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12th October 2024

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 Archive 2023

 

Thursday 21st December 2023:

Lodge of St Michael 7833 Christmas Meeting

report by Eddie

It was with a twinge of nostalgia I entered Dagger Lane to find the bar area thronging with familiar faces; traditionally, the L7833 December meeting is a Christmas celebration, and the WM and his Lady had put the boat out! Wives and widows, family and friends were there, meeting and greeting; the bar was busy and the noise was happy. There were visitors from other Lodges, including Malcolm Forbes and me from Humber. The St Michael Preceptor and his wife were introducing their daughter and son-in-law to those who hadn't yet learnt of the recent wedding. It was good to see younger Brethren there joining in. The tables in the dining hall were being superbly decorated - napkins, crackers. little Christmas trees - it was delightfully festive, just like Old Times, I told myself.

After the brief Masonic meeting upstairs, W Bro Stokes moving the business along swiftly, the Brethren were joined by wives, partners and friends and the Hull Choral Union sang carols.

The festive board was magnificent; traditional turkey and trimmings (I wonder how the turkey became traditional - it was not a British bird originally - introduced in 1526 by a Yorkshireman who had acquired them from American Indian traders, it gained popularity when turkey farms began to flourish, but not as a Christmas dish until the 19th century) with parsnips, sprouts, roast and mashed potatoes. (Spuds arrived even later - Thomas Harriot brought the first potato from Virginia in 1586 - some authorities ascribe the introduction to his boss, Walter Raleigh, who planted the first crop in Ireland. Francis Drake also brought the potato back as booty along with tobacco.)

There were lots of raffle prizes - testimony to the generosity of the attendees, and everyone joined in with carols afterwards, led by W Bro Terry Lynn, followed, of course, by the ever-popular Twelve Days of Christmas

Many congratulations to the WM and Brethren of the Lodge of St Michael ("Bless his little cotton socks," said JB) for the revival of a tradition which covid contrived to destroy. What a pleasure to see everyone with smiles on their faces!

     
   
     
     

W Bro Peter Stokes thank everyone for coming, mentioning in particular those Brethren and Ladies who had worked to prepare the evening and wished everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Eddie Wildman, organist

 

Wednesday 20th December 2023:

For a Dickens of a Christmas at KIngston Chapter see this date on the Chapter blog.

 

Tuesday 19th December 2023:

St Matthew Lodge Christmas meeting

by Eddie

Bro Craig Morrison remarked as he drove us back from Barton-on-Humber that for a Lodge such a short distance away, there were substantial differences in ritual, and not just in the ritual alone. "I never realised how mnuch time is actually spent in perambulation," he said.

Currently the SD in Humber Lodge, he was particularly interested in seeing the Second Degree Ceremony, as the Senior Deacon does most of the work conducting the Candidate round the Lodge. (Humber Lodge will be having a Second Degree ceremony soon). In St Matthew Lodge 1447 Bro J McCague did a super job, particularly as the Candidate, Bro Edward Plazuik had a knee injury which rendered movement around the Lodge Room somewhat challenging, but he bravely persevered.

This was the first ceremony undertaken by the new WM, W Bro C B Allison following his installation and there was a lot of business to get through. Consequently the meeting began at six o' clock, not half an hour later - it was lucky we'd set off early to avoid rush hour. The Humber WM, Alan Todd was attending, and Craig and I were supporting him, but when the Barton Brethren heard I was coming, I was asked if I'd play the organ as well.

No problem - I checked the blog from 17th October (below) for the music they used and made sure I had it with me - plus some Christmas carols, of course.

The opening was fluent, Bro Plazuik was entrusted with the PW and grip for the 2° before retiring for preparation, and the Lodge opened on the Square. On re-entry Bro Plazuik was passed from being an Entered Apprentice to a Fellow Craft Freemason. The WM gave the obligation, and ritual differences from Humber working observed in the signs and secrets. I was fascinated by the careful explanation of the difference between the sign of fidelity and the sign of reverence, and the name "sign of petition" was new to me. The SW, Bro Nick Lumb invested the Candidate with the distinctive two rosette badge of a FCF, the Address at the SEC delivered after which the strong moral lesson of the 2° Working Tools was dilated upon by the WM.

As Bro Plazuik restored himself to his usual comforts, the Almoner, Bro Muse gave his report and the Charity Steward  proposed the disposition of funds from the Ladies Night to the WM's Charities.

On Bro Plazuik's return, Bro Muse delivered the Second Degree Charge - a challenging piece of ritual, managed with clarity and aplomb.

Back in the Ist Degree there was a successful ballot for two Candidates: next month will be a 1° ceremony.

W Bro Metcalfe PGStB presented a UGLE certificate to Bro S Dimbleby in an expert manner, in which the ritual became virtually conversational, easy listening yet at the same time compelling.

The Lodge was closed and the Brethren descended to the dining room for the Festive Board.

The meal was lamb - a pleasant surprise. I played "Good King Wenceslas" following the Lodge tradition while the Tyler, Bro M G Read PProvJGD paraded in a flaming Christmas pudding. Surprisingly, the dessert was Crumble, not Christmas pud. I asked the Tyler about this afterwards. "It's a tradition." he said, smiling, "It's still the same Christmas pudding we used twenty years ago." (I think he was joking.)

The cheese tradition (dating from the war years when Masonic Farmers had access to extra dairy products) required those Brethren who wanted cheese to go and ask for it from the Master. Craig and I went just for the novelty.

Bro Nick Lumb as SW proposed the visitors toast, and W Bro Gary Payne as one of the nine visitors responded. I had been pleased to stand with W Bro Todd and Craig to greet the WM as a member of Humber 57, with W Bro Simon Ramshaw and Bro Carl Procter as a member of Kingston 1010 and with W Bro Martin Clarke of the Ridings Tabler's Lodge 9586. I also gave  greetings as a member of Phoenix 9963. 

W Bro Dougie Farr led the singing in a couple of carols and "Jingle Bells", the Humber Brethren totally failed in winning the raffle, and it was time to return to the North Bank, reflecting that despite the many differences, the spirit of Freemasonry was as strong over the water as it was back home. Vive la difference.

Craig dropped me off home, (he has a great fund of stories and I'll tell you about those some other time) and we bade each other farewell, with "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" on our lips. That reminded me - tomorrow Neil and I would be performing "Bah, humbug!" for Kingston Chapter. Better start learning my lines!

 

Eddie Wildman, visiting organist.

 

 

 

Monday 18th December 2023:

Holderness Lodge 3563

Christmas Celebrations

by Eddie

Among the first people I met at Beverley Road were Dean Marshall and Wayne Sutherby from Minerva Lodge 250. "I have one son in Minerva Lodge, and another here," he said, So I'm keeping up with the family while visiting." I acknowledged that this was a good idea. "Will you take a photograph of the Wedding Belles?" I asked, "for the Minerva website?" "Of course," he replied.

I reflected how technology has advanced since I was a youngster. In those days a photograph would be in black and white, taken with great care because once the button was pressed the film had to be wound on. Then there was the palaver of removing the film from the machine, ensuring it was tightly rolled and not exposed to light. It had to be taken to the local chemist for developing, which was a long delay and an extra expense. 

Dean took a lovely snapshot and emailed it to me within seconds. (See below.)

However, I'm getting out of order: I'd arrived early and did some practise on the organ before W Bros Greenwood and Tyson came into the Lodge Room to set things out. "Where's the Junior Warden's collar? It should have a plumbrule on it and I can't see it anywhere." Meanwhile, folk were gathering below - wives, widows and friends were keeping Deeane busy at the bar. I joined them and ordered a glass of H2O: today I'd resolved would be alcohol free.

The WM, Worshipful Brother Darren Wiseman opened the Lodge skilfully and dealt with the essential business rapidly. Reports were given, and apologies from those unable to be present were tendered by the Secretary, Bro John Ledger. Then, to my surprise, I was proposed as a joining member of the Lodge and immediately accepted. I was so proud! The Worshipful Master closed the Lodge with equal facility after greetings were given from Humber 57, Minerva 250 and St Andrew 4683.

The guests and ladies joined the Brethren upstairs and the female choir, The Wedding Belles performed. Much effort had gone into organising the festive board: the room was beautifully prepared (by the outstanding work of Andrew Holbrooke and John Ledger) in organising the seating and making the place look so welcoming. The food was up to Chef Luke Pyrah's usual high standard.

Two toasts - to the King and to the Grand Master - completed the formal part of the evening, but the WM made reference to Absent Brethren, bearing in mind those that had recently passed to the Grand Lodge Above. Mrs. Rita Taylor responded on behalf of the Widows, remarking how things change over time, but she was heartened by the number of new, younger faces in the Lodge. "The future," she said, "lies in the youngsters being involved and this Lodge is obviously doing that." She presented the WM with an impressive brass door knocker in the shape of a square and compasses, recalling that her husband had purchased it for the Lodge while on holiday.

I led everyone in a rendition of "O Come all ye faithful" and a couple of other Christmas numbers, including the popular Twelve Days of Christmas after which the raffle was drawn. The proceedings from this exceeded £380 and were to go towards FIND charity which is involved with improving conditions for mental health sufferers.

One member of the Lodge who alas was not able to be present once told me "a successful Lodge is one where the Brethren leave happy and smiling." This was certainly the case this evening. Well done, Holderness!

Eddie Wildman, honorary member

 

 

Saturday 16th December 2023:

Technical Christmas Lodge

report by Eddie

It was pleasant to be picked up by my good friend Philip - the more so as Mrs D was in the front seat, looking delightful as always. "Don't tell her that, she'll want more housekeeping," quipped Philip as we headed to the Lodge at Beverley Road.

The ladies were to join us after the brief meeting - along with friends in the good old tradition of the Technical Lodge 5666. The reception room was filling up with folk and the bar was busy as the Brethren climbed the stairs for a brief meeting; W Bro Ian Parkinson, assisted by his DC, W Bro Rob Atkinson, gave salutations and took reports with commendable facility. The WM spoke of a relative having suffered a brain injury following a fall and mentioned the local community P.A.U.L. which is instrumental in assisting such victims as a worthy recipient of charity this Christmastime, to which the Brethren agreed. 

Reports included information from the LMO that the Lodge now had a Candidate for February and other likely chaps in the pipeline. Greetings were given on behalf of Humber 57, Minerva 250, De la Pole 1605, Andrew Marvell 5642 and others.

The Lodge closed promptly at 7:00; a record for the WM, who never uses a sentence when a paragraph will do, and the Brethren were joined by the Ladies and other guests in the Lodge Room. Grand Lodge Officer W Bro Paul Harper PJGD, lead editor of the Solomon Programme, then made history by presenting Brother Steve Walker with a certificate, awarded by UGLE for successfully completing the Questions set on its Masonic Website; the first person to do so. Paul spoke of Steve's commitment to the Craft and his initiative in forming a new Lodge to promote engagement in Masonry  with the Cornerstone Lodge, aimed at like-minded Masons keen to promote knowledge and to enjoy visiting new and interesting venues. The Provincial Grand Mentor Mike Cheeseman was also present.

The Beverley Male Voice Choir then entertained us all mightily.

I have heard other choirs in the Lodge over the years, but this one, although reduced in numbers, was head and shoulders above the rest. The musical director on this occasion was Mr Nigel Clarke. The accompanist, Amy Butler, was the best I have heard for a long time. The choir was excellent giving us a variety of numbers ranging from Handel to Irving Berlin, with consistent attention to details of vowel sounds, diction and dynamics, all with a sense of enjoyment and musically. The audience (nearly three score of us) were invited to join in with some items (including Jingle Bells).

The WM and his lady, Vikky, doubtless assisted by some of the Technical Brethren had decorated the dining room magnificently. Luke the Chef had as ever provided suitable fare for all, accommodating those with particular dietary requirements without apparent effort. Tonight there was waitress service and we all enjoyed the festive repast.

There was a Christmas Music Bingo Quiz - I was fortunate to be with Bro Turner-Bone who was impressively knowledgable about the pop music and called "Bingo" just before one or two others. I was well impressed.

We sang a few Christmas songs followed by the ever-popular Twelve Days of Christmas in which W Bro Mark Cusack surprised us all with his rendition of Six Geese A-laying, bellowing notes never before achieved by the human voice, and after W Bro Parkinson had made a few announcements, the evening closed with Chappers and other melodious Brethren caroling "Happy to Meet Again". W Bro Chapman had also been singing Top Tenor in the Beverley Male Voice Choir - but this time we could see him.

A thoroughly pleasant evening.

[Photograph of Steve Walker by Bazza Longstaff.]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

Thursday 14th December 2023:

Fellowcraft Passing at Old Hymerians 6885

report by Eddie

Affiliated to the Federation of School Lodges, the Old Hymerian Lodge Brethren wear ties with the image of the hind which features on the school crest. When founded in 1949 its membership was restricted to members of the Old Hymerian Association but now it is an open Lodge, and thriving. A plethora of candidates have joined in the past couple of years, and this evening another was proposed.

Beverley Road is quite close to where I live, and this evening I walked to the Lodge - I was simply a visitor and didn't need to take any music. It wasn't raining, though the streets were wet. I was warmly welcomed when I arrived - there were, I think thirty-seven people there, fourteen of them visitors.

The Past Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro Jeffrey Gillyon was there, but instead of sitting next to the WM on the dais, he was standing in as Senior Deacon. His job, I realised, would be to lead the Candidate through his 2°.  I sat next to the WM, W Bro Andrew Crozier and consequently had a good view of everything that went on.

The Worshipful Master opened the Lodge with his usual flair. and asked Bro Joshua Hornby for the requisite answers to the questions leading to the Second Degree. Bro Josh was word perfect in his replies; the Entered Apprentices were asked to retire, and then Bro Hornby was entrusted with the necessary information to allow him re-entry. He retired to change, during which time the WM raised the Lodge to the Fellowcraft Degree.

On his re-entry, Bro Josh was treated to a superb ceremony. Few other Brethren can say they have been conducted round the Lodge by a Past Provincial Grand Master! The Worshipful Master's mantra is that the ceremony should always be directed at the Candidate to make it meaningful him - this was exactly what happened. W Bro Crozier obligated him, the Secrets were beautifully explained by W Bro Bob Jennings. W Bro Anthony Cadle delivered the Address at the South East Corner and the Working Tools by Fellowcraft Freemason Bro Simon Copeman. The DC invited those who had never seen the explanation of the Tracing Board to join Brother Hornby on the main floor of the Lodge while R W Bro Gillyon gave a stunning account of the diagrammatic Second Degree,  pointing out the essential features displayed, with architectural and other details and their symbolic meanings.

The Entered Apprentices returned, reports were given and hearty greetings expressed from various Lodges - there were four Brethren from the Lodge of St Michael 7833. I also stood with Brethren of Technical 5666 and Phoenix 9963 before giving greetings from Humber 57.

The festive board was great. Luke the Chef must be getting fed up of cooking turkey and Christmas pudding at this time of year, but everyone enjoyed the food. It had been a relaxing night out in good company - and I had a lift home with Alex McCallum, WM of Phoenix and Old Hymerian's ADC. Congratulations, Old Hymerians, and let me wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

[Photo L to R: JW Bro Mally Cuthbert; WM W Bro Andy Crozier; FC Josh Kirby EA; SD  VW Bro Jeff Gillyon; SW Bro David Waddington.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

Wednesday 13th December 2023:

 For notes on the Denison Chapter Installation in Scarborough, see Eddie's notes for this date in the Chapter Blog.

 

Tuesday 12th December 2023:

Humber Installation

by Eddie Wildman

December is Humber's month of change - that is to say, a new Worshipful Master takes over the management of the Lodge and some of his Officers will change roles. Worshipful Brother Charles Alexander, who was placed in the Master's Chair in December 2022, now had the task of installing his successor.

It was good to see the Lodge Room full: there were eleven visitors from seven Sister Lodges and double that number of Humber Brethren. Charles paraded in slowly but proudly and opened the Lodge for the last time in the capacity of Worshipful Master. The UGLE Officers were saluted (W Bro Richard Smedley thanked the Lodge on behalf of both of us from his position as Stand-in Inner Guard) then reported that the Representative's DC, W Bro Mark Cusack, Provincial Grand Steward was at the door. This worthy Brother proudly announced that W Bro Tony Randle PPGMO was outside and an escort of Provincial Officers formed to receive him. There is a peculiar satisfaction in the pageantry when it is done well, and this was one of those dignified occasions.

The WM welcomed the Representative of the RWPGM, a portion of the Ancient Charges was read by the Secretary, W Bro Stanley Smith, the minutes passed and signed.

The next business was the Installation ceremony. Traditionally, this is done in the 2° and the Lodge's newest member was asked to retire in his Entered Apprentice apron before the Lodge was raised and the Master Elect presented by the Installing Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Terence Ward Fisher. As W Bro Alan Todd had already been through the Chair (that is to say, he had already been installed as Worshipful Master in the Vigilantes Lodge 7264 in Cleethorpes some years ago) is was uneccessary to recapitulate the ceremony in detail, but a prayer was offered for his welfare, and Alan recited his obligation for all to hear.

The Lodge was raised to the 3°, all Officers were declared vacant, Senior Officers took the roles of the Principal Installing Officers while the previous officers handed in their collars of office.

All below the rank of an Installed Master retired, and in the section of ritual following, W Bro Todd was invested with the Barnie Harris Apron, the highest honour the Humber Lodge has in its power to bestow. W Bro Alexander guided W Bro Todd to the figurative Chair of King Solomon and placed him firmly in it. The new WM took the gavel and invested W Bro Charles Alexander as Immediate Past Master of the Lodge.

