowned for continuing in spite of the difficulties presented by the pandemic.

The parting toast was given and the Brethren left having enjoyed an evening of excellent ritual, good food and great company.

[Photograph of James Procter and Eddie Wildman by Craig Maurier.]

David Terry, Lodge Almoner

*Unusually for a vetinerary surgeon, W Bro Terry appears to be confused about the difference between a gazelle and a hippopotamus. -Eddie Wildman.

  

Saturday 8th January 2022:

Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 initiated its first Candidate born in the twenty-first century in a delightful ceremony for which the Brethren had obviously made a special effort. Mr Liam Gwatkin had been proposed by his father, Bro Robert E Gwatkin, Junior Warden of the Lodge; the ballot, held at the December meeting having proved successful, the Brethren welcomed Liam to the Christmas social. On that occasion he had pink hair; for the January ceremony the colour had changed to purple. W Bro Forbes of the Humber Lodge gave greetings and congratulated the Candidate on his joining this 115-year-old Lodge; W Bro Eddie Wildman congratulated the Worshipful Master and his team of officers who had risen so magnificently to the occasion. W Bro Alex Hoggard, who took the photograph of Bros Gwatkin Senior and Junior with the Worshipful Master John Stebbings, no longer enjoys the distinction of being the Lodge's youngest member, but still retains the distinguishing characteristic of being the tallest. The festive board (spiced parsnip soup, braised beef steak in rich gravy followed by fruit pie and custard) was another example of the culinary expertise of Luke, the Chef. As usual in this Lodge, the wives and widows enjoyed the repast in another room followed by a social get-together (observing social distancing, of course.) My thanks to the WM and his Lodge for the invitation to play the organ on this first meeting of the Lodge in 2022.

[Photo: Alex Hoggard]

Eddie Wildman

Friday 7th January 2022:

Four members of Humber Lodge 57 attended Brough Lodge 5464 to see a double initiation ceremony; Trevor Cox and Michael Kirkby-Hudson were the Candidates, the former, a sprightly eighty-five year, had recently had a hip replacement, so the perambulations were undertaken by Mike, a Gulf war veteran. The ceremony was remarkably polished despite last-minute setbacks: Covid demands made WM Tony Schofield unavailable, and his intended replacement, Tony Calvert, had a stroke on New Year's Day: Steve Bisby stood in magnificently as Master, while Covid precautions demanded replacements for the Junior Warden, Junior Deacon and Inner Guard. It was pleasing to see the number of younger Brethren present, there were four entered apprentices (some of whom took part in the floorwork) two proposed, and another is in the pipeline, which, in addition to the brace initiated that evening, bodes well for the future of the Lodge. The festive board was a happy occasion even though the seating was carefully designed to facilitate social distancing. Congratulation to the Lodge at Sutton Masonic Hall for the splendid evening.

Eddie Wildman

Wednesday 5th January 2022:

A million in isolation: see the Coronavirus page.

Saturday 1st January 2022:

From our newly appointed Lodge Secretary, W. Bro Stanley J Smith:

Happy New Year Brethren!

 

Wednesday 29th December 2021:

Maybe many Brethren were missing their Freemasonry in the brief period between Christmas and New Year, for there was a large attendance at Grimsby's Masonic Hall, despite the numbers laid low by the increasing spread of the coronavirus. More likely the attraction was the popularity of the Worshipful Master, Robin Gracie, who on this occasion initiated his son, James, easily the youngest Brother there, an eighteen-year-old Lewis. The three Worshipful Brethren representing Humber Lodge 57 on the north bank of the river were impressed: "The Master's jovial, friendly approach came through very clearly," said Malcolm Forbes, "and his emotional reaction was a tribute to his sincerity." Craig Maurier agreed: "He excelled himself in the set pieces, such as the working tools, and presenting the apron, a job usually delegated to the Senior Warden." It was a convivial evening, and we all thanked W Bro Gracie for the kind invitation to the Lord Heneage Lodge 5979. "There were some last minute changes," he told us, "and some of our visitors actually took part. The Ancient Charge was delivered by a visitor - he volunteered last night when he learned one of my Brethren couldn't make it." It is always interesting to observe the regional variations in ritual and Lodge workings, and Malcolm and I discussed them on the way home. "Their points after the toasts are quite different," Malcolm observed as he put the car into gear, "and they sing after most of the toasts." "Prosper the Art," I concurred, "Vive la difference!"