The Board of Installed Masters was closed, the Master Masons were readmitted and the Working Tools of the 3° were presented. The WM gavelled down to the 2°, the Working Tools presented (in my humble opinion the most important symbolic tools of the Order) and the Lodge lowered to the 1°

Worshipful Brother Todd invested his team of Officers, commencing with his Senior Warden, Bro Craig Fish (to the tune of "Jaws") and the New IPM passed on the symbolic and essential trappings of the Master's Office, the Warrant and the Book of Constitutions.

The addresses were well delivered - that to the WM by W Bro Trevor Whitfield, and such was his authority and dignity that the room fell silent as he expounded on the characteristics of the ideal Mason - one to whom the burdened could apply for succour, whose heart is expanded by benevolence. W Bro Smedley gave the address to the Wardens and W Bro Fisher gave the address to the Brethren - as the Representative remarked at the Festive Board, what Freemasonry is really about.

Richard Smedley sang the anthem and the Brethren joined in the choruses.This concluded the ceremony of Installation and the regular working of the Lodge resumed. W Bro Todd asked for reports and welcomed the latest addition to the Humber ranks, Bro Peter Kenyon-Brodie. Greetings were extended and the Lodge was closed - the new team proving that they were well rehearsed. There was a short break for photographs.

The Festive Board began with Roast Beef (thankfully not turkey!) and the Brethren enjoyed convivial company. The fifth toast invited a response from the Representative of the RWPGM and W Bro Tony Randle spoke of his role as the Operational Lead for the Provincial Management Group, mentioning the need for a more visible community engagement. He pointed out that over the last two decades Freemasonry has experiences more losses than gains  in membership, but it is now turning round. He reminded the Brethren that the Provincial website is freely available and invited them to log on and sign up. He thanked his DC. Mark Cusack,  commended the IPM on his warmth and sincerity and congratulated the WM and his team wishing them all well for the year.

Richard Smedley gave the toast to the WM, welcoming him to Humber working and promising the Lodge's support, before singing the Masters Song in a powerful baritone. (This was accompanied by the new keyboard donated to the building by W Bro Steve Cox - it's a fine instrument - thanks, Steve!) W Bro Alan Michael Todd responded, thanking the Lecture Master, W Bro Philip Watts for his support and encouragement.

Terry Fisher proposed the toast to the IPM and his team, an eloquent, well considered speech, and W Bro Alexander responded with thanks to the Brethren and an exhortation to visit other Lodges frequently.

Craig Fish proposed the toast to the Visitors, which was followed by the Visitors Song, and Peter Stokes' brief response on behalf of the visitors was appreciatively applauded.

Malcolm Forbes stood in as the JW. Usually never using a sentence when a paragraph will do, he, too was commendably brief, for the hour was late.

The WM drew the raffle (Bro Craig Morrison won the biscuits) and made a few announcements, including an invitation to the Brethren to join him next week in Barton where the St Matthew Lodge would be passing a Brother to the 2°. Richard Smedley led the singing of "Happy to Meet Again", the WM gave the toast, and we took our leave of each other in fraternal harmony. Our next merry meeting will be in January 2024.

[Photographs by Bro Alistair Kenyon-Brodie.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

 

Monday 11th December 2023:

Andrew Marvell Christmas Lodge

by Eddie Wildman

W Bro Malcolm Forbes had a busy evening. He'd agreed to pick me up to take me to Beverley Road Masonic Hall, and there were two other passengers, Chris Wright and Ian Montgomery, who has stood in as Tyler for the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 throughout the year. We arrived in good time, and there were several ladies there already - this was to be a white table evening.

I knew this was to be a short business meeting preceding next month's Installation; I hadn't known that Malcolm was in the Master's Chair this evening, Chris Lefevre being engaged on other unavoidable business. Malcolm opened the Lodge with the relaxed efficiency of a Past Master - there were only a dozen Brethren in the Lodge Room - a sign of the times, alas; I have frequently noted the dearth of members post-covid.

However it was a pleasure to see W Bro Barry Kensett in attendance after a long absence and his melifluous baritone lent authority to the singing of the opening hymn.

Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642, unlike other local Lodges, uses the tune "Innocents" for the opening ode. It is a deceptively simple melody and it is named from the Feast of the Holy Innocents, as the original words began "Little flowers of Martyrdom". (This feast is observed towards the end of December and is in remembrance of King Herod's massacre of young children in Bethlehem in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus. The slain children were regarded by the early church as the first martyrs as they died for Christ.) The tune was harmonised by the prolific hymnist William Henry Monk and was included in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861.

Salutes were given to the the Brethren of UGLE and the Province of YN&ER. Sadly, the Secretary reported a couple of resignations; Brethren who have not attended for some considerable time owing to health issues. Happily, three joining members were ballotted for and accepted, and two of them, W Bro Chris Brown and Bro Steve Walker were at the Festive Board later. The third, W Bro Barry Longstaff will doubtless be at the Installation meeting next month. W Bro Forbes remarked that the new arrivals "will take us forward as a Lodge".

There were various propositions regarding the 2029 Festival and charity work after which the Master Elect, Bro Tom Calkwell was declared along with the Treasurer Elect, W Bro Colin Shields.

Committee members for 2024 were elected after which reports were given, the Secretary suggesting that the apologies be taken as read (carried).

Greetings were given and the Closing Ode was sung. Notes on "Melita" can be found on this website on the Music Page.

The festive board was delightful. W Bro Colin Shields and his wife Margaret had arranged the tables into a large square (there were twenty dining) and decorated them with lights and Christmas themed bouquets. The place mats were customised. There was a free raffle (numbers hidden under the side plates) for a bottle of bubbly, crackers to pull, and, of course, Luke Pyrah's superb cooking (waitress service.) Background Christmas music enhanced the atmosphere. We sang a few Christmas carols and enjoyed the Christmas Quiz devised by W Bro Forbes (Chris Brown and I almost won but were pipped at the post by Colin and Margaret in the tie-breaker.) Another raffle won prizes for some of us, and there were gifts for the ladies and partners, from the Peter and Barbara Atkinson Bequest. It was a delightful evening.

Malcolm Forbes thanked everybody for coming, extending the good wishes and apologies of Chris Lefevre and ensuring that all the Brethren had signed the get well card for W Bro Adrian Hayward who was rushed into hospital last week with appendicitis. He is now back home and we hope to see him at the next meeting.

W Bro Peach stood and remarked that everybody had been thanked except for our stand-in Worshipful Master, and we all applauded Malcolm for his sterling work during the evening. It was a lovely end to the Andrew Marvell year, and we look forward to a new beginning in January with Tom Calkwell in the Chair.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Malcolm for being my taxi to the Lodge and back home again. A super night.

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

Saturday 9th December 2023:

Not a Lodge Meeting

by Eddie Wildman

I felt distinctly overdressed at Lord Bolton Lodge. This being the second Saturday of the month, I hadn't realised that L3263 had changed its December meeting to a social gathering, and that when the WM, W Bro Rob Gwatkin had invited me to play a few carols and accompany The Twelve Days of Christmas, it was a Christmas do with guests and Ladies, sons and daughters and the Lodge's two widows, Joyce and Anne for a traditional meal, DJ and raffle. I wasn't the only one in formal gear, however, and nobody seemed to mind.

W Bros Hoggard, father and son shared a table with Anne Walker, John and Christine Stebbings and me, and we discussed the challenges on the table - what was the connection between the places named? (Our table was called La Romana, which I thought was in the DomenicanRepublic despite assurances that there was a La Romana in the USA) - but Andy Hoggard came up with the correct answer and won the prize. Some people tried to use the Internet for clues, though we were told that it wouldn't help. Contributions were made for tables vying to sing "Five Gold Rings" when the time came; proceeds were to go to Charity, in particular, Dove House. 

The Brethren, ladies and gentlemen sang very well, and the Five Gold Rings (sung by the Master's Table) was suitably rousing.

Sarah Holmes thanked everyone very eloquently for the recent contribution to the Hub School in Anlaby which will be supplying deprived children in the area with Christmas presents in appropriate form - some suffer want and neglect, and she thanked Lord Bolton Lodge for the work it has done to alleviate this.

Gary Marsden, the DJ (he wore a suit, bless him!) endeared himself to his audience with a good selection of popular songs.

Luke Pyrah, the Chef who has set a new standard of excellence for food in Masonry produced the goods as always with a cheerful smile. The bar was very popular

Good food, good wine, good company and good entertainment - who could ask for more? Thank you, Worshipful Master, for the kind invitation.

[Scurrilous photo of me by Christine. Photos of the WM, the DJ, Stebbo and Christine by me.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 7th December 2023:

Pelham Pillar Passing

by Alan Todd

I attended Pelham Pillar Lodge 792 in Grimsby and was pleased to represent the Humber Lodge. Unusually, I was the only member of L57 at Pelham's Christmas meeting: circumstances had contrived against the car-load generally visiting from across the river on this occasion. As my home is on the South Bank it is not so awkward a trip for me, and according to ancient custom, I went to collect the bag of coins traditionally exchanged between the Lodges.

Historically, 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 them to the original contributors, a figurative bag of money has passed between them ever since.

Fortunately for the current Pelham Pillar WM, W Bro RWA Turville PPSGW, the Brethren from Humber were not out in force to claim the bag of money, for by some oversight, it had not been brought to the meeting. As Humber Lodge's Master Elect, I decided to sustain the good relations between our Lodges (Pelham Pillar Lodge was eventually established in 1859) and nodded understandingly. I will ensure the transfer takes place on another occasion - perhaps on our Founders Night in May when our Lodges traditionally meet in Hull.

Pelham Pillar Lodge is doing well for Candidates, this evening Brother David Leighton was passed to the Second Degree; the next two meetings are reserved for Third Degrees.

The excellent Festive Board was graced by the presence of the Ladies. It was a full Christmas spread and we sang a few carols before taking our leave of each other. This wasn't my first Christmas dinner this year, nor will it be my last - but I'm looking forward to dining after being installed at Humber on Tuesday next, and at St Matthews in Barton the Tuesday after that. Any Humber Brethren wanting to come along, please let me know!

Alan Todd, Master Elect.

 

 

Thursday 7th December 2023:

 

Constitutional Lodge 294 Business Night

 

by Malcolm Forbes

 

I arrived in pouring rain at Trinity Lane Masonic Hall, Beverley at 6.00 pm. Though I was the only member of Humber Lodge in attendance, I was pleased to meet Bros Mike Brocklesby and Ian Dixon, former members of Andrew Marvell Lodge, who were visiting Constitutional Lodge for the first time as unattached Masons before the meeting.

The Lodge tyled at 6.30pm. The meeting was opened by Worshipful Master W Bro Mike Noble. There was sadness as W Bro Noble formally announced the sudden passing of the Worshipful Master-Elect Bro Terry Wilson to the Grand Lodge above. Bro Wilson will be much missed as a valuable member of the Lodge who put a premium on ritual. A full eulogy will be delivered at the Lodge's January meeting. In the circumstances W Bro Noble was elected to serve another year as Worshipful Master.

As it was the Lodge's business night it was a relatively short meeting prior to the Lodge's Installation meeting in January. Lodge Secretary W Bro Gavin Collinson and Lodge Treasurer Bro Phil Gibson were formally readopted in their respective Offices. I was happy along with W Bro Keith Charlesworth to be reappointed as an Accounts Examiner.

Propositions for Bros Mike Brocklesbly, Ian Dixon and Steve Falkinder, another former member of Andrew Marvell Lodge who was unable to attend the Lodge meeting through illness, to join Constitutional Lodge were proposed by Junior Warden Bro Karl Douglas and seconded by myself. They will be balloted for at the January Lodge meeting.

Although the Lodge meeting was well attended no visitors were present. There was a full closure of the Lodge meeting as the Lodge was raised to the second degree and then the third degree. The Senior Warden Bro Sam Adkins and Junior Warden Bro Karl Douglas delivered the substituted secrets to the Worshipful Master. Their performances were most impressive and reminded everyone present of the high standards in ritual which Constitutional Lodge sets.

The Festive Board was a jovial occasion. Although the Lodge's Christmas Sunday lunch had to be cancelled the Lodge has a busy programme of social events for 2024 starting with the Lodge's American night in February. Two toasts were submitted.

In his parish notes W Bro Noble gave Festive greetings to the Brethren. The Lodge has a bright future through the hard work of its Officers which has led to a steady rise in Lodge membership. The popular Lodge continues to thrive.

 It had stopped raining when I left. 

 

W Bro Malcolm Forbes

 

 

Wednesday 6th December 2023:

Kingston Installation

The Worshipful Master opened Kingston Lodge efficiently at 5:30; there were one or two Brethren to arrive later as the traffic was horrendous, and it seemed a little sparse in the Lodge Room, but the opening was efficient and there was a knock at the door from Provincial Steward Gary Shores announcing that the representative of the Provincial Grand Master was outside the door of the Lodge requesting admission.

I felt a frisson of pride as I played suitably majestic music for his entry - I was playing the Organ, Malcolm Forbes was a visitor, and Ian Syddall was representing the RWPGM - Humber Lodge was well represented. 

After the signing of the minutes - there were no matters arising, the Lodge was opened in the Second Degree and Brother Garry Crossland  was presented as Master Elect. The Secretary read the necessary charges and regulations for this post, and Bro Crossland agreed to the terms before taking his initial obligation.

The Lodge was raised to the Third Degree and all offices were declared vacant. W Bro Mike Price acted as Installing Director of Ceremonies. All below the degree of an Installed Master retired, and Brother Crossland took his second obligation, looking every inch the military man as W Bro Whereat delivered the ritual entrusting him with the sign and word of an Installed Master and investing him with the highest honour a Lodge can bestow on any of its members before placing him somewhat emphatically in the Master's Chair.

The Lodge was lowered, Master Masons were admitted (rather more than had initially been there) and Bro Wayne Walker delivered the Working Tools of the 3°. When in the 2° W Brother Dibnah  (Installing Inner Guard - he held the position throughout the evening) explained the Working Tools of that degree, and Brother Carl Proctor (another later arrival - W Bro JImmy Kerr had stood in for him as Senior Deacon at the opening) explained the Working Tools of the Entered Apprentice Degree.

W Bro Crossland appointed and invested his Officers. His new JW gave the address to the WM, the Organist delivered the address to the Wardens, and the Treasurer enlightened the Brethren with his address, after which W Bro Price relinquished the baton to Marcus Whereat, appointed DC for the year.

The normal working of the Lodge was resumed and the new Worshipful Master managed the closing of the Lodge very well.

W Bro Price sang the Anthem in the Lodge Room, and later, the Worshipful Master's Song and Happy to Meet Again downstairs.

The Festive Board was traditional Christmas fare, expertly managed by Luke Pyrah (thanks Luke - terrific!) and the usual toasts submitted and proposed. Ian Syddall waxed eloquent on contributing to the 2029 Festival and remarked that though numbers this evening were not high, the quality of the Brethren was excellent.

Neil Armstrong proposed the toast to the WM, mentioning his military service and work in health care; Gary had made a career of serving others and would continue to do so in the Lodge. Gary's response was typically self-effacing, but a sincere thank-you to all who had worked towards putting him into the Chair of King Solomon.

The Junior Warden's toast to the IPM mentioned how successfully Marcus has brought the Lodge through difficult times and his dedication throughout. W Bro Whereat responded by mentioning the black and white carpet metaphorically tranversed by us all through life.

Bro Wayne Walker, the SW, toasted the visitors briefly but well and W Bro Alan Shand of the Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 responded.

John Bacchus Dykes' Melita was the tune used for the singing of the Absent Brethren song; newly introduced into this Lodge, it is swiftly becoming popular. The meeting ended in harmony before ten o' clock and we parted with smiles - a friendly evening, concluding with "Happy to meet again" on our lips.

[Photographs L to R: Incoming and Outgoing Masters; W Bros Gary Shores, ProvGStwd, Ian Syddall ProvGChStwd and Gary Crossland.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

Monday 4th December 2023:

Humber Installed Masters Christmas Lodge

Worshipful Brother Philip Harry Daniels PPSGW, Worshipful Master opened this eminent 130 year-old Lodge with dignity and authority; noticing that the regular Senior Deacon was not in attendance, he asked that the post might be filled before proceeding and the Right Worshipful Past Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Jeffrey Gillyon meekly left his place on the dais and donned the appropriate collar. Salutations were extended to him and to the Very Worshipful Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Jonathon Mark Mitchell Smith, and to the plethora of UGLE Officers; there was a healthy turn-out on this dank evening, and many of the Brethren had brought their wives who would join them in the Lodge Room at the close of the meeting.

The main business was the declaration of W Bro William Glanville as Master Elect and other officers and was conducted with the careful business management one would expect from the Chairman of Dove House Hospice. Philip congratulated those who have recently received honours, promotions and reappointments. 

After the risings, the SW, W Bro Neil Armstrong gave hearty greetings on behalf of the Brethren and the Lodge was closed.

The Wedding Belles, an all female choir who sing at weddings and local charity events, set up for their performance as the ladies and visitors arrived and and entertained the assembly with songs for weddings and other items including You Raise Me Up and invited the audience to join in a couple of Christmas numbers.

The Festive Board was splendid with perfectly cooked fare and good company. As it had been my birthday on Saturday, I took my cake and asked the Chef if he'd mind cutting it up so everyone had a slice. It had been made by my neighbour Nina and was excellent.

W Bro Daniels presented a cheque to Mr Christopher Sadler, Chief Executive of Dove House Hospice in Hull, who was in attendance with his wife Laura, Head of Fund Raising. Mr Sadler spoke briefly about the work done by this centre of excellence assisting not only patients but their families and friends and gave a sincere thank you on behalf of them all.

We sang a few Christmas songs downstairs, followed by The Twelve Days of Christmas which is a firm favourite and the raffle was drawn before the closing words and John Chapman's moving rendition of Happy to Meet Again, after which we parted full not only of Luke's lovely food, but the seasonal spirit of goodwill.  A delightful evening.

[Photographs: Bill Glanville and Phil Daniels; Chris Sadler, Laura Sadler and Phil Daniels.]

Eddie Wildman, organist

 

 

Saturday 2nd December 2023:

Beverlonian Lodge 9084

Perhaps it was the icy weather that thinned attendance at Beverlonian Lodge 9084; I set off at 3:30 (hoping to do some shopping in Beverley) but spent ten minutes scraping frost from the car before I could drive away safely. The steering wheel was cold beneath my fingers. I reached the carpark close to Trinity Lane without incident, and was delighted to find that in the weekends up to Christmas, parking was free.

I had plenty of time to look for good food deals in Marks and Spencers after I'd dropped off the Twelve Days of Christmas cards, (every Lodge asks me to bring them along at this time of year - I'd need them again on Monday), my music, a bottle of wine for the raffle and my Masonic case at the Lodge. I treated myself; today was my birthday (seventy-one) and I bought  some food for tomorrow.

I returned to the Lodge - it was an early start - perhaps another reason attendance was sparse, but on the positive side we'd finish early. I was already dreading the drive back.

I set myself the task of matching the rhythms of the three degree knocks with Christmas music - not that anyone noticed, of course, but there are not many Festive pieces beginning with the Scotch snap syncopation of the 3°.

The main business of the evening (okay, it started at five thirty but it was already dark outside) was a Third Degree, the Raising of Brother Liam Robinson. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Thomas Baxter opened the Lodge efficiently, the minutes of the last regular meeting and the extra meeting a fortnight ago were approved and signed, and Brother Robinson was called to answer the questions leading to the degree of a Master Mason. He relinquished his place as Junior Deacon to W Bro Nicholas Varey and after satisfying the Brethren that he was in possession of the necessary information, went to be prepared. Meanwhile the Entered Apprentice, Bro McKinley left with W Bro Tony Burke for mentoring.

The bulk of the ceremony was managed by the stand-in Senior Deacon, W Bro Roger Lewis who not only conducted Bro Liam around the Lodge Room but delivered the retrospect and subsequent action. Roger is not as tall as the WM, and W Bro Baxter is not as tall as Bro Robinson. Bro Robinson is not as tall as the Post Office Tower, but he is approaching that height. This leant an interesting perspective to the proceedings.

Nonetheless, Bro Liam, now invested with the blue-trimmed apron with its three rosettes, was well raised as a Master Mason, and credit is due to those who worked hard to make this a special occasion for him.

Reports followed, with a gentle admonition that the raffle generally receives more in donations than the collection for the Almoner; and Bro McKinley deftly proposed that this evening the raffle takings be donated to the Almoner's fund, a very equitable solution.

A report on the health of the Brethren and their families showed there was a lot of sickness, if not of Brethren themselves, of family members. This made the plea on behalf of the Almoner all the more poignant.

The Festive Board was seasonal fare and the tables were adorned with crackers. I was touched when the Brethren sang Happy Birthday to me and the WM, bless him, presented me with a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey Liqueur. I'm looking forward to starting that soon! We sang some carols - there were not enough of us to justify the Twelve Days of Christmas, so the huge cards stayed unopened by the keyboard. The WM wished us all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - next meeting in February, and we took our leave of each other.

Luckily it wasn't snowing and I made it to the car safely, and drove home without being caught in a blizzard, careening on black ice or freezing to death in a ditch. It was only when I'd taken off my coat and sank into a welcome armchair that I realised I'd forgotten to bring back the Twelve Days of Christmas cards. Whoops.

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

 

Tuesday 28th November 2023:

The Humber Daggards at Cleethorpes

 

Humber Lodge was well represented at the Vigilantes Lodge 7264 not only by W Bros Eddie Wildman, Richard Smedley and David Terry but also by W Bro Alan Todd who is Junior Warden in both L57 and L7264. The occasion was the Vigilantes White Table Christmas Lodge (they don't meet in December and use the opportunity to get together and sing carols at the end of November instead) and the Humber Daggards were invited to give a performance of Festive Board Entertainment in the Lodge Room upstairs after the brief Lodge meeting (ballot and reports.)

Over seventy folk were there, enthusiastically joining in the choruses in the various songs and chuckling at David's jokes. Both David and Richard were in fine voice and (according to a perceptive lady in the audience who thanked us afterwards) all three of us blended perfectly when we sang in close harmony (The Tablers' Grace to Tallis's Canon.) It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening - there were carols at the festive board, and also the Song to the Visitors - not generally performed at this South Bank Lodge but much appreciated.

The Daggards are very grateful for the kind contribution which will of course be used in supporting local charity: thanks to the Worshipful Master, Bro J V Starkey and indeed all the members of the Vigilantes Lodge who looked after us so well. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

[Photograph of Richard, Eddie and David by Trish Todd. Photograph of WM J V Starkey, Lodge Treasurer K R Hedison, Richard, David and Eddie by W Bro John Armstrong of Smyth Lodge 2284.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Monday 27th November 2023:

Andrew Marvell and King Athelstan

report by Eddie Wildman

Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 was disappointingly low in numbers. and while the prospect of turning out on a cold wet evening for a lecture on a subject without any immediately obvious Masonic connection is not as welcome as putting on a clean shirt for an initiation ceremony, one wonders sometimes at the commitment of one or two of the members. For some, the daily avocations intervened - one worthy Brother was umpiring in Dubai, for example, and others were reported as unwell, so it is to the credit of those that made the effort to attend. Interestingly, two senior members of the masonic Order of Athelstan attended as visitors; W Bro Ling Yu and the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro Anthony Burke GCAG. (Tony actually stood in as Senior Deacon.)

The Worshipful Master, Chris Lefevre opened the Lodge promptly and efficiently in the time-honoured way, and after essential business announced that W Bro Barry Longstaff, assisted by Bros Tom Calkwell and Steven Walker, would give an illustrated talk titled "Athelstan and the 926 Assembly". The Brethren behind the screen moved to seats where they could watch the pictures accompanying the text.

KIng Athelstan reigned between 925 and 939 AD, and extended the boundaries of the kingdom to encompass a larger area than any English monarch before him, taking York from the Danes and receiving faelty from further north.

Barry divided the presentation into sections, focussing on the biography of the man, his achievements, his Masonic connection, and his local footprint at Beverley. The illustrated text was shared between himself, Tom Calkwell (the AM Senior Warden) and Steve Walker. Both Barry and Steve were proposed and seconded as joining members of the Lodge.

The Brethren applauded the presentation, and the WM (who has recently joined the Order of Athelstan) thanked Barry and his team for the research and hard work that had gone into the presentation.

The Lodge was closed but I managed to take a picture of Steve, Barry and Tom before we went downstairs for Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding - perfect on a wintry night.

 

Friday 24th November 2023 (pm) York:

Masters and Principals Dinner

report by Charles Alexander

I arrived at the Royal Oak hotel in Helmsley N Yorks to attend the Masonic dinner for Masters and Principals of Lodges and Chapters in N & E Ridings of Yorkshire, both of which I represent.

The function was at at the Feathers Hotel, which is conveniently only just across the market place carpark from my hotel.

This will be the last function of my year representing Humber Lodge No 57, my tenure as Master ends in December when I will be installing the new Master for the following year. It has been a great year and it's passed so fast.

Tonight's function was well attended by many of the Masters and First Principals from across the YNER Region. I sat next to Chris Ansell, the Provincial Communications Officer, and we had a great conversation regarding the attraction and retention of candidates to the Craft and Chapter which was the theme of the talk given by the Provincial Grand Master. We were also introduced to the Active Officers of the Province who gave us a quick resumé of their role in the provincial structure.

There were many people at the dinner that I know from my visits to other Lodges and it was great to meet them. Our own Richard Smedley was there as the Second Provincial Grand Principal. I also had a nice chat with Mike Coates on his first outing as Master of the Ridings Tablers Lodge 9586 (see 17th November below.)

It was a splendid evening that was enjoyed by all with good food and great company.

[David Chambers PGM, Allan Armbrister APGM, Ken Ward ProvGDC, Richard Smedley 2ndProvGPrin, Chris Thomas APGM, Bill Glanville ProvGSec, Andy Hinchcliffe WM Invictus L, Nick Mitchell ProvJWElect, with Charles Alexander centre stage.]

Charles Alexander, WM

 

Friday 24th November 2023 (pm):

See the Chapter blog for this date for an account of the de la Pole Chapter Installation.

Friday 24th November 2023 (am):

See the Chapter blog for this date for an account of the Wyke Millennium Daytime Chapter Initiation.

 Thursday 23rd November 2023:

Eddie Wildman and Craig Maurier represented and DCd in Bridlington - see the Chapter Blog for this date.

 

Tuesday 21st November 2023:

Phoenix at the Sailmakers

It was a small but perfectly formed gathering at the Sailmakers' Arms and the meeting was interesting. This being the last meeting before the Installation, the Treasure and Master Elect were voted on (W Bro Paul Hillary and Bro Peter Kenyon-Brodie) - the latter congratulated by the WM, W Bro Alex McCallum PPStdB, after which Peter stood and thanked the Brethren for their confidence in him, assuring them he would do his best to promote the Phoenix Lodge during the ensuing year. W Bro Darren Wiseman from the Provincial Team was the only visitor, and he gave a presentation from the Solomon material about Famous Freemasons, illustrated in PowerPoint. monarchs and statesmen, military men, inventors, explorers, musicians, writers, architects, actors and sportsmen were mentioned; there is a wealth of historical and contemporary figures who figure under various headings. This was followed by a friendly quiz which gave rise to some interesting observations from the Brethren.

W Bro McCallum thanked W Bro Wiseman for his excellent presentation. Other essential business was rapidly concluded, the Lodge closed and cleared away in jig time, and two toasts submitted after which some Brethren went to continue convivial libation in the bar below, others heading homewards. A pleasant night.

Eddie Wildman

 


Monday 20th November 2023 (Dagger Lane):

For David Terry's enlightening report on the Humber L o I Final Night, see this date on the Lodge of Instruction page.

 

 

Monday 20th November 2023 (Beverley Road):

Passing Holderness 3563

W Bro Darren Wiseman opened his Lodge at the appointed hour; around thirty Brethren attended, including visitors from the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 and Minerva 250. W Bro Steve Burns (Thesaurus 3891) in his capactity of DC to the Representative announced W Bro Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward with panache, an escort was formed and Ian (Humber 57) took his seat on the dais next to the Worshipful Master. W Bro Burns dismissed the escort, and acknowledged the transfer of responsibility to the Holderness Lodge DC, W Bro Paul Greenwood, with a dignified court bow, which was returned with exquisite politeness.

The expression "Manners Maketh Man" derives, I think, from William Horman, headmaster of Eton Scool in the fifteenth century. He taught that manners cost nothing, yet mean much, making the world a better place. It is a concept well adopted by Freemasons. This evening's courteous exchange was but one example of the gentlemanly conduct which encourages mutual respect amongst Masons, and of the well-bred attitude of the members of the Holderness Lodge 3563.

Following a succesful ballot for a joining member (whom I used to teach when he was a boy at Hull Grammar School - wasn't it Roosevelt that said "Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young"?) Entered Apprentice Brother James Anderson was examined in the questions and answers leading to the Second Degree and entrusted with the information required to gain admission into a Fellow Craft Lodge. He retired for preparation and the Lodge was raised.

The Charity Steward and Almoner gave succinct reports, after which the Inner Guard, Bro Andrew Holbrook informed the Lodge by the customary channels that Bro Anderson was ready to be readmitted. Formidable with his military bearing and his authoritative grasp of the Lodge's intimidating scimitar he stood aside as the SD, Bro Lee Atkinson conducted Bro Anderson through the necessary procedures for Obligation under the authority of the WM.

W Bro Paul Greendale communicated the secrets, alluding to the symbolic penalty historically included in the degree with great dignity and clarity. Bro Anderson then showed his grasp of the signs and tokens by demonstrating them to the Wardens before being invested with the Apron of a Fellow Craft Freemason. W Bro Malvin Sharpless gave the address at the Southeast Corner, and I was privileged to explain the symbolism of the Working Tools.

W Bro Ben Kelly briefly relinquished his place in the Senior Warden's Chair to flawlessly deliver the Ancient Charge with sincerity and fluency, in such a conversational tone as to make this important summary of what is expected of a Fellow Craft Freemason a piece of amicable advice tendered by a good friend, again with that gentle courtesy and mutual respect that characterises the Craft at its best.

Entrusted with the questions (and answers thereto) leading to the next step in his Masonic journey, Bro Anderson retired and the Lodge was lowered to the First Degree.

W Bro Ian Syddall presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro Holbrook explaining the features of the 1819 pillars document, after which Bro Anderson was readmitted. W Bro Sharpless drew everyone's attention to the fact that W Bro Ian Syddall was earmarked to become the next Provincial Senior Grand Warden, an eminent post currently held by Holderness's W Bro Steve Cox, who himself will become APGM.

Greetings were formally extended and recorded and the Lodge was closed in due form.

I managed a snapshot of  W Bro Burns in his distinctive red Provincial regalia, W Bro Sydall as active Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro Darren Wiseman, WM and Bro James Anderson, Fellow Craft Freemason before we went downstairs. The suggestion that the WM stood on a box for the photograph was quietly ignored.

The festive board was excellent as always, and the company delightful. The WM introduced Ian Syddall to the Brethren saying that he carries a calmness with him, and spoke of his long-term commitment to Charity. Ian responded complimenting the Lodge on its health and wealth, mentioning those receiving honours, Steve Cox, Malvin Sharpless and Ben Kelly and enlarging on the subject of the upcoming Festival. Speaking on the optional purchase of the Festival jewel and the decision of some not to wear it, prefering to donate in secret, he  asked for tolerance aligned with generosity, aware that some Brethren prefer to downplay their charitable involvement and that Charity manifests in different ways. It was good to see heads nodding in agreement as the Brethren listened - another example of the Holderness Lodge courtesy.

I was given a welcome lift home by the RTL Secretary (Many thanks!) and managed to finish this report before the witching hour. I'm looking forward to reading reports from others on this excellent evening, but now am ready for my bed. Thank you, Holderness Lodge, and Good Night!

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

Saturday 18th November 2023:

Technical Installation

The summons for the Technical Lodge 5666 meeting stated clearly that the start time was 16:00 hours; Philip picked me up at 15:30 and we enjoyed tea and cake before climbing the stairs to the Beverley Road Lodge Room. I wondered if they'd inserted some extra steps, but several friendly Brethren assured me this wasn't the case - I was just getting old.

The WM, W Bro Danny Laughton, opened the Lodge at the top of the hour efficiently, a report from W Bro Brian Carlisle PPSGD (who had travelled from Leyburn to be the DC for the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Paul Harper PJGD) stated that the latter requested permission to enter; an escort of Provincial Officers was formed and the meeting was under way.

I feel a little sorry for those Entered Apprentices who have to leave before the installation ceremony begins, but the first obligation of a Master Elect takes place in the 2°. To those  Apprentices reading this blog, don't worry - it is likely that by your next installation meeting you'll be qualified to stay in!

W Bro Robert Parkinson took his obligation regarding the duties of the Master, asserting that he would permit no deviation from the landmarks of the Order nor tolerate anything subsersive of the ancient institution. The Fellow Crafts then retired, and all offices were declared vacant while senior Brethren took the principal positions, then the Master Masons left the Lodge.

Now in a Board of Installed Masters W Bro Parkinson sealed his second obligation and W Bro Danny Laughton completed the Inner Working with commendable facility, pointing out that the WM's apron is the highest honour conferrable by a Lodge to any member. Now firmly installed, W Bro Parkinson lowered the Lodge through the three degrees, the Working Tools impressively presented respectively by Bros Ed Thompson, Thekkootupasharam Nandakumar and Kenneth Wright. W Bro Mark Cusack presented the commemorative jewel marking the contribution the Technical Lodge makes to medical research.

The Lodge Officers were appointed and the addresses to the WM, Wardens and Brethren given; each focussing on aspects of the charitable and moral qualities to be expected from Brethren of the Craft. W Bro Atkinson presented W Bro Laughton with a Past Master's jewel, commending the work he had done during his year in office. Bro David Turner sang the Anthem in the temple, after which the Worshipful Master closed the Lodge in due form.

After the delightful festive board (some of us having a healthy salmon slice in dill sauce while others enjoyed Pork Three Ways with Red Wine Gravy) W Bro Rob Atkinson established his authority as DC and took the Brethren through the toasts swiftly. W Bro Paul Harper responded to the fifth toast, complimenting those Brethren who had received honours this year: Mike Cheeseman, Paul Hillary, Mark Cusack and David Turner. He spoke of the membership challenge facing us as Freemasons in engaging with the problem of decreasing numbers. The Technical Lodge, with two potential members and a large younger population is quite exceptional, but W Bro Harper encouraged involvement in promoting the Craft to others.