Eddie Wildman

Saturday 25th December 2021:

To all the Humber Brethren and their families from the Newly Installed Immediate Past Master:

Monday 20th December 2021:

Luke, the Chef at Beverley Road Masonic Hall must have heaved a sigh of relief as this was the last traditional turkey meal before Christmas, and the Dining Room was as full as covid precautions would allow. Yet the succulent dishes were consistently excellent, and the Brethren with wives and guests wined and dined excellently after listening to fine choral singing in the Lodge Room, and joined enthusiastically in the Twelve Days of Christmas as a final number before rolling home contentedly to bed. Ho ho ho.

Eddie Wildman

Saturday 18th December 2021:

The Technical Lodge 5666 had no ceremony booked for the Christmas meeting, but ballotted for three new members. Due caution was exercised in the Lodge room, masks being worn whenever movement was required, but things were a little more relaxed when the Brethren joined their ladies and guests for the Seasonal Festive Board, though caution was exercised in seperating the tables; instead of the customary hired entertainment, the Lodge's three Tenors were called upon for carols and Christmas Songs (Actually, one tenor, a top baritone and a bass baritone in the persons of David Turner, John Chapman and Philip Daniels, occasionally joined by the bass voice of Eddie Wildman.) Each table joined in the singing, and the Twelve Days of Christmas was much enjoyed, with Worshipful Brother Rob Atkinson  laying claim to "Five Gold Rings" as befitting his status as Master of the Lodge. Well done all.

Eddie Wildman

Friday 17th December 2021:

Coronavirus situation threatening again - see the Coronavirus page.

Thursday 16th December 2021:

I had booked my booster jab for 8:30 am and was impressed with the efficiency of the volunteer workers and the steady flow of people protecting against the virus variant, and had the flu jab less than an hour later at another venue (and in the other arm.) At the start of the Lodge of St Michael meeting in the evening my arms were beginning to feel a little numb, but the short meeting (whereat W Bro Shaun Rennison was presented with a Past Master's jewel) was soon over and the Brethren went downstairs to join friends and family for a drink (very welcome) and the sumptous festive board, followed by Peter Stokes' fine guitar playing and velvet voice, and community carols, concluding with the Twelve Days of Christmas - by which time my arms were seriously hurting. Another drink helped - and I fell gratefully into bed just before midnight - it had been a long day. And now the pain has reduced to the occasional twinge. Well done, Worshipful Master John Watkins, and indeed to all the members of Lodge 7833 for contributing to a delightful evening!

[Photo features Peter Stokes]

Eddie Wildman

Wednesday 15th December 2021:

See the account of the MEGS' visit to the Kingston Chapter 1010 on this date on the Humber Chapter Blog page.

Tuesday 14th December 2021:

The December meeting at Humber Lodge 57 is the occasion when the old Worshipful Master relinquishes the Chair to the incoming Master. Here are the comments of the incumbent WM, W Bro Mike Potts, followed by the comments of the retiring WM, W Bro Eddie Wildman.

Mike:

My installation went very well. Very Worshipful Dr. David Chambers Deputy Provincial Grand Master attended with his team which made it a little more special. The installation meeting started at 18:30 and with the festive board it was all finished by 23:00 ish.  Dr. David Chambers had proposed me into the Myton Daylight Lodge 9808 and a couple of years later he and team attended my installation.  Dr David now attended my installation into the chair of King Solomon in the Humber Lodge 57.  He later said perhaps he will be making it a three in a row if I was to go into the Chair again.  I received a lot of help from the Brethren especially my now IPM Eddie Wildman who was incredible in putting me right whenever I started to go wrong.  Needless to say it was a good night which was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

[Photograph of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master David Chambers with Worshipful Master Mike Potts by Craig Maurier.]

Mike Potts

Eddie:

Mike mentions the start time of 18:30 because generally Installations begin earlier. But as Michael had already been installed as a Worshipful Master previously, the ceremony was reduced. It was a pleasure nonetheless to be able to place him in the Master's Chair and to hand over the responsibility for the wellbeing of the Lodge.