The Festive Board was enjoyable; there were some excellent toasts. W Bro Frank Lovely dilated on the achievements of the new WM, his dry humour setting the scene for the response and subsequent toasts. W Bro Philip Daniels sang the Masters Song.

Brother Arash Vesali had the Brethren in fits of laughter in his toast to the visitors; the Visitors Song was performed by W Bro John Chapman.

There are many good voices in L5666, and the evening concluded with Happy to Meet Again with a male voice quintet accompanied by the keyboard. We took our leave of each other smiling, though I was exhausted and ready for bed. "It's your age," quipped Arash.

For Malcolm Forbes' account of the evening, see the Andrew Marvell blogpage. For Dave Green's account, see the Minerva blogpage and Peter Stokes' account, see the St Michael blogpage.

[Photographs: Ian Parkinson WM and Daniel Laughton IPM by Eddie Wildman; Eddie Wildman, David Turner, John Chapman, Rob Atkinson, Phil Daniels and Jonathon Sykes by Steve Walker.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 17th November 2023:

RTL Installation

The 208th meeting of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge at Trinity Lane Beverley opened promptly at 5:30 under W Bro Martin Clark's ready gavel. It was impressive to see five Officers of UGLE in attendance; the weight of the gold braid in the north-east corner lowering the dais by a couple of centimeters. The dispensation to bring the meeting forward a week was read (the Provincial Grand Master's dinner on the 24th would have diminished the numbers attending) and a report at the door of the Lodge announced that the Provincial DC George Dobson requested admission.

W Bro George Dobson strode in. He is one of the tallest Provincial Stewards, though at 6'5" I think Martin Clark possibly has the edge. The Representative, W Bro Ian Syddall looked small in comparison. The minutes were signed, reports truncated as they had already been emailed, and an agreement carried that a donation be made from the Charity Steward's account to the Sea Cadets who would later be waiting on the tables at the Festive Board.

The Installing Officers already being in place, all offices were declared vacant. However, an interruption from the Tyler brought a pause to the proceedings: one of the visitors' cars was causing an obstruction on the road outside. I'll not identify the Skoda owner for fear of embarrassing him.

The collars having been handed in and the Entered Apprentices invited to retire, the Lodge was raised to the 2° and the DC, W Bro Stephen Hastings presented Brother Michael Coates as the Master Elect. The WM fluently explained what was expected of a Master, reciting the necessary qualifications, and Bro Coates agreed to respect the various strictures before being obligated on the same.

Brethren below the 3° retired; the Lodge was opened on the Centre and those below the rank of Installed Master temporarily withdrew, with the exception of Bro Coates.

Then followed the ritual known as the Inner Working, details of which will not be revealed here, but Michael Coates was well installed into the Chair. Congratulations to W Bro Martin Clark who had committed the entire ritual to memory. The Brethren were admitted (by degrees) and W Bro Burnett gave a powerful rendition of the three verses of the Masonic anthem as the Brethren perambulated round the Lodge. The Working Tools were presented, the new team of Masonic Officers was invested, and the addresses to the Master and the Brethren delivered. As the JW was unable to be present, the address to the Wardens was deferred.

W Bro Syddall presented W Bro Clark with a Past Master's jewel, explaining that while some expected to sit and relax after having spent a year in the Master's Chair, this was just the beginning of the next stage of Martin's Masonic career and he expected great things of him given his past record.

The RTL was closed in due form with W Bro Michael Coates in the Chair. I managed to persuade the Rep and his DC to be included in a photograph with the new WM and IPM. (R to L: W Bro George Dobson, ProvGSwd; W Bro Ian Syddall, ProvGChStwd; W Bro Michael Coates, WM; W Bro Martin Clark, PPGStwd.)

The Sea Cadets have received Masonic support from the RTL and others and they lined up and sang the National Anthem with us at the Festive Board (the loyal toast was submitted before the meal) before deftly serving the Brethren. At the end of the meal they were pleased to accept a donation which included the proceeds of the raffle and other funds. Bro Ben Kelly, a visitor from the de la Pole Lodge 1605 kindly sent me a photograph of the WM presenting one of the cadets with a cheque for £250 - this was gratefully received.

Ian Syddall, while representing the RWPGM, is a member of Humber Lodge 57, along with W Bro Terry Fisher and me. He spoke of the 2029 Festival and the MCF and concluded by commending the Lodge on its work. W Bro Fisher gave the toast to the WM, mentioning that Michael had been initiated into the Humber Lodge, and that Michael's late father had introduced his son as a fifth generation Freemason. He complimented the WM on his cunning blend of age and youth in his team of officers. MIke's response after W Bro Andy Green's rendition of the Master's Song was somewhat emotional, but he said that while it was difficult following Martin, he was looking forward to the year and would do his best.

W Bro Barrie Jeffery proposed the toast to the IPM in a lighthearted vein but drew attention to Martin's incredible commitment, his acclaimed initiatives and the loyal support of his officers. In response, Martin humbly stated that he could have done nothing without the support of his team and the RTL Brethren, and thanked everyone "Success," he said, "is down to the Lodge."

There were thirteen visitors from twelve Sister Lodges, the Senior Warden, W Bro Andy Green informed us. The Brethren sang the Visitors song, and W Bro Stuart Oxborough, who had known the new WM since he was a lad, responded on behalf of the visitors, responded. Other toasts followed; I failed to win a raffle prize or the whisky draw, and accompanied the last item, Andy Green's singing of Brethren of the Mystic Tie following the Tyler's toast. I drove home, hoping to get these notes completed before midnight, (but failed.)

It had been a splendid five hours, and the time had seemed to fly past.

Congratulations to all at RTL.

Eddie Wildman, organist, Founder Member.

 

Thursday 16th November 2023:

Whilst this website is generally concerned with Humber Craft and Chapter, there are other Orders to which a Mason may turn should he wish. At a meeting of the Humber Preceptory, the Knights Templar discussed the possibility of inviting Craft and Chapter Masons to find out about this Christian Order. A date has not yet been fixed - possibly March 2024 at Dagger Lane - but it merits mention here. Should readers wish to know more about 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 Provinces Overseas please click on the link - and watch this space for the opportunity to see us in person. Horses are not required.

Eddie Wildman P Gt AdC, Prov Prelate

 

Wednesday 15th November 2023:

Over the Water at Old Clee

Eddie Wildman reports

It was a pleasure to travel with W Bro John McGorrigan to Cleethorpes - luxury car, good company - and someone else doing the driving. We had been asked by W Bro Alwyn Onley, the DC of the Old Clee Lodge 8697 while this worthy gentleman was visiting the Beverlonian Lodge. "Oh by the way," he murmured as we checked our diaries, "our regular organist has had some heart problems and won't be there - I don't suppose you could possibly play for us? It will be a third degree."

Consequently John kindly picked me up nice and early for a drive to Cleethorpes. It was lucky he did - the plethora of roadworks is not only in Hull but prevailed past the Humber Bridge on the A180, with surveying, grass cutting and testing taking place with lane restrictions from the Pyewipe Roundabout to Riby Square and by the three bridges. In fact, John rang Alwyn while we were en route to tell him we were only moving at five miles a fortnight, please warn the Tyler. Generally calm and phlegmatic, John expressed his opinion of those drivers who pushed in having speeded ahead in the wrong lane and were now holding everyone up. I was impressed at his command of vocabulary, he never swore once and never repeated himself, but if looks could kill, several drivers would have been terminated there and then.

We needn't have worried. Cleethorpes was trouble free and we drove through sullen drizzle to the Lodge on Kings Road ( "It's opposite the Leisure Centre, John, turn right here, then sharp left." We'd lost faith in the satnav who had directed us from one traffic jam to another) arriving at about six o' clock. I scurried upstairs to have a look at the organ - it was a Viscount - a lovely instrument, and checked I had the correct music for the opening and closing hymns (University College and Suttgart.)

The Lodge takes its name from the settlement of Clee which is mentioned in the Domesday Book (spelled as Cleia, the Old English name for clay.)  It was a village (or thorpe) comprising over twenty households. The Old Clee Lodge, however, was founded in 1976, less than fifty years ago. I decided not to mention this to John, who was still chuntering about the traffic, and we put on our regalia and went upstairs to the Lodge Room.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro David Griggs opened the Lodge, greeting the fourteen visitors amicably before confirming and signing the minutes, moving on to the main business of the evening, the raising of Brother James Siddle to the third degree. There is, I have noticed, a leisurely quality to many ceremonies on the South Bank; due time is spent in smart, considered perambulation; the rush and bustle of the outside world is set aside. After my initial panic about finding the right stops on the organ, I was gradually absorbed into this unhurried atmosphere, and John, who was at the other side of the room, I noticed, had relaxed and was focussing on the ritual. Someone went out to mentor the Fellow Crafts as they retired, and Brother Siddle was examined in the questions.

A blow by blow account is uneccessary; Bro Siddle was well instructed in the secrets of the third degree, and restored himself to his usual comforts before being informed about the importance of the Chapter. The Lodge was lowered directly to the first degree, the FCs readmitted, and other Lodge business dealt with before the meeting was closed. I was surprised to see how late it was. "In Hull we'd be setting off for home about now," I said to John as we queued at the bar. "I've an early start tomorrow," he said. "Can we slip off early?"

The WM, however, kindly agreed to give me a lift home, making a brief detour into Hull before returning to Beverley, for which I was grateful. This enabled John to get away, and me to continue to digest the food - fried haloumi, fish and chips and rhubarb crumble - and to enjoy the convivial company of the JW and Brethren for the rest of the evening, and, of course to supply the music at the festive board (Visitor's Song, Absent Brethren, "Prosper the Art", "Worthy Masons" etc.) 

The drizzle had dissolved into fog for the return journey, but W Bro Griggs was used to it. While he lives on the North Bank, he hails from Lincolnshire and has made the journey countless times. "If it gets really bad," he told me, "I wait in a layby until there's a lorry to follow." He spoke of being part of the lifeboat crew in such conditions as we crossed the Humber Bridge. (The river was invisible.) "You can't see the water in front," he said, "and there could be hidden logs and things to damage the propellor. You can't see any landmarks. You're totally reliant on GPS." He dropped me off home at midnight by dead reckoning and I thanked him for a delightful evening.

John arrived home okay too, despite the fog and his argumentative satnav.

Well done, Old Clee!

Eddie Wildman Guest Organist

 

 

Tuesday 14th November 2023:

Humber Business Night

Generally speaking the last night of a Master's year in the Chair before installing his successor is a time for tying up loose ends and preparing the way for the new Master, and this evening, while managing to do exactly that, was nonetheless an interesting meeting. There were twenty-two present, and no visitors. I know the current WM intends adding his comments as this is the end of his year, but I will give my observations anyway.

The meeting started on time with the WM already in place; W Bro Charles Alexander is experiencing ongoing ambulatory difficulties and other health issues but bravely fighting on, determined to lead the Lodge forward. The regular opening proceedure was managed and salutations given to the UGLE and Provincial Officers present. (The word regular, by the way, was first used in Middle English in the 1400s; it derives from the Latin regula (rule), and means, basically, "according to the rules" - thus when a Lodge is "just, perfect and regular" it is working according to the established rules in the Book of Constitutions.)

A ballot for a joining member proved successful (Welcome, Peter!) and the Treasurer and Master for next year were elected. The Master Elect, W Bro Alan Todd was invited to a seat on the dais; escorted by the DC, W Bro Terence Ward Fisher who was reelected as Treasurer.

Various elections ensued regarding the Lodge Committee, Accounts Examiners and representatives to various bodies, and the Treasurer presented an account of the Lodge's ongoing investments and gave notices of motion that followed therefrom, impacting most immediately on an increase in subscriptions and the 13.4% increase in the joining fee. Alterations to the bylaws need the approval of the Province, but there was no disagreement from the members of the Lodge. W Bro Richard Smedley commended the Treasurer for his careful maintaining of the Lodge's interests in difficult circumstances.

Reports followed from the Almoner, Charity Steward and others. W Bro Forbes invited ideas for further community engagement by the Lodge and dilated at some length on the Escrick meeting of 26th October (see his report on the Charity Page.) The Worshipful Master congratulated W Bro Ian Syddall on his forthcoming appointment as Provincial Grand Senior Warden in May.

W Bro Carl Cross, who had laid a wreath on behalf of the Lodge at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday thanked the Brethren for their generous donations towards this.

The Lodge was regularly closed, and the festive board downstairs was convivial; while there was no toast for visitors, there being none, a toast was proposed to the Master Elect, who briefly responded, and the evening concluded with the singing of "Happy to Meet Again."

[Photograph of WM Charles Alexander with the regalia of the WM with W Bro Alan Todd, Master Elect, wearing the collar and cuffs of the ADC along with his Provincial collar and apron, the Humber banner behind them. This was taken after the meeting, of course: photographs are not permitted during a Lodge meeting. ERW.]

From the Worshipful Master . . .

Brethren, Eddie Wildman has preempted most of of my comments. However it is my privilege to take this opportunity to address you at the end of my year in the Chair.

The Lodge tonight was primarily a business night it being the last Lodge of the year before the installation of the new master in December.

The Lodge was opened in due form and the business commenced; I read out the details of a joining member proposed by W Bro Eddie Wildman and seconded by W Bro Richard Smedley, and after a favourable vote he was accepted as a joining member. We look forward to welcoming him at our next meeting.

We then came to the election of the new Master for 2024: WBro Alan Todd was nominated and he confirmed his acceptance of the position of Master Elect.  Alan was the escorted to the East to sit on the dais. And as Eddie has included an etymological insert, so shall I: a dais is a raised surface at one end of a meeting room that someone can stand on when addressing a group deriving from Middle English originally denoting a raised table for distinguished guests, and like so many of our words comes from Old French (deis) and before that, Latin (discus, or dish.)

W Bro Terry Fisher also accepted his nomination to continue in the role of Treasurer. Terry has done a great job in this office in difficult time, keeping the Brethren informed regarding the Lodge finances.

We also elected Lodge Committee members, Accounts Examiners,  the MMHA Rep, and the Royal Arch Rep, which W Bro Ian Syddall said that he would be happy to continue with. On behalf of the Lodge I also congratulated W Bro Ian on his preferment next May as Provincial Senior Grand Warden, a very well deserved promotion which the Brethren applauded.

W Bro Terry Fisher gave the Lodge an update on the impending payments that need to be made, laying out proposals to change Lodge subscription and joining fees; both were accepted by the Brethren.

The Lodge was closed (my last closing - sniff!) and we retired to the festive board where we enjoyed a hearty meal and equally hearty conversation. I gave a short welcome to W Bro Alan Todd in his position of Master Elect, pointing out how I had enjoyed my time as Master of the Lodge and how one of the most enjoyable parts was the opportunity to visit other Lodges, especially the installation of Bro Masters. WBro Alan then gave his reply, saying he hoped to have a good year with his Officers.

This was my last full night as Master. I would like to thank also all those Brethren who took part in my year. I couldn't have done it without you. I also extend sincere thanks to W Bro Carl Cross and all those who assisted in organising the Humber Ladies Night, (see the Events page for October)  and those many Brethren who have worked behind the scenes at Dagger Lane and should not be taken for granted. I refer to those who have visited on my behalf, to those who have quietly set up the Lodge before meetings, to the organisation of the meals, (thanks, Ben, you're a star!) setting up the tables and other jobs that have contributed to my having enjoyed a stress-free year. I would also like to thank W Bro Eddie Wildman for being my willing stand-in when needed. I have been proud to be Master of this fine Lodge, and humbled by the support extended to me from so many directions - Brethren, thank you all.

After giving the toasts for the evening, W Bro Richard Smedley accompanied by W Bro Eddie Wildman performed the closing song; the Brethren joined in the choruses with gusto, the festive board was closed and we took our leave of each other in peace and harmony.

Charles Alexander, WM.

 

 

Sunday 12th November 2023:

Remembrance Sunday

by Carl Cross

It was a cold Sabbath, but at least it wasn't raining. Over the last decade and beyond I have laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Hull Paragon Square, along with W Bro Marcus Whereat of the Kingston Lodge 1010. We have stood paying our respects in all weathers at this poignant time of year when we remember those fallen in battle. Today there was much to reflect on; the world is still full of strife, and there were many people there, who, like me, have friends and families fighting to keep us safe. The Rt Rev Dr Eleanor Sanderson and the Rev Dominic Black, Vicar of Hull presided over an impressive array of the armed forces, cadet forces, emergency services, veterans and general public, all paying their silent tributes as the notes of the Last Post sounded. The march past was as moving as ever: let me take this opportunity to thank the members of Humber Lodge who have so generously contributed not only to the purchase of the wreath but to the support of those in need. Thank you Brethren.

W Bro Carl Cross

 

 

Saturday 11th November 2023:

Lord Bolton Installation

I was tired as in the morning I'd played the organ at Selby Abbey for the Knights Templar annual convocation, but I enjoyed the Lord Bolton 3263 installation meeting in Hull that evening. It started at six o' clock, which gave me time to rest between gigs. W Bro Martin Tompkins opened with the customary Masonic "flight check" ensuring all officers were in place; glancing round from the organ seat I saw W Bro Malcolm Forbes there, and said to myself "Good - there's two of us from Humber 57." This was revised to three when the Representative of the RWPGM was announced: "Worshipful Brother Ian Syddall, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Provincial Grand Senior Warden Elect," in W Bro Jimmy Kerr's impressive oratory, and an escort was formed for his entry.

The ceremony proceeded smoothly under the directorship of W Bro Alan Shand, DC.  The two Entered Apprentices retired as the Lodge was raised to the 2° and the Master Elect, Brother Robert Edward Gwatkin was presented. The duties required of a Master were recited by the Secretary, W Bro Eric Healand, and Bro Gwatkin was obligated in these.

The FCs retired and the Lodge was raised to the 3°, and subsequently to a Board of Installed Masters, in which W Bro Tomkins passed on the collar and apron to his successor. As often happens at solemn moments, I supressed an irreverent smile as these two sturdy gentlemen faced each other. Of almost identical girth, they called to mind images of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. However, W Bro Gwatkin was installed without mishap into the Chair of King Solomon.

Of particular note during the following ceremonial was the flawless presentation of the Workings Tools of each degree: Brother Ian Fuller in the 3°, Brother Liam Gwatkin in the 2° (his hair was purple on this occasion, the Brethren watch with interest to see what hue the WM's son will adopt for the Christmas Lodge), and Brother Jamie Bird in the 1°. Well done, guys!

The Address to the WM ws given by W Bro John Abbott, a visitor and old work colleague of the WM. He also responded on behalf of the visitors, commending W Bro Gwatkin to the Lodge. W Bro Geoff Withers gave the address to the Wardens, and W Bro Eric Healand gave the address to the Brethren.

The Anthem and the Masters song were rendered by Bro Colin Bird after his appointment as Senior Warden. The Lord Bolton Lodge is blessed with three Lewises - that is to say, members who are the sons of masons, so the Gwatkins, Hoggards and Birds constitute father and son relationships - and impressively reduce the average age of the membership.

The festive board was excellent as always and it was good to see Brethren from far and wide - including the Khyber Lodge 582 in London, and Lennox Lodge 123 in Richmond (Brother Neil Gwatkin, cousin to Liam - pictured with the WM and his Senior Deacon after the ceremony.)

Immediately after the singing of the hymn following the submission of the toast to the Absent Brethren, W Bro Eric Healand stood and recited the famous verse from Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen which was a fitting tribute on this date.

I was thoroughly weary by the end of the evening, but the Lord Bolton installation meeting had been a delightful end to a long day. It is good to see the Lodge going from strength to strength.

For Neil Armstrong's account of this meeting, please see the Kingston blogpage.

For Malcolm Forbes' account, please refer to the Andrew Marvell blogpage.

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 10th November 2023:

First Degree Tracing Board Explained

report by Eddie Wildman

I am always a little embarrassed writing about a meeting in which I have been an integral part - my natural modesty prevents me from blowing my own trumpet, but it didn't seem fair to ask Craig Maurier to write a report as he was also taking part in the performance, and Malcolm Forbes had just completed writing the Charity report about the annual Escrick Meeting (see the Charity page) so I decided that it was my job.

The de la Pole Lodge 1605 had its first ceremony under the Mastership of W Bro Peter Frank Clark at Beverley Road. Peter had requested that I gave a lecture on the first degree Tracing Board, so I put together a powerpoint presentation with the backstory about how Tracing Boards (or Tressle Boards) came into being before looking at some of symbolism involved. Working with Craig is a delight - we have performed together before, and the presentation went almost seamlessly (that is to say, we both made minor errors, but it is unlikely anyone noticed.) Twenty-nine Brethren attended, and it was flattering to be asked questions afterwards at the Festive Board (Luke's lamb hotpot was exquisite.)

Congratulations to the WM and his team of officers who began the de la Pole Masonic year admirably.

It was an early finish, so I finished this report before bed.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 9th November 2023:

The Ceremony of the Empty Chair

Once again the Worshipful Master of the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 was unavailable and did not attend the meeting. The Senior Warden, himself a Past Master, delegated Past Master W Bro Garry MIllett PPGSwdB to lead the Lodge, which he did admirably, opening without fuss or hesitation. A portion of the Antient Charges was read (the Secretary, Bro Malcolm Dale has retained the ancient spelling of the adjective on the summons) and then the ceremony of the Empty Chair took place.

The Senior Warden, W Bro Rob McKenna, alerted the Acting WM saying there was an alarm. The Junior Warden, W Bro Mark Rudston declared that Brothers who had fallen in service of their country sought admission, not in person, but through their spiritual presence, seeking remembrance.

Bro Carl Moore, the Junior Deacon, a military man to the core, was delegated to receive an apron from the WM; his slow march as he approached the Master was classically executed; he stood by the empty chair which was draped with the Union Flag and faced the SW who explained that the lambskin was Masonry's first gift to our departed Brother, and here was an emblem of our departed Brothers' dedication to the highest ideals of the Craft.

The apron was placed on the chair with due solemnity and other Brethren spoke of Masonic ideals and aspirations. Brother Moore marched back to his place while the organ played the Dead March from Saul by Handel. A prayer from the Chaplain preceded In Flanders Fields.

All stood in silence with the sign of fidelity as the Last Post was played, and remained motionless until the Reveille. It was a short but poignant ceremony.

W Bro Millett gavelled and called for reports from the Almoner, Charity Steward (W Bro Malcolm Forbes spoke of the day as Escrick) Treasurer, Mentor, from the Lodge of Instruction and the Chapter before greetings were given (there were fifteen Brethren present and no visitors) and the Lodge was closed in due form. The Brethren swiftly cleared the Lodge Room and retired below for an Indian-based meal with chicken tikka masala curry and rice.

Only two toasts were submitted and the Brethren parted earlier than usual, having enjoyed a good evening - thanks to Garry and the DC, W Bro Richard East who had assisted with last minute reorganising due to unexpected absences.

"The Ceremony of the Empty Chair," remarked one Brother at the exit, "Quite so."

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Wednesday 8th November 2023:

 For an account of the 2nd degree ceremony at Dagger Lane see the Minerva Lodge blog page for this date.

 

Thursday 2nd November 2023:

Constitutional Initiation

by Eddie Wildman

I'm not fond of driving at night, and the Hull traffic is chaotic at present; I was delighted that W Bro Martin Rowland said he'd drive me to Trinity Lane Beverley for a meeting of the Constitutional Lodge 294, where W Bro Mike Noble was in the Chair and an initiation was to take place.

Martin's wife Theresa was in the front passenger seat; I was in the back with W Bro Charlesworth who told me that a large crowd was expected at the Lodge; the Candidate's father was a Provincial Officer in the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, and he was bringing a contingent of visitors with him to see his son take his first regular step in the Craft. Meanwhile Martin and Theresa argued about the best route to take as there seemed to be roadworks everywhere, and Theresa hoped that the bar was ready for her to begin serving, and was there a float?

Keith Charlesworth checked his phone which had live images of what was happening at Trinity Lane, Beverley. "The bar's open," he confirmed, naming who was serving, and clicking on pictures of the various rooms. "The temple's set up, and there's a space in the carpark."

"Good," said Martin, and proved his skill as a driver by effortlessly backing into said carpark without any hesitation, "Everybody out."

It was a pleasure to see so many there - and more arriving as I took my coat off. Theresa poured me a glass of tap water. I went upstairs to prepare my music for the meeting and met the Master. "Thanks for coming, Eddie," he said. "We'll be able to sing the opening ode in tune now." (This was not entirely accurate.)

Before the Lodge opened, the Secretary, W Bro Gavin Collinson reminded everyone to turn their phones to silent (there was some hurried checking amongst the Brethren) and pointed out the fire escapes. "If there's an alarm," he told us, "it won't be a practice. If it goes off, just follow me."

The raised voices in the opening ode were supplemented by West Yorkshire accents, but as Mike had predicted, some were in tune. W Bro Noble opened the Lodge with authority, setting a high standard and was ably assisted by his officers who likewise delivered their lines clearly and with confidence - there was not a book in sight. There was a high proportion of Provincial Officers - the Scarborough Lodge 1214 carried an impressive amount of gold braid.

Despite its name, it meets at Batley, YWR. I have little doubt there will soon be a return meeting! There were West Yorkshire Brethren from Zetland Lodge 603, Coine Valley 1645, Rugby Football 9811, Victory 1302 and Amphibious 258 in addition to more local Lodges which included Sykes 1040, Invictus 9960, Ridings Tablers' 9586 and Wyke Millennium 9696. I was pleased to see Brother Evaldas Korsakas from Minerva 250, initiated just last month. I tried to capture all the Lodges when greetings were given at the end, but I may have missed one or two - sorry. I did manage, however, to extend greetings for the Humber Lodge 57, premier Lodge in the Province.

The minutes having been confirmed and signed, there was a report from the Tyler and the Candidate was introduced, but the sharp-eyed DC, Keith Charlesworth returned him to the door to be properly dressed - I think the wrong arm had been bared - after which the ceremony continued flawlessly.

The WM, W Bro Mike Noble was born in Beverley and has returned to the area after a checkered passage to the Outer Hebrides, Bridlington, then a military career (where his capacity for memorising information and assuming command came to the fore) and afterwards becoming a key worker during the covid pandemic. If you ever need a military tattoo, he's the man to ask. He has been a star performer in the Daggards on many occasions, and I was proud to see him running the Lodge with such studied efficiency.

Mr Christian Thomas Lovell was perambulated round in the traditions of the Constitutional Lodge in a subtly different fashion to other local Lodges. Constituted in 1793 the workings of this previously military Lodge keep the organist on his toes regarding the perambulations. Proclaiming himself willing to persevere through the ceremony of his initiation, Mr Lovell was advanced to the pedestal and took his obligation, dictated by the Worshipful Master. The greater and lesser lights were brought to his attention.

Octeganarion Brother Lane, oldest member of the Lodge explained the three great dangers admirably from a seated position. While his legs have become inform over the years his mind was as sharp as the sword he held. The secrets were entrusted to Bro Lovell by W Bro Charlesworth in a beautifully conversational manner which gave the ritual a delightful sense of spontaneity.

Brother Lovell was conducted to the JW, W Bro Martin Rowland on this occasion, and the SW, Bro Sam Adkins to show he was in possession of the secrets after which Bro Adkins invested him with the Entered Apprentice Apron. The caveat was delivered by the WM and the address at the North East Corner given by Bro Ben Blanchard, another recent member of the Constitutional Lodge.

W Bro Rowland explained the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason. As a practical craftsman himself, his familiarity with them as integral parts of his professional work and the confidence with which he wielded them gave a peculiar poignancy to this meaningful section of the ritual, especially when the significance of the rough ashlar was revealed.

 

 

 

 

W Bro Steve Kimber PPDepGReg from Scarborough Lodge 1214 delivered the Ancient Charge.

The WM passed the questions leading to the next degree in FM to Bro Lovell, who then retired to change into his dark suit while reports were given from the Almoner, Treasurer (increase of fees) and various propositions made. I was then privileged as the only Grand Lodge Officer there to present UGLE Certificates to Bro Cameron Kershaw Laing of the Coine Valley Lodge 1645 WY and to Bro Blanchard.

Greetings were given from the visitors and the Brethren of the Constitutional Lodge and photographs were taken .

The festive board was impressive: prawn cocktail, steak pie and sticky toffee pudding with custard. Bro Lovell's father, Steve Lovell PPGReg gave the toast to the Candidate. The singing of the Entered Apprentices Song was an interesting exercise in polytonality; Martin Rowland and Sam Adkin both producing notes that I wouldn't have thought possible from human vocal cords, this seems to be a characteristic of L 294. It was a relaxed night after the strict precision of the Lodge meeting, and a late finish; indeed some hardy Brethren from Wakefield and thereabouts continued exchanging stories in the bar well past my bedtime - and I am grateful to Theresa who kindly gave me a lift home.

All in all it was a wonderful evening - I thoroughly enjoyed it - thank you, Constitutional Lodge!

 Eddie Wildman Guest Organist

 

 

Wednesday 1st November 2023:

KIngston Lodge's Election Night

by Eddie Wildman

 

Kingston Lodge's November meeting fell on what the Mexicans and others call the Day of the Dead. It followed Halloween, when the veil between the living and the dead is said to be at its thinnest, marking the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints, or All Hallows. 

 

This month is traditional for remembering those who gave their lives during the World Wars, especially those of the Kingston Lodge, and a chair was draped with the union flag to the remind the Brethren. Consequently the mood was sombre as we took our seats. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Marcus Whereat opened the Lodge solemnly, and W Bro Simon Ramshaw gave a brief but poignant eulogy for W Bro Bryan Everatt who died last month, speaking of his practical commitment to both the Lodge and the building. "He was a breath of fresh air for Kingston," he said. The Brethren stood in silence to mark his passing.

 

This was followed by a brief ceremony for the fallen, which concluded with another silent tribute. I reflected on those other Kingston Brethren lost so unexpectedly this year, W Bros Paul Goldthorpe and Peter Adamson.

 

However, I reminded myself that the halloween tradition also had pagan roots. The festival of Samhain marked a pivotal time of year as the seasons changed and was a preparation for times ahead. The Hindu Divali Festival of Lights occurs around the same time (November 12th this year) - there are possible roots in antiquity. I reminded myself that this symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, of good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance, and felt a little happier.

 

The Lodge Secretary, W Bro Neil Armstrong read a portion of the Ancient Charge regarding the progression of Brethren by merit, the minutes were approved, and then the WM declared Bro Gary Crossland as Master Elect for the ensuing year, and W Bro Malcolm Watkinson as Treasurer. Time for a fanfare! Both stood to acknowledge the acclaim of the Brethren and promised to apply themselves to the tasks ahead.

 

There was a successful ballot for a rejoining member.

 

The Treasurer's report was followed by a suggestion that the fees for a new member be lowered for the initial year; this was proposed, seconded, and agreed by the fifteen Brethren present. W Bro Watkinson reported on the Chapter meeting outlined below (October 18th.) I gave greetings for Humber 57 as the Lodge was closed in due form. I managed to take a somewhat blurry snapshot of the outgoing and incoming Masters before all the Brethren escaped to the bar. At least the wrinkles are not in evidence.

 

Downstairs places were laid for the Fallen Four, and after an excellent meal (I love Luke's Yorkshire puddings) there were only two toasts, so the evening at Beverley Road was a short one. I took the opportunity to thank Marcus for his work during the year; next month there will be formal toasts and celebrations, but this evening's meeting was strictly "in-house."

 

I came home with a positive feeling; this is a time of change, a preparation for a new beginning. Time to look ahead.

 

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Saturday 28th October 2023:

Murder Mystery

Technical Lodge 5666 held its last social event under the mastership of W Bro Danny Laughton, who with his wife Donna had planned a special event; a Murder Mystery by the Quirky Northern Theatre held at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road Hull, with a meal by Luke (always a delight.) I was in good company, mentally stimulated by the challenge of solving a murder, most impressed by the players who made full use of the dining area, sometimes in squabbles over the recent wedding (every word perfectly audible and the performers superbly cast) and sometimes chatting with the audience, hinting at the answers to the clues to be solved. It was delightful, and a fitting end to Technical Lodge's highly succesful year. Others at the table with me from the Kingston Lodge wanted to write the blog for this event - see the link with the Kingston blogpage on this date. Many thanks to Danny and Donna for organising this event which has been, for me, the highlight of the year.

Eddie WIldman

 

 

Friday 27th October 2023:

Ridings Tablers' Lodge

"Assist me to open this small but perfectly formed Lodge," said W Bro Martin Clark, Worshipful Master of the Ridings Tablers Lodge 9685. We were a little low on numbers - it was a filfthy night and it was a business meeting, and a number of apologies had been sent: we had a stand-in Senior Warden and Chaplain. We only had one visitor. Nonetheless it was a very pleasant evening.

Martin opened efficiently and the minutes were approved both for the last regular meeting of the Lodge and for the additional meeting on 30th September (see that date on the St Michael Chapter blog).

Our visitor (and Founder Member) W Bro Alan Smith gave a superb eulogy for the late Keith Rhodes, who had been the first initiate into the Ridings Tablers' Lodge and Master in 2001 - 2002. Having known Keith from boyhood, Alan recounted various escapades showing his humour, his charitable work and his dedication.

W Bro Barrie Jeffery then gave an account of the life of the late Bro Denis Williams with equal sincerity and humour. The Brethren stood in silence to mark the passing of these worthy men.

I then had the pleasure of presenting a Grand Lodge Certificate to Brother Ian Brough, who signed it at the Secretary's desk and showed it to the WM for examination. W Bro Clark nodded sagely and congratulated Bro Brough.

The Lodge business of elections followed in which the Master Elect and Treasurer were named, other business matters were discussed and decided upon, all under the eagle eye of the Secretary who ensured that the letter of the law was carefully observed.

It was proposed and agreed that the next RTL meeting (the Installation) would be moved forward one week to the 17th November to enable attendance by significant Officers, there being a Provincial event coinciding with the 24th. Reports followed, greetings were extended from UGLE, the Province of YN&ER, W Bro Alan Smith from the Old Bridlingtonian Lodge 6843 and the Alexandra Lodge 1511, and from the Ridings Tablers' Brethren, and Martin poignantly closed the Lodge for the last time in the capacity of Worshipful Master.

The Festive Board followed a Czechoslovakian theme and Martin called Tereza from the kitchen to thank her for the food.