Although I thanked the officers who had been with me through 2019 -2021 both in the Lodge Room and at the Festive Board, I take the opportunity here to say that my two years in office were greatly enhanced by their support and encouragement. Thank you, everybody! The visitors seemed to have a good time - especially those from Technical Lodge 5666 - see the Travelling Gavel Page!

[Photograph of W Bro Alan Todd, Junior Warden, W Bro Mike Potts, Worshipful Master and W Bro Richard Smedley, Senior Warden by Craig Maurier]

Eddie Wildman

 

 Monday 13th December 2021:

Three members of Phoenix Lodge 9963 attended the Andrew Marvell Lodge Election night: Eddie Wildman, Alistair Kenyon-Brodie and his father Peter Kenyon-Brodie. It was the AM 5642 Election Night, and W Bro Malcolm John Forbes, who had held the post during the covid years was voted in to continue as WM for another term of office. It was interesting for Alistair, still an Entered Apprentice, to see a "business" meeting, for the procedure in the older Lodge (The Andrew Marvell Lodge was consecrated in 1937) differs from that in Phoenix (2018). Peter, also a member of St Andrews Lodge in Singapore (Scottish Constitution) wore the distinctive apron of that Lodge for the occasion, so greetings were given from Humber, Phoenix and St Andrews. The work in the Lodge Room being concluded, the Brethren returned downstairs to their ladies and non-masonic guests, and the festive board concluded with carols and a raffle.

[Photograph by Ting]

 

Saturday 11th December 2021:

The traditional festive board following the Lord Bolton Lodge's end of year meeting was well attended with wives and visitors joing the Brethren for a convivial repast followed by carols and Christmas songs. There were plenty of young people there - the winning numbers in the raffle were called out by Liam Gwatkin, the Lodge's Candidate for January 2022. As the DC remarked "He will be our first member born in the twenty-first century." (See next month's 3263 entry for his initiation!) Well done to the Worshipful Master, John Stebbings and his wife Christine for rekindling the Lord Bolton tradition and bringing happy smiles to one and all.

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 10th December 2021:

My satnav directed me superbly to Church Hill, Selby and I managed to park outside the Masonic Hall which is next to the Three Swans pub (the birds are part of the nearby Abbey coat of arms and relate to a legend about St Germain establishing the site.) I was representing the Provincial Grand Master at the Lodge of St Germain 566, and it was a pleasure to present a certificate for sixty years service to W Brother David Allen, who at eighty-six held everyone's attention as he spoke of his life and Masonic career. As I'd been warned by a previous visitor that thermal underwear was advised in winter, I was comfortably warm, and I took my leave with a smile on my face. The smile gradually disappeared as my faithful satnav knew nothing about the closed motorway, and I was soon horribly lost and heading in the wrong direction. Diversion signs eventually directed me through what would have a delightful scenic route through the Wolds had it not been the middle of the night. Eventually I arrived back in Hull, ready for bed, but grateful to W Bro Stanley W Mimms and his Lodge for having looked after me so well, and my DC W Bro Charles Mawer who kept me in order.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 9th December 2021:

Should any Humber Brethren wish to know more about the Masonic Order of Athelstan, W Bros Ian Syddall and Eddie Wildman belong to the Court of Beoferlic No 59 in the Masonic Province of Lindsey and can advise (or point you in the right direction.) After a long covid break, the Order has resumed meetings and tonight saw the installation of Mark Richardson.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Wednesday 8th December 2921:

There is a warning sometimes given to lecturers and after-dinner speakers that "The longer the spoke, the larger the tyre". Unfortunately this had not been heeded by the lecturer at the Vale of York Lodge of Advancement 9489, but it was otherwise a pleasant evening with the WM and Brethren of this Discussion and Instruction Lodge. Hitherto meeting at The Parsonage Hotel in Escrick, the Brethren had transferred on this occasion to the Masonic Hall on The Mile, Pocklington, where the chef impressed us all. I was there, tailcoated as the representative of the the RWPGM, and was well looked after by W Bro Richard Murray, my Director of Ceremonies, whose formidable size and commanding presence certainly kept me in order. My grateful thanks go to Bro Peter Kenon-Brodie of the Phoenix Lodge 9963 who drove me there and back to Hull afterwards. I look forward to meeting some of the VOYLOA Brethren in Selby on Friday.