Only two toasts were submitted, but W Bro Smith was invited to say a few words on behalf of the Founders there (in addition to himself, Terry Fisher and I were recognised) after which W Bro Andrew Green sang Brethren of the mystic tie. Everyone joined in the chorus and the members of the small but perfectly formed Lodge took their leave of each other in peace and harmony.

Eddie Wildman, organist

 

Thursday 26th October 2023:

Lunar Lodge Visit: St Cuthbert's Installation

The ancient and respected St Cuthbert's Lodge 630 does not meet on the moon, but in Howden, on the Thursday on or before the full moon. This custom derives from the days when horse-drawn carriages were best driven on moonlit evenings. The market and minster town in the vale of York now has electric street lighting, but the moon continues to shine with orbital regularity, and the Lodge likewise meets according to the method established in 1854 when it was consecrated

W Bro Marcus Whereat, WM of the Kingston Lodge and on this occasion the Provincial DC for the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Michael de Villamar Roberts PJGD kindly offered to pick me up, and to collect the Rep on the way. I gladly accepted the opportunity of being chauffered in luxury (not a horse-drawn carriage.) Despite the gloomy weather, it was a pleasant drive. (Marcus's account of the evening can be seen on the blogpage of the Kingston website for this date.)

The Lodge carpark was beginning to fill even though we were early, and a number of Brethren sorting out last minute arrangements greated us warmly as we entered the Lodge building. The place was buzzing by four o' clock, and there was tea, coffee and biscuits laid on in case any of the Brethren were feeling peckish. It was a well attended meeting, despite the early kick-off.

I climbed the spiral staircase to the Lodge room and took my place at the keyboard provided for the occasion - a small electronic instrument, but I managed to work out how to select the various sounds on it, and provided background music as the Brethren assembled. The WM, W Bro Christopher P Luty PPGR (Yorks WR) opened the Lodge, and Marcus was admitted to announce that the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master was outside the door. A selection of suitably senior Provincial Officers went out to form an escort, and all entered with due dignity.

W Bro Luty thanked all his Officers for their efforts during his year in the Chair, complimenting them on their assistance in ressurecting the Lodge of Instruction and for improvements within the building (such as the smart shelving housing the masonic cases downstairs. He thanked them for their continued help in the community.

The four Entered Apprentices were invited to retire and the Lodge was raised to the 2°. Senior Officers were allocated to the Wardens' Chaplain's and Inner Guard's posts, and W Bro Keith Phillip Renouf was presented as Master Elect. (He had, in fact been Master on a previous occasion, but this was when Covid ravaged the country, so his term of office was much hampered.) The necessary qualifications for Mastership having been delivered and agreed to, W Bro Luty recited his obligation.

The Lodge was opened in the 3° (seven Fellow Crafts having retired) and subsequently raised to a Board of Installed Masters (I was impressed at the number of light blue aprons that took their leave) and W Bro Luty was invested with the WM's apron and collar, and was presented with the gavel. The Working Tools of a Master Mason were now explained - a piece of ritual not often seen in YN&ER exhorting the recepient to exercise Method, Unity and Uprightness.

The Lodge was lowered gradually back to the 1° and a phalanx of light blues (many of them soon to take Office) perambulated round the Lodge and saluted W Bro Keith Phillip Renouf. The ancient warrant was entrusted to his care along with the Book of Constitutions and the bylaws, and the WM appointed and invested his Officers. A nice touch was the presentation of an engraved lighter to the Senior Deacon by Bro Tony Clark, who as the previous SD had always had to borrow a lighter for lighting the candles.

The addresses to the WM, Wardens and Brethren were impressively delivered by Senior Members of the Lodge, and W Bro Michael de Villamer Roberts presented W Bro Luty with a Past Master's jewel, remarking that as it was from the East Riding it was obviously superior to the one he was already wearing.

The Almoner gave his report, greetings were extended from UGLE, and the Lodge was closed in due form.

 

The festive board was tasty and convivial; The Representative remarked that this was his 100th visit as a Rep, during which period the Provincial Grand Master had changed four times, but this was the first time he'd performed those duties in the Howden Lodge Room. He promoted the RWPGM's mantra of change where appropriate and emphasised that enjoyment was key. I was privileged to give the toast on behalf of the visitors - an easy task as we'd all enjoyed ourselves. The evening ended with the singing of May we all meet together, just before ten o' clock - though it was evident that many of the St Cuthbert's Brethren were staying for extra libation. I enjoyed a tipple - after all, Marcus was driving - and accepted a glass of port to drink the Lodge's health.

Outside the sky was clear, though a ground fog was beginning to rise. The moon shone like a twenty pence piece - it was almost full, I noticed. "I'm completely full," remarked W Bro Roberts, patting his tummy, while Marcus and I forbore to comment.

     "Talking of lunar Lodges," said Marcus, "I don't think I'd like to have a Lodge meeting on the moon."

     "Whyever not?" I asked.

     "Because," said Marcus, opening the boot for our cases, "there's no atmosphere there."

Eddie Wildman - guest organist.

Thursday 26th October 2023:

 For Malcolm Forbe's report on the Charity Day at Escrick see the Charity page for this date.

 

Monday 23rd October 2023:

The WM, W Bro Christopher Bond LeFevre, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer took his seat in the Lodge before the meeting began as walking was becoming increasingly difficult and he had just negotiated the stairs to the Lodge Room at Beverley Road Masonic Hall for the regular meeting of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5654. He welcomed the "five smiling faces" of the visitors (plus Bro Ian Montgomery from the Lodge of St Andrew 4583 who regularly stands in for the Inner Guard) and opened the Lodge. Another stand-in was W Bro Malcolm Forbes, a member of L5644 as well as L57 - acting as Junior Warden for W Bro Mike Potts who has been unable to attend so far. The visitors included W Bro Danny Betts, from the Minerva Lodge 250 (as was the SW, Tom Calkwell) and three members of the Dreadnought Lodge 4366 in the metropolis of London.

Correspondance was dealt with expeditiously under the capable management of W Bro John Towler, PPDepGDC, Lodge Secretary and the main business of the evening, the Passing of Bro Ian Walker to the degree of a Fellowcraft Freemason (see his initiation on 27th March below.)

Bro Walker answered the questions leading to the degree fluently and with understanding and was conducted by the Junior Deacon, Bro Chris Wright to the WM to prove his possession of the First degree  password. The latter hobbled back to his Chair and Bro Walker was conducted to the SW, Bro Calkwell, who gave him the password (and its historical explanation) leading to the 2°. The Candidate retired and the Lodge was opened in the Fellowcraft degree, the suspended G in the centre of the room illuminated according to ancient custom.

Bro Walker returned, properly prepared and was admitted in due form, and now placed in the hands of the Senior Deacon, Bro Ian Fuller. Ably proving himself in possession of the passgrip and word, Bro Walker was conducted through the ceremony of being passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft.

WB Colin Shields communicated the Secrets, Bro Calkwell invested him with the distinguishing badge of a FCF, Bro Fuller delivered the address at the South-east corner.

Bro Calkwell explained the working tools of the degree and the significance of the perfect ashlar before delegating the SD to advance Bro Walker to the East  to recieve a pianissimo delivery of the second degree charge from the Chaplain, W Bro Adrian Hayward PPJGW.

The questions leading to the third degree were demonstrated before Bro Walker retired to restore himself to his regular attire, during which time the WM lowered the Lodge to the 1°.

The WM thanked his team and gave a brief Almoner's report, supplimented by comments from the floor regarding the health of the Brethren. W Bro Forbes as Charity Steward and Membership Officer dilated on last month's Charity Night (see 25th September https://www.andrewmarvell5642.co.uk/?Blog_Page), offered Provincial Raffle Tickets for sale and invited the visitors to the Andrew Marvell Christmas Social.

Bro Walker was readmitted in time to hear W Bro Colin Shield ProvJGD give the Treasurer's report. informing the Lodge that after the Charity Night's donations the Lodge coffers needed replenishing.

Greetings were extended and the Lodge was closed, and I managed a quick snapshot of Bro Walker, Fellowcraft Mason with the WM and the Wardens before the Brethren descended to a tasty festive board, at which W Bro Betts, Bro Montgomery and I assisted with the distribution of the food and the collection of the plates.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Saturday 21st October 2023:

Read about the Humber Lodge Ladies Night at Laazats on the Events page (click to link.)

David Terry waxes eloquent on this social feature of the year.

 

 

Saturday 21st October 2023:

Technical Business

Visitors don't generally attend what is known as the Technical Lodge Business Night unless there is a ceremony to be worked. This evening the WM, W Bro Dan Laughton was taking a well-earned rest from the work he'd practised assiduously during his year in office. This meeting was for tying up loose ends and electing the Master and Treasurer for next year.

The opening was polished. I gave greetings as an officer of UGLE, remarking on the smartness with which the DC, W Bro Paul Hillary PPSGW brought the Brethren to order and executed the salute. The WM gavelled, echoed by his Wardens, Brothers Nigel Goldthorpe and Arash Vesali.

The gavel is a symbol of jurisdiction. When the Master first raps with the gavel, he is effectively laying claim to the ownership of the Lodge, and the Wardens' responses back up that authority. As a tool for the operative freemason, the gavel, with its blunt end and pointed edge was the first instrument used in shaping the stone.

Generally the gavel is used in a Lodge to divide the meeting into distinct parts - opening, greetings, business, etc., but the sound of the knocks is also a signal to the Tyler outside the door to let him know what is going on.

This evening the minutes were confirmed and succinct reports submitted by the Almoner, the Charity Steward, the Royal Arch Representative, the Mentor, the Membership Officer and the Master of the Lodge of Instruction, who reported on a successful Open Night (see 5th October below.) 

There being no demand for a ballot, W Bro Ian Parkinson and Bro Alan Jopling were proclaimed as Master Elect and Treasurer for the next year: W Bro Parkinson responded, saying he was looking forward to next month.

Other business followed, followed by propositions. I gave a short nugget regarding the Deacons' wands, now available in the Nugget Cache.

Closing the Lodge by command of the WM, Bro Goldthorpe eloquently thanked W Bro Laughton on behalf of the Lodge for the splendid work he had done for the Lodge throughout his year in Office.

The festive board was an Indian curry selection - scrumptious! Six of the Technical 5666 singers came to the keyboard to sing Happy to meet again in close harmony before the parting toast, which made me as accompanist very proud. 

An early night, but a very satisfactory one, wreathed in smiles.

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Tuesday 17th October 2023:

St Matthew Lodge 1447 Sesquicentenial Celebration

It was a pleasure travelling with Bro Tom Calkwell to Barton-on-Humber for the St Matthew Lodge's 150th year celebration; I was looking forward to a relaxed evening with nothing to do except sit back and listen. But as Brother Burns reflected, "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" and as soon as I entered the Masonic Hall on Brigg Road, the Junior Warden, Bro Nick Lumb shook my hand so firmly it was clear he had no intention of me escaping. "Eddie," he cried, "we need a favour. Big time. Our organist is ill. Will you play for us?"

Now I hadn't brought any music with me - to be honest, I'd done very little practice that day. And as I visit Barton infrequently, I'm not familiar with the tunes they use - Lodges differ. "Okay," I said, doubtfully. "But I haven't brought my dots." Nick's relief was palpable. "I'm so glad," he said, over-riding any objections. "The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master's coming, and so is the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and I've got a solo, and we really need someone to play." No pressure, then, I thought. "What do you do for your opening ode?" I asked.

After querying several established Brethren, who attempted to sing the tune to me with varying degrees of success, some of them discovering notes I hadn't knew existed, I eventually discovered it was the tune St Alphege, by Henry John Gauntlett. I had a quick quiet play through to be sure I could remember it correctly as the St Matthew Brethren gathered together for a pre-meeting photograph, and one of them came up to the organ and said "We sing it a lot slower than that." I resigned myself to sitting on the organ stool throughout the ceremony - the Lodge was full - and provided ad lib processionals for the WM, W Bro D W Crosskell and his Wardens, then for the Provincial team, with the RWPGM W Bro David Malcolm Wheeler and his Deputy, Very Worshipful Brother John Barry Crutchley.

Providing the occasional "So Mote It Be" and perambulation extemporisations wasn't really a chore, and the little manual organ was a sweet beastie from the late 1930s (refurbished 1980), and indeed I didn't have so much to do in the upstairs temple, as the main business of the evening was to hear the Junior Warden's presentation of the history of the Lodge. Bro Nick Lumb was outstanding - giving a riveting short lecture about the beginnings of Freemasonry in Lincolnshire, pointing out articles of furniture and other items presented in the past and commenting on the changing social scene since the Lodge's consecration in 1873.

There had been no Lodges extant in Lincolnshire since 1755 until twenty-four year old Matthew Barnett, a Freemason from County Durham arrived to take up the post of Master of St Mary's Church School in 1768. Keen to continue the practise of the Craft in his new location, he and three non-masonic  locals crossed the hazardous Humber by open boat to the Minerva Lodge 250 where the friends were initiated, passed and raised in one day. Together with some Minerva Brethren, they subsequently petitioned Premier Grand Lodge, and the St Matthew Lodge 497 was constituted in September 1787.

The Chairs and candlesticks commissioned for the Lodge are still in use today. Despite the costly fees, the Lodge gained members rapidly.

Financial difficulties began with the collapse of the North Lincolnshire Bank in 1812 which bankrupted many local people, and with the 1825 stock market disaster and the Lodge became very low profile and was erased in 1851.

However, a new warrant was issued in 1873, and a new consecration established the St Matthew Lodge (now number 1447.) Within two years the Lodge had secured its own building site (where the present building stands) and the foundation stone laid in the presence of twenty-three Humber Brethren, ten each from Ancholme and Minerva, and eight from Kingston - all represented at the celebration this evening. The silver trowel used in the ceremony is still on display in the Lodge dining room.

Generous donations (including the silk banner, the tracing boards, the desks for the Secretary and Treasurer, the six shields round the room) were made and are still cherished.

The Jubilee meeting of the Lodge in 1923 saw a huge donation of fifty guineas to the Provincial Grand Master the Earl of Yarborough for charitable purposes. A centenary warrant was presented to the Lodge in 1973.

(Matthew Barnett was also instrumental in founding the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lincolnshire and held the post of Deputy Provincial Grand Master for nearly forty years until his death in 1833.)

Nicholas Lumb's superb history was followed by the presentation of a fifty-year certificate to Bro Jeffry George Melia (who likewise had seen some changes during his sprightly eighty years) and Lodge business electing the Master and Treasurer for the ensuing year, various reports and the closing (whoops, a recessional needed for the Provincial team, then the closing hymn - St Sylvester by Hull-born John Bacchus Dykes and a final recessional as the Master and Officers retired.

I was about to relax when the Lodge DC, W Bro A J Huteson ProvAGDC approached me with instructions for downstairs.

"There'll be no music for processing in," he told me. "But we will sing "God save the King" for the first toast. Do you know the national anthem?" I admitted I would just about be able to struggle through it as he continued with the toast list. "The Junior Warden will sing a song after the response to the toast to the Lodge. The tune is The Lincolnshire Poacher. And there's the Visitor Song, and Absent Brethren, and Happy meet again. Oh, and we always have Land of Hope and Glory when the Tyler stands to do his toast."

Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding: I was well fed. Tom (who'd already had a business lunch earlier) declined the cheese - one has to take one's plate to the WM to be served acording to a tradition possibly originating in Matthew Barnett's schoolrooms.

The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master responded appropriately, thanking the Lodge for its warm welcome to himself and the team, and for the wonderful evening all round. He congratulated the Tyler Bro M G Read PProvJGD (who had held that office for thirty-eight years) and spoke highly of the charity work done by the Lodge. "I see you have two people coming to join you," he remarked, "you're doing okay!" Further congratulations were tendered by W Bro D Metcalf PGStB, who said the Lodge could take pride in its continuity, harmony and wellbeing. There was a song for the occasion following this toast to the Lodge.

I coped. It was a lovely keyboard in the corner of the room with a good piano tone. The St Matthew Brethren joined in the chorus (lyrics by Bro Lumb) with great enthusiasm following Bro Lumb's well sung verses:

So now we ask you, Brethren all, come join us in this toast

To friendship, and for charity, wherever it's needed most

In the north of Lincolnshire, the Humber waters flow

And those values still hold true today, as they did so long ago.

W Bro Doug Farr Best gave a melodic account of the Visitors Song, the joint singing of the Absent Brethren "Great Architect of Love and Power" to Dyke's Melita was impressive, and Happy have we met was rendered with great feeling.

But I was glad to clamber into Tom's car for the return journey. I'd enjoyed the evening - though I'd had to stay on my toes all the time! Nonetheless I heartily recommend a visit to the St Matthew Lodge 1447 in Barton-upon-Humber to any Mason anywhere - thank you all, Brethren!

Eddie Wildman, surprised guest organist.

 

 

Monday 16th October 2023:

That Bright Morning Star

Neil Armstrong's Holderness Lecture

Holderness Lodge 3563 was let down by the intended visiting lecturer but W Bro Neil Armstrong PPGSwdB (a member of the Daggards) obliged at very short notice with a custom-built PowerPoint presentation with a stunning talk on "Venus, that Bright Morning Star" which features on several occasions in Masonic ritual. After the sun and moon, the planet Venus (known by the Ancient Greeks as Phosphorus and by the Romans as Lucifer) is the brightest celestial body in the night sky. "It is often confused with the Dog Star," Neil told me. "You cannot be Sirius," I replied.

The WM, W Bro Darren Wiseman opened the Beverley Rd Lodge promptly at 6:30 and after confirming the minutes of the previous meeting, invited Neil to speak. We listened as he dilated on the orbital curiousity of the second planet from the sun: Earth and Venus have a near orbital resonance of 13:8 (Earth orbits eight times for every 13 orbits of Venus). Therefore they approach each other and reach inferior conjunction in synodic periods of 584 days, on average. The path that Venus makes in relation to Earth viewed geocentrically draws a pentagram over five synodic periods, shifting every period by 144°. This pentagram of Venus is sometimes referred to as the petals of Venus due to the path's visual similarity to a flower. which is in the strange relationship of 5:8 with the Earth. The pentagram featured in some of Neil's presentation (I was still trying to work out the maths in my head) and the predictable accuracy of this figuration, he said, can be represented by the five-pointed star which may be seen in the Lodge. He mentioned Stonehenge incorporating the orbit of this essentially female heavenly body (hence Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) and speculated that in the 3° every Master Mason is raised in her symbolic light.

The lecture was short, but packed with information regarding portents, the rise and fall of a  forgotten Phoenician city and its connection with the Israelites, the 1° Tracing Board, and the Knights Templar. (I was still musing on how much Neil had found in relation to a glance at the evening sky when I arrived home.)

There were reports from the Charity Steward, the Almoner, the Mentor and the Royal Arch Representative before W Bro Wiseman rose for greetings. These were extended from visitors from Kingston Lodge 1010, Minerva Lodge 250 and Humber 57. The Master closed the Lodge in due form and we headed downstairs for the evening meal. W Bro Bob Wallace gave me a lift home, which was very welcome as the night was very cold. The sky, however, was full of stars. Venus was shining brightly within the constellation of Leo, and I gave her little nod of recognition before unlocking my door and composing this report on my laptop. It had been a most interesting evening: thanks, Neil!

[Photo of Neil Armstrong by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

Friday 13th October 2023:

De la Pole Lodge 1605 Installation

An installation is special. The word derives from the Medieval Latin Installare - the "in" means exactly that, and the Latin "stallum" means "stall" - a standing place, or somewhere to be seated. The word "installment" came into being round about the 1580s in the sense of placing something or someone in position. In the Lodge, a new Master is placed in his stall or seat, during the ceremony of Installation and other officers are likewise directed to particular places.

On this occasion the Brother about to be installed as master was Peter Frank Clark, but prior to him taking his obligation, the Lodge was under the Mastership of W Bro Philip John Cowing and the direction of W Bro Jim Kerr as Installing Director of Ceremonies.

The de la Pole Lodge opened promptly at 1700 hours and the Brethren made their way upstairs to the Beverley Road Lodge Room, some carefully brushing away crumbs from the afternoon repast put on by the Ladies: the coffee and cake was much appreciated. W Bro Cowing PPJGD was well in command of the ritual and welcomed the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Alex Sheldon with easy eloquence. The Rep's DC, W Bro Gary Shores was well practised and salutes were given smartly.

At an installation, the process is in stages. Beginners in Freemasonry see little; the Entered Apprentices retire before the Lodge is raised to the 2° (in which the Master Elect is presented and takes an obligation regarding his duties) and the Fellow Crafts leave before the Lodge is raised to the 3°. Brother Clark was presented and obligated, the Fellow Crafts retired. (It is a mark of the success of the Lodge that there are several Brethren below the rank of a Master Mason) and all Offices were declared vacant as many Brethren were to be reassigned later. Senior Brethren were assigned to the principal roles, and then the Master Masons (with the exception of Brother Clark) were invited to salute the Master before retiring.

The Lodge was opened as a Board of Installed Masters, and Brother Clark was again obligated, this time being entrusted with the secrets of an Installed Master. After being given the traditional history regarding the viewing of the Temple, he was installed in the figurative Chair of King Solomon, and took command of the Lodge.

As the Lodge was lowered through the degrees and the Brethren readmitted, W Bro Kerr sang the Masonic Anthem. The working tools in each degree were explained, the Warrant placed under the Master's care and the Book of Constitutions presented. W Bro Clark invested his team of Officers.

After addresses to the WM, the Wardens and the Brethren, the WM invited the Representative of the RWPGM to present W Bro Cowing with a past master's jewel. Reports followed (W Bro Malcolm Forbes being presented with a book in recognition of his sterling work as Almoner in L1605) and greetings were given from Sister Lodges.

The new WM closed the Lodge in due and ancient form, and photographs were taken. The one below is by Bro Kieran Newton of the Juno Lodge 10001.

The Festive Board (Luke is a superb chef) was waited on by Hull Sea Cadets from training ship Iron Duke, catering branch; keen enthusiastic youngsters ranging from very young to young, a splendid contrast to  the wrinkled faces of some of the Brethren. The youngsters did a fine job, and the Lodge was pleased to award them two cheques, one received from the JW Bro Fr Graham Paul Thornally by Josh Smith, a seventeen year-old cadet who has lately been given the prestigious award of 1st Sea-Lord Cadet - only one of half a dozen in the entire country; the other from the SD, Bro John Holmes by Niamh Martin who commended the cadets on their excellence. Bro Mike Kelly's photograph of Bro Thornally shaking hands with Josh is far superior to any of mine. Niamh is smiling on the on the right of the picture. The cadets marched out smartly as the Brethren applauded.

The usual toast were given; W Bro Alex Sheldon, ProvGL&DL (Provincial Grand Learning and Development Lead - older Brethren will remember this role as Provincial Grand Orator, but I suspect that in this age of calling a spade an agricultural earth shifting implement there is now much more to the Office than hitherto) was introduced as a significant figure in moderating for City & Guilds, as befits an ex-joiner and an academic. This was Alex's first Representative visit and he spoke in complimentary terms of De la Pole's involvement with the basics of Freemasonry, which was good to hear. In times of change, L1605 is ticking the right boxes.

Jimmy (Two kilts) Kerr toasted the WM in the style of Robbie Burns, praising the Master and his team before singing the Master's Song. W Bro Clark responded saying that he had plans to take the Lodge forward as a working team looking towards the future. W Bro Sam Salah gave a brief history of the IPM, citing him as "a very charitable Brother, always helping others" to which W Bro Cowing responded with thanks to all his team, especially the background workers. The stand-in Senior Warden, W Bro John Taylor gave the toast to the visitors, to which W Bro Simon Ramshaw of the KIngston Lodge 1010 responded: "What a wonderful evening we've had - congratulations, team, on an excellent ceremony." He underlined the charity work undertaken by the IPM and the energy and application of W Bro Jim Kerr. W Bro David Duffill addressed the Brethren; over the year as a scrap collector he had made a considerable sum of money which he kindly distributed to be forwarded on to the various Lodge charities.The Parting Toast was submitted at around 2200 hrs and I was given a lift home by W Bro Peter Stokes from the Lodge of St Michael 7833 who will doubtless provide his own account on that website. Thanks, Peter!

A succesful installation - well done everybody!

Eddie Wildman - guest organist

  

Thursday 12th October 2023:

An Unexpected Initiation

My third consecutive meeting at Dagger Lane this week was for the Thesaurus Lodge 3891. It was a night of substitutes. Firstly, the WM, Adam Watson had broken his collar bone and was unable to attend. The IPM, W Bro Stephen Burns, ProvGStwd, took his place. The role of IPM was taken by W Bro Dave Harrison PPJGW. W Bro Mike East PPGSwdB stood in as Tyler. The intended Candidate for an initiation demonstration was under the weather - and as I was asked to be the substitute Candidate by the substitute Junior Deacon, W Bro Ian Johnson Assistant ProvGM, I readily agreed.

On this occasion W Bro Allan Ramsey Armbrister, (also Assistant Provincial Grand Master) was in attendance with a team of Active Provincial Officers, so the Thesaurus Lodge was keen to make a good impression, and despite the vicissitudes of absent Brethren, it turned out to be a splendid evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W Bro Burns opened the Lodge efficiently and the DC, W Bro Richard East PPGPurs organised salutes for Ian Johnson and myself after which a knock at the door heralded the arrival of W Bro Simon John Simpson, Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, who informed the Brethren that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Armbrister demanded admission. The WM relinquished his Chair to the IPM in order to join the escort of Active Provincial Officers, W Bros Cox, Bull, Shields, Kelly, Hoggard, Cussack and Burns, a smart phalanx for W Bro Armbrister, who took the Chair and introduced the Provincial Team.

Back as WM, W Bro Burns signed the minutes of the last meeting, after which a portion of the Ancient Charge was read along with a bylaw of the Lodge. Reports were given, including that of the Charity Steward, W Bro Malcolm Forbes who is also a member of the Andrew Marvell Lodge. A ballot for a new member proved favourable.

I shall not outline the ceremony, except to say that it was well done by all concerned. I felt strangely flattered to be the Candidate and was reminded of my own initiation thirty-eight years ago, when I was invested with a plain white apron. While my Grand Lodge Apron is much more elaborate, like all other aprons in the room, it is still a white leathern apron underneath the gold embroidery; although he have different ranks and roles within the Craft, essentially we all wear the white apron and as such we are all equal.

The ceremony being concluded, I returned to my place at the organ. W Bro Johnson then presented W Bro Burns with a Past Master's jewel, mentioning his commitment, his hard work in learning and delivering ritual, and the well deserved honour shown by the red-trimmed apron of a Provincial Grand Steward. "I'm glad," he concluded, as he shook Stephen's hand, "to consider you not just a Brother, but as a friend."

Greetings were extended to the WM - there were eleven visitors from seven Sister Lodges - and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master retired with his team before the singing of the Closing Ode.

I was delighted with the smooth running of the festive board - on this occasion the Senior Members of L3891 served the Brethren who have not yet taken the Chair. The toasts were well managed under the able direction of W Bro Richard East. W Bro Burns gave an eloquent introduction to the APGM for the fifth toast, mentioning the latter's involvement with Carting Championships at a national level. 

Worshipful Brother Armbrister's response: "It's a while since I've heard my CV, I'd forgotten how good I was" was witty but with a serious message regarding the necessity for change in these times and the exhortation to be sure that candidates are people who will contribute - and having found them, to make then feel wanted. He thanked his team for its support, and to W Bro Simpson for being his DC for the evening. W Bro Paul Ralph spoke on behalf of the visitors, saying "Fantastic evening - absolutely excellent. We're coming next month to see you do it with a proper Candidate." (Thanks, Paul!)

Before we took our leave of each other, Bro Andrew East was invited to speak, thanking the Brethren for their support of the Prince of Wales Regiment in collecting towards new materials: their banner now acknowledges the Lodge in an engraving on the pole. He had brought the banner with him to show everyone.

It had been a good evening - we took our leave of each other in fraternal harmony; having met on the level, we parted on the square.

[Photographs: 1. APGM W Bro Allan Ramsay Armbrister PJGD; 2. Active Team: W. Bros: Simon Simpson, Keith Hoggard, Colin Shields, Allan Armbrister, Stephen Burns, Ben Kelly, Paul Bull, Mark Cusack; Stephen Burns & Eddie Wildman; Stephen Burns and Andrew East by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman - unexpected Candidate

Wednesday 11th October 2023:

Minerva Chapter 250 Installation at Dagger Lane is reported on the Humber Chapter Blog page for this date.

 

Tuesday 10th October 2023:

The Third Degree at Humber Lodge

Once again, W Bro Eddie Wildman took the Chair at the Humber Lodge meeting; the WM, W Bro Charles Alexander is suffering with painful ambulatory problems and is currently unable to attend any Lodge meetings. We all wish him well. There were unexpected absences amongst the Officers, too, but the Brethren compensated very well - one cannot but admire the ingenuity of the stand-in Inner Guard fulfilling mutiple roles during Brother Matthew's being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason - well done W Bro Smedley.

It being the tenth day of the tenth month, the stand-in WM, pedagogical as always, noted that ten was a particularly holy number for the Ancient Greeks as it was the sum of 1, 2, 3 & 4; the Pythagoreans depicted it as an equilateral triangle called the tetraktys, with one point at the top, then two symmetrically beloiw, followed by three, then four. One represented existence; two, creation; three life, and four the elements from which everything is composed. Thus the number ten was significent for the human race, and it was argued by some this is the reason for our having ten fingers.

There was a succesful ballot for a new member who it is hoped will be joining us in the New Year.

The ceremony of raising was manged well: after the obligation (ERW) the Retrospect was given by W Bro Tom Lee, the Investiture by the Senior Warden, W Bro Steve Longthorp, the Historical Oration by W Bro Terry Fisher, the Communication by W Bro Richard Smedley, the Working Tools by W Bro Philip Watts, the Charge by the Chaplain, W Bro Craig Maurier and the Questions by W Bro Sergei Byelov. Bro Matthew was conducted round the Lodge by SD W Bro Malcolm Forbes and JD Bro Craig Morrison.

The Lodge was subsequently closed in full in all three degrees, greetings given and alms collected on retirement to the festive board. W Bro Carl Cross, who will be laying the wreath for Remembrance Day on behalf of the Lodge next month, thanked the Brethren for their generous contributions towards this.

A table nugget was supplied for the Brethren to take home if they wished, explaining the colour blue with regard to Masonic Aprons. This is reproduced in the Table Nugget page.

Eloquent words were given as a response to the visitors toast by W Bro Hodgson, WM of the Seven Stars Lodge 5892 in the metropolis of London, and the Brethren took their leave after the parting toast: Happy meet again.

ERW Acting WM

 

 

Saturday 7th October 2023:

Beverlonian Initiation

It was the Worshipful Master's first working night in the Beverlonian Lodge 9084. I travelled with W Bro John McGorrigan (what a pleasure to sit in comfort in his plush Mercedez Benz) and we arrived in good time. I was so comfortable I was reluctant to get out of the car, but I'd learnt my ritual for the evening and so we left the gleaming vehicle in the car park and walked to the Lodge at Trinity Lane Beverley.

W Bro Thomas Nicholas Baxter opened the Lodge and approved the minutes of the previous meeting, which was his installation.The Senior Warden, Bro Peter George Alan Brown had not been able to be present on that occasion, so he was invested, and I gave the address to the Wardens after he had received his collar.

There was then a ballot for four Candidates, which proved succesful, following which there was an initiation ceremony for Mr Lewis Aaron Mckinley, whom I'd met downstairs while some of the Brethren were setting up the tables for the meal afterwards. A keen young man, he confessed to a certain amount of trepidation, but said that despite Gary Shores' dire warnings about goats he was confident everything would be alright. I assured him he'd no need to worry. "Every Brother here has gone through the experience," I said, "and we've had no fatalities so far."

Having been prepared with the help of the Tyler, W Bro McGorrigan, Mr Mckinley was admitted in the usual Masonic manner by the Inner Guard and conducted round the Lodge. W Bro Roger Lewis was Senior Deacon, Bro Liam Robinson was the Junior Deacon. The Candidate was presented to the Wardens according to ancient tradition before the WM addressed him warning of the seriousness of what he was about to undergo. W Bro Baxter obligated Mr Mckinley and explained the Three Great Lights while the Brethren stood to order. The Lesser Lights were recited by W Bro Gary Colin Shores. W Bro Booth communicated the secrets.

Now in possession of the password, Bro Mckinley was conducted to the Wardens for examination and was invested with his apron by Bro Brown. The caveat exhorting the Candidate to uphold the standards of the Apron was beautifully delivered by Bro David Wilson, after which I had the privilege of giving the address at the North East Corner. W Bro Roger Lewis rattled the box with panache before taking charge of the Candidate while the JD explained the Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason. Bro Mckinley gave the ritualists his undivided attention, nodding understandingly at the explanation of the rough ashler. W Bro Lewis then pointed out the Warrant and presented the Book of Constitutions with the Lodge bylaws before delivering the Ancient Charge with his usual authority.

Bro Mckinley retired to restore himself to his suit and tie while reports were given on behalf of the Charity Steward and Almoner, and the IPM, W Bro Mark Fox informed the Brethren of upcoming Chapter meetings.

On his return, Brother Mckinley received the Mentor's address.

I was asked to present Bro Brown with his United Grand Lodge Certificate - a pleasure - before the visitors (from five sister Lodges) gave greetings and the WM closed the Lodge in due and ancient form.

Tereza had excelled herself with the festive board and the Brethren ate heartily. Bro Lewis Mckinley responded well to the toast to the Candidate despite the Lodge's rendition of the Entered Apprentice song, wherein Bro Brown invented several notes not normally achievable by the human voice.

It was a luxury drive home - thanks, John! - and I was able to complete this report before midnight. Well done to all who had contributed to making the evening special!

[Photograph of Lewis Mckinley by ERW]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Thursday 5th October 2023:

Technical Lodge 5666 Open Night

by Eddie Wildman

Surprisingly the roads were not terribly congested on this first night of Hull Fair; it is often difficult getting to the Lodge building on Beverley Road at this time of year when the world and his wife seem to heading to Walton Street for the world's  largest and oldest travelling fair, but everyone arrived on time for Technical Lodge's Open Night. The past few years have been thwarted by Covid, and though the Lodge was seriously down on visitors, it was a real pleasure to see the younger, most recent Brethren becoming involved with the ritual, the offices and the floor work. This bodes well for the future.