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 6th December 2021; evening:

The latest directive from UGLE advising the resumption of wearing of face coverings in Lodge meetings was followed at the Lodge of Installed Masters' Election night, whereat W Bro Danny Betts was named as next year's master. Two Assistant provincial Grand Masters attended, W Bros Ian Johnson and Allen Armbrister; the latter speaking about the Lodge Liaison Officer initiative, The 2494 Worshipful Master, W Bro Tim Dillon thanked the Brethren for their support during his time in office. There was no singing before or after the ceremony, but it was a convivial occasion, and the traditional turkey dinner afterwards was very welcome.

Eddie Wildman

 

Monday 6th December 2021; afternoon:

A service to celebrate the life of Robert Vincent who recently passed away was held at St Andrews Church, Kirk Ella,. Conducted by the Rev'd David Bath, who exhorted the congregation to imagine that it was Springtime and that the daffodils were blooming, it was a warm-heaarted tribute to departed worth. Grand-daughter Lauren gave a touching eulogy which vividly painted a picture of a caring and considerate man, and the address by the minister spoke of Bob'smaritime career. A tribute to Bro Vincent by W Bro Phil Watts can be found on the Celebrations & Regrets page..

The service was attended by four senior members of Bro Vincent's old Lodge: W Bros David Terry, Phil Watts, Trevor Whitfield and Eddie Wildman.

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 4th December 2021:

Circumstances had conspired against Beverlonian Lodge 9084: the WM and IPM were unable to attend together with several other officers. Undaunted, the Brethren performed a very satisfactory Second Degree Ceremony with Past Master Gary Colin Shores in the Master's Chair. Brother Tom Baxter was succesfully Passed and the depleted numbers made no difference to the good humour of the Brethren. Eddie Wildman gave greetings as WM of the Humber Lodge 57, premier Lodge in the Province, reflecting that in ten days time he, too, would join the seried ranks of Past Masters again.Some of their wives joined the Festive Board, prepared on this occasion by Luke from the Lodge at Beverley Road; a splendid repast. This being the last meeting of the Beverlonian Lodge in 2021, the WM took the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (Perhaps the Christmas Cracker prize should be awarded to the Treasurer, W Bro Roger Lewis, who, on giving the Treasurer's Report. thanked the Auditors for their sterling work.)

 

 Friday 3rd December 2021:

For an account of the Daggards Quartet's Masonic Circle presentation of King Solomon's Ring see the Zoom page. But it was pleasing to find, unsolicited in the viewer's comments (and not by a member of Humber Lodge): "I'm informed Humber Lodge 57 is the premier Lodge of YNER." We are gaining a global reputation! Many thanks to Neil Armstrong, whose admirable PowerPoint pictures inspired comment from the USA "Magnificent depiction and description of the Temple."

 

Thursday 2nd December 2021:

 Eight Brethren from Humber Lodge 57 crossed the Bridge into North Lincolnshire on a mission. Their task, continuing a tradition maintained for many years, was one of retrieval at the festive board of the Pelham Pillar Lodge in Grimsby.

The ceremony of Passing Brother Godbold to the Second Degree took place in the capacious Lodge Room (see 23rd November below) witnessed by members of the Lodge and fifteen visitors, including VW Bro Gordon Walkerly Smith, Past Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire in his capacity as Liaison Officer. The Festive Board was enjoyed in the equally large dining hall, illuminated with Christmas lights for the occasion; "Turkey with all the trimmings, - aye, it's only twenty-two shopping days to Christmas," remarked one of the Brethren, helping himself to roast parsnips and brussel sprouts. 

The Points after Toasts and 'Prosper the Art' were new to some of the North Bank Brethren, but each Lodge has its own traditions - in Pelham Pillar, the Junior Warden told me, the National Anthem is sung at the end of the evening, though the loyal toast is submitted as the first of the toasts. It was not a surprise that I was asked to respond on behalf of the visitors, however. As Master of the Humber Lodge, I used the opportuinity to demand our bag of money according to ancient tradition. Asked by some of the Humber Brethren to publish the tale related in the response, here it is:

     For those that do not know the story, there were plans to form a Pelham Pillar Lodge in Grimsby in 1846. Humber Lodge, even then the premier Lodge in the Province of Yorkshire agreed to fund this worthy enterprise.

    A warrant was granted in January 1847 for constituting the Lodge, and Brethren on both sides of the Humber raised the magnificent sum of 26 guineas, which was handed over to the Master Elect, Brother William Cooper Robinson.