Traditionally, the Worshipful Master of the current Lodge takes on the role of Candidate, while his elected successor sits in the Master's Chair and enacts a first degree ceremony. Tonight went according to plan. The Worshipful Master this evening was W Bro Ian Parkinson, the Candidate W Bro Dan Laughton. The Brethren had worked hard and it would be invidious to single out anyone in particular, so I will mention Nigel Goldthorpe, Arash Vesali, David Turner, Mark Cusack, Rob Atkinson, Tony James, Sterve Walker, Ed Thompson, Allan McKay, Keith Challis, James Neve, Mike Andrew, Ken Wright, Malcolm Hussain-Gambles, Thekkootupisharam Nandkumar, Jon Sykes, well supported by other Brethren of the Lodge on this happy occasion, followed by an excellent Festive Board (where the Past Masters acted as Stewards and served the younger Brethren.)

I was pleased to give greetings as a member of the Humber Lodge, and to hope that the L57 meeting on Tuesday would be as successful.

Though we finished in good time, I don't think any of the Brethren elected to visit the fair for a ride on the dodgems. We took our leave of each other, the melodic strains of "Happy to meet again" still ringing in our ears.

Well done, lads!

 

[Photos: Dan Laughton (Candidate) and Ian Parkinson (WM) by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman (organist.)

 

 

Wednesday 4th October 2023:

Kingston Lodge 1010 enjoyed a 2° Tracing Board explanation; for Neil Armstrong's excellent account, please see the Kingston website Blog Page for this date.

 

Thursday 28th September 2023:

 Initiation at the Lodge of St Michael 7833

The phone rang. "Could you present a Grand Lodge Certificate tonight?" asked Stephen Prior, the ever-efficient Secretary for the Lodge of St Michael, "It's the only convenient time as the recipient cannot attend the two meetings afterwards, and you will be the most senior Officer there."

"Of course," I said, reflecting that Stephen was the only man I knew who would use the word 'recipient' in a casual telephone call. "I'm doing the Northeast Corner too."

I looked through my little ritual book as I took the bus into town to make sure the words were lined up nicely in my head, and ambled from the bus stop to Dagger Lane, noticing that there was a Street Food event on in nearby Zebedee's Yard - parking would be a problem tonight, I realised. I like to arrive at a Lodge early - it's easier to concentrate on what I have to do without the distractions of all those tasks I ought to be doing when I'm at home.

The Lodge Preceptor, W Bro Isaac Jackie Chapman PPGReg arrived a little later to set up the Lodge and I lent a hand. Not only does the Lodge of St Michael 7833 practice a different ritual to the other Dagger Lane Lodges, but some of the Officers sit in different places, so I was a little confused putting out some of the collars and cuffs, but did my best.

Laying out the Lodge is not achieved by a magic spell - the Warrant and Banner need to be set in place, the necessary accoutrements for the Candidate checked, the working tools, etc. We'd just about finished when some others arrived. I decided I'd done enough and let the others decide on where the chairs and tables would go for the festive board. Katie in the kitchen made me a cup of tea which was very welcome - thanks, Katie!

There were lots of visitors - sixteen from six sister Lodges, and the Lodge of St Andrew 4683 was well represented, including Brother King March de Leon, who had been initiated less than a fortnight ago (see article 13th September below.) The traffic was horrendous however, and there were several late arrivals into the Lodge Room as people had had trouble not only getting into town but parking as well. Nonetheless the opening ode was sung with gusto. A couple of reports from W Bro Steve Longthorp, the Tyler, admitted the latecomers and the Lodge was under way.

While the Candidate, Mr Steven Norman was being prepared we heard reports from the Almoner and Charity Steward and the Royal Arch Chapter Representative.

The Candidate, now prepared, was admitted and answered the questions put to him confidently. Worshipful Brother Peter James Stokes (WM) obligated him and pointed out the three great lights in Freemasonry. The lesser lights were lucidly explained by W Bro David Whittall PPGSuptW. Both he and Bro Norman being military men the demonstration of the salute was an exercise in smartness. W Bro Whittall explained the ritual at the door of the Lodge and the meaning of the cable tow, entrusting Bro Norman with the signs of an Entered Apprentice Freemason. The Senior Warden, Bro Leslie Thornett invested him with the pristine white Apron, and I had the privilege of giving the address at the Northeast Corner. The Worshipful Master himself explained the Working Tools, comparing their operative uses to their moral applications.

Those Brethren delivering ritual were escorted to the correct part of the Lodge by the DC, W Bro Paul Henderson PPGSuptW. Being an Officer of the Province as well as an Officer of the Lodge he wore two collars, and as he escorted me to the NE Corner I was reminded of a friend who'd remarked on someone with two collars and jewels of office when I was an Entered Apprentice myself. "I'd like to wear two collars with medals on the end myself," he remarked. "Why?" said I. "So that I can clank when I'm walking round the Lodge," he replied.

Brother Steven Norman left the Lodge Room to restore himself to his smart suit, and in the interim I presented the UGL certificate to one of the L7833 Brethren. The Candidate returned to receive an explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board by Bro John Burton (currently the Z in the Chapter of St Michael, bless his little cotton socks.) In addition to Brother Norman, there were four Entered Apprentice visitors who had not seen this impressive ritual before. W Bro Terry Black delivered the Ancient Charge with great sincerity; Bro Norman paid close attention, taking in every word.

At the closing of the Lodge it was impressive to receive greetings from as far afield as Nigeria; from the Phoenix Lodge 9963, St Andrew 4683, De la Pole 1605, and of course from Humber Lodge 57, premier Lodge in the Province.

I sat with Bro Norman at the festive board and found him good company, with many interesting stories of military life and his work in communications, including having the responsibility for the entire communications network in the Millennium Dome. Bro Norman is now moving into solar energy. He'd been recommended to L7833 by UGLE.

This night was the 61st birthday of the Lodge and the Senior Warden Les Thornett gave the Founders Toast. His wife had baked a delicious cake (the WM cutting the first slice.) After this the Master proposed the toast of the evening to Bro Norman who responded succinctly.

The raffle (£175 to Masonic Charities) made a couple of the visitors very happy (I'm sure if the Secretary had been minuting the afterproceedings he would have written 'recipients'.) Then it was time for W Bro Steve Longthorpe to submit the Tyler's toast. The Brethren joined in a fraternal chain for the traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne, which was written by the Scottish Bard and Freemason Robbie Burns. It had been a long but satisfactory evening, and a pleasure to welcome a newcomer into the Brotherhood.

 

Eddie Wildman, organist

 

Monday 25th September 2023:

Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 - Charity Evening

by Malcolm Forbes

After the Andrew Marvell Lodge's four month summer break Lodge members returned for their September Lodge meeting and annual charity evening. Family and friends were invited to the Charity Evening presentations and Festive Board.

As Lodge Charity Steward I was pleased that the Lodge was able to support three charitable causes: the Hull and East Yorkshire Centre for the Deaf: the Motor Neurone Disease Association; and the Fight Ministry - Hull Training Academy.

Before the Lodge meeting I was able to meet up with representatives of the three organisations.

The Lodge meeting was duly opened by Worshipful Master Chris Lefevre. Taking their seats in the Lodge room were visitors Worshipful Brother Stan Smith, the Secretary of Humber Lodge 57 and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hull and East Riding Centre for the Deaf, and Brother Damian Brooks, a member of Brough Lodge 5464, who was representing the Fight Ministry - Hull Training Academy at the presentations afterwards.

Due acclamation was given to Worshipful Brother Colin Shields for his recent promotion to ProvGSD and to the WM who was promoted to ProvGSwdB.

Worshipful Brother Lefevre in his capacity as Almoner welcomed back Brother Chris Wright, the Junior Deacon, after his extended absence from Lodge meetings.

In the Charity Steward's report I secured the backing of Lodge members for the making of donations of £250 to each of the charitable/ community service organisations represented on the evening.

Worshipful Brother Smith gave visitors greetings on behalf of Humber Lodge supported by Grand Lodge Officer Worshipful Brother Eddie Wildman and myself. Greetings were also extended from the Phoenix Lodge 9963.

After the Lodge meeting was duly closed Lodge the Brethren met up with their guests for the presentations which took place in the dining room.

Sarah Regan, the manager of the Hull and East Yorkshire Centre for the Deaf, delivered the first presentation with the aid of visual slides. Her twenty minute presentation highlighted the work of the Centre on Spring Bank in Hull and the issues facing deaf people. It included a demonstration of British Sign Language in which the audience participated.

Mr Mel Leatherley, the founder of the Fight Ministry, then delivered an amusing anecdotal account of the work of his organisation. It supports young disadvantaged people and people with additional needs in inner city Hull by providing martial arts training and sporting facilities and opportunities in its premises in Margaret Street off Beverley Road.

The final presentation was delivered by Andrew Hancock and Kevin Hara, volunteers who work locally for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Andrew explained that he helps sufferers of the disease whilst Kevin helps those who care for those people who suffer from the disease. Unfortunately, the disease has no cure presently.

     

After the presentations and thanks from Worshipful Master Lefevre everyone took their seats for the Festive Board. A sumptuous cold buffet followed by dessert was provided. Two toasts were submitted.

The Worshipful Master then presented three individual cheques for £250 to the representatives. 

In his parish notes Worshipful Brother Lefevre thanked everyone for making it such an enjoyable night.

Malcolm Forbes, Charity Steward

 

Saturday 23rd September 2023:

Juno Lodge 10001 Installation

The morning of the Installation (for the third time) of W Bro Benjamin Rose PPSGW was colourful as some Brethren thereto entitled wore academic gowns; the Juno Lodge 10001 is a University Scheme Lodge with the motto Sapere Aude (Dare to be wise) and has begun a tradition of academia. The Lodge is a member of AMULL, the Association of Medical, University and Legal Lodges.

W Bro Paul Harper PJGD installed his successor in somewhat truncated form, the experience of both, combined with that of the DC, W Bro Jimmy (2 kilts) Kerr ensured a smooth transition and the three dozen present enjoyed the occasion. Jimmy sang the anthem as the Master Masons, Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices were reintroduced into the Lodge at Dagger Lane after the brief Inner Working; W Bro Roger Lewis rendered the Song to the WM at the festive board unfazed by the keyboard's lack of pedal. T

The meal had been a Full English Breakfast, served by members of the Iron Duke Sea Cadets, and a cheque was presented afterwards to support this worthy cause, collected from the WM by Corp. Oliver Reid, newly appointed Lord-lieutenant's cadet. 

The representative of the RWPGM, W Bro David Burnett was eloquent as always in bringing the greetings of the Provincial Grand Master to the (now well-fed) Brethren. A number remained for the subsequent meeting of the Phoenix Lodge and the Beer Tasting Experience to follow; a meeting of very merry fellows.

Phoenix Lodge 9963

Moved by dispensation from the regular meeting at the Sailmaker's Arms, this afternoon gathering was a convivial open and close, with a proposal to have a further meeting to discuss the possible amalgamation with the Light Blues with a view to a peripatetic Lodge. Watch this space.

 

 

Friday 22nd September 2023 Pocklington:

Visit to Beacon Lodge 4362 

by Malcolm Forbes

 

I was extremely grateful to Worshipful Brother Steve Burns, a member of Thesaurus Lodge 3891 and Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge 9611, who gave me a lift to Pocklington for the Beacon Lodge meeting. Worshipful Brother Burns was due to attend in his capacity as DC to the representative of the PGM Worshipful Brother Ken Shaw, but due to domestic circumstances Worshipful Brother Shaw was unable to be there.

Worshipful Brother Burns therefore took his seat in the Lodge room alongside myself and Worshipful Brother Richard East and Worshipful Brother Mark Rudston, fellow members of Thesaurus Lodge. Worshipful Brother Nigel Bell, another Thesaurus member, and also a member of Beacon Lodge acted as DC during the Lodge meeting.

The Lodge was duly opened by Worshipful Master Christopher Anand.

The main business of the evening was to initiate Mr Darren Scroggins. It was a memorable ceremony capably conducted by the Worshipful Master and his Officers.

The meeting was well attended. I gave visitor's greetings on behalf of Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 and rose alongside fellow Thesaurus Lodge members when Worshipful Brother East gave greetings on its behalf.

The Festive Board was most convivial. The three course meal was substantial. A full toast list was delivered. Worshipful Brother David Bateman proposed the toast to Brother Scroggins. The Entered Apprentices song was sung with gusto. The visitors' toast's response was delivered by the Worshipful Master of Alcuin Lodge 6300, thanking the Beacon Brethren for their warm welcome and hospitality. I was pleased to win a prize in the raffle which raised £136.

It was only my second Masonic visit to Pocklington but I hope to return again in the near future.

Worshipful Brother Burns safely drove me back home arriving back at 11.30 pm. The evening had been a most profitable experience.

Malcolm Forbes

 

 

Friday 22nd September 2023 Beverley:

Initiation and Enchiladas

The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 enjoyed a superb evening. Numbers were down - there was only  a score of Brethren there at Trinity Lane, Beverley, but it was a great initiation ceremony. Mr Paul Harding had said he was nervous, but he wore an engaging smile throughout the proceedings in the Lodge Room and acquitted himself well at the Festive Board afterwards. But before the Candidate was presented, the Brethren stood in silent respect for two departed Brethren, Brother Denis Williams and Worshipful Brother Keith Rhodes. The Junior Warden, W Bro Ian Hughes gave brief but moving words in the toast to Absent Brethren afterwards with vivid recollections of them both.

As always. the Master, W Bro Martin Clark set a high standard in the Lodge Room and obligated the Candidate clearly and fluently. Brother Michael Coates conducted him round through the various perambulations to the Wardens (W Bro Andy Green stood in for the SW) following the explanation of the Lesser Lights by Bro Ian Brough (well done, that man!) and the dangers outlined by W Bro Stephen Hastings. The Master himself left the Chair to communicate the secrets.

Brother Harding was invested with the Entered Apprentice Apron by the stand-in SW, W Bro Andy Green, and the caveat explicated by W Bro Clark. I had the privilege of delivering the address at the north-east corner and was impressed by the close attention Bro Harding paid. The working tools were magnificently explained by Bro Holland and W Bro Mark Green relinquished the Tyler's post to present Bro Harding with the Bylaws and the Book of Constitutions and to point out the Warrant in the corner of the dais. Brother Woodhead's First Degree Charge was beautifully paced and delivered in a conversational and modest manner that gave the text an extra power.

There was an air of friendly respect which is typical of Freemasonry at its best, and there were nods of appreciation from the Brethren when Brother Alex Street spoke of the operative mason selecting which stones to cut in the quarry  and pointing out the similarities between the work achieved by the hewers and carvers and the symbolic application with speculative masons, neatly drawing together the previous comments about the working tools, the north-east corner and the ashlars displayed in front of the Wardens' pedestals.

Downstairs Tereza the chef had provided us with zesty enchiladas and a healthy green salad which went down very well, and the Brethren were in fine voice for the Entered Apprentice Song afterwards. The DC took us through the toasts in jig time, and I was delighted that the toasts to the Candidate (by the WM) and to the visitors (by the SW) were well-considered and appropriate.

It had been a thoroughly fine evening, I reflected as I drove home. They don't get any better than that.

[Photo: Bro Paul Harding with the Book of Constitutions, and Worshipful Master Martin Clark wearing the red tie of the Royal Arch Representative.]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

Friday 22nd September 2023 am:

Attendance at Myton Lodge 9808

by Malcolm Forbes

 

I arrived at Beverley Road Masonic Hall at 10.45 am in time to partake in pre-meeting coffee and biscuits. Thirty-three people were in attendance which included wives and partners of Lodge members.

The Lodge meeting held in the large Lodge room was opened at 11.30 am by Worshipful Master Derek Edwards. Masonic author Worshipful Brother Philip Harrison stood in as Junior Warden. 

Worshipful Brother David Ward was elected as the WM to succeed WM Derek Edwards and I was re-elected as Lodge Treasurer.

Ballots were held for Worshipful Brother Les Sugarman and Brother Les Gold to become joining members of the Lodge. Both ballots proved successful.

The new Lodge Almoner, Worshipful Brother Mike Roberts delivered his first Almoner's report. A Charity Steward's report was delivered by Worshipful Brother Marcus Whereat, who is currently WM of the KIngston Lodge 1010.

The Treasurer proposed an increase in annual Lodge subs which was accepted by the Brethren.

Worshipful Brother David Taylor, a member of Sykes Lodge 1040, was proposed as a joining member.

Greetings were given by visitors Worshipful Brother Ron Stone on behalf of De La Pole Lodge 1605 and Worshipful Brother Chris LeFevre, the Worshipful Master of Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642. As a member of De La Pole Lodge and Andrew Marvell Lodges I rose on both occasions. Humber Lodge was represented by Worshipful Brother Craig Maurier and myself. Visitors' greetings were also given by Brother Ian Montgomery, a member of the Lodge of St Andrew 4683.

The meeting was duly closed.

Lodge members and their guests sat down for the Festive Board in the dining room below at 12.30 pm. A traditional cold buffet was served followed by dessert. The lavishness and quality of the buffet were exceptional.

Two toasts were submitted.

There followed a talk by two ladies, under the soubriquet the Tickton Tarts, entitled 'Life in the Workhouse'. Their historical perspective dismissed certain commonly held myths about the subject. The talk was comprehensive and well researched and received warm applause.

The Festive Board ended at 2.45 pm.

Malcolm Forbes

 

 

Monday 18th September 2023:

Holderness Lodge 3563 with Tom Calkwell

I regularly attend the Holderness Lodge meetings as Organist, and was delighted to see that the main business of the meeting this evening was a presentation by Bro Calkwell on the First Degree Tracing Board - in his own distinctive style. When I arrived at the Lodge