   
Unfortunately, Cooper Robinson, a lawyer with offices in both Grimsby and Hull, was a scoundrel and a scallywag. He was no better than the criminals he defended in court. He used the money to line his own pockets.

   

When he was asked to produce the Warrant, he couldn’t.
   

He ended his days in a debtor’s prison.
   

Fortunately, the twenty-six guineas have been figuratively recovered, and as neither the Humber Lodge nor the Pelham Pillar Lodge wants the responsibility of returning it to the original contributors, it has passed between us ever since.
   

The current value of the stolen money is around £36,400 and we will, of course, be checking it is all there, and that there are no buttons in the bag.

This tale has, of course, been variously recounted on Humber Founders Nights for many years - at the next, in May 2022, we expect a contingent of Yellowbellies (the term possibly originates from the old Lincolnshire regiments with their green and yellow uniforms, though other explanations have been submitted) to visit us in Hull and demand the return of the bag of coins.

The Pelham Pillar Lodge (named after a monument dedicated to the 1st Earl of Yarborough, who was Deputy Grand Master in 1846 and Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire in 1849 - note the dates resonate with the intended founding of the Lodge) eventually came into being in 1859.

Worshipful Brother W F Eures, Pelham Pillar's Worshipful Master graciously handed over the prize to the applause of the Brethren.

Let me take this opportunity to thank the Humber Brethren for all their support! They didn't know today was my birthday but they looked after me anyway. Worshipful Brother Malcolm Forbes even bought me a drink!

[Photograph of Eddie Wildman and William Eures by W Bro Richard Smedley]

 

Wednesday 1st December 2021:

For those unfamiliar with the welter of letters that follow the names of some Brethren, here is a brief explanation. At some stage, this may be expanded in the Nugget Cache, but reading the summons for the Kingston Lodge I realised that a young Freemason might wonder at the cryptic designations following the list of members - some of them in red ink in addition to a Scrabble board of black. The red letters refer simply to Chapter honours - this is a recent directive from the Province to acknowledge Royal Arch Chapter rank in addition to Craft honours. The Kingston summons reads Kingston Lodge No 1010 Consecrated 1864: W. Bro. Michael G. Price PPSGD (Worcs) Worshipful Master. 

The Lodge name and number needs no explanation; the lower the number, the older the Lodge (though historical adjustments have made some exceptions to this rule. While a couple of Lodges historically predate the founding of the Humber Lodge, Humber - whose number has been changed on occasion by the United Grand Lodge of England - see the History page - the Humber Lodge, by reason of being the lowest numbered Lodge in Yorkshire North and East Ridings - is the premier Lodge.) The W. Bro. stands for "Worshipful Brother" indicating that the Brother named is actually the Lodge Master, or has been a Master of a Lodge. (No, we don't worship him - the old meaning of the term is "respect" - used in the same way a Judge might be referred to as "Your honour" or "Your Worship".)

The PPSGD (Worcs) stands for Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. This means that Michael has been honoured with Past Provincial Rank - i.e. he is a recognised officer of the Province of Worcestershire, but not an active Officer, required to support the Provincial Grand Master on visits, etc. (If he were active, he would be ProvSGD and reflect the position of the Senior Deacon in an ordinary Lodge, but with the dark blue apron worn by officers of Provincial rank.) If he were PGSD that would indicate Past Grand Senior Deacon at United Grand Lodge level. The Deacon's symbol - a dove with an olive branch - can be seen on the rondel on his apron.

I thought about this while playing the organ for the Kingston Lodge at a proclamation ceremony wherein Mile was proclaimed Worshipful Master for a third year (this requires special dispensation, but during the continuing covid crisis, a number of WMs are continuing until matters settle.) It was a short ceremony; some of Mike's Officers changed roles but the smooth continuation of the Lodge into its next term was nicely managed. The Representative of the RWPGM (okay, Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master - the man in charge of the entire Province) was W Bro Ben Rose, who congratulated Mike on his steady holding role in charge of the Lodge. It was the first time, he remarked, that he had represented at this Lodge, and the first time he'd witnessed a WM taking the Chair for a third year. 

I hope that clears things up!

{Photograph of Mike Price by W Bro Neil Armstrong PPGSwdB 3rd Principal]

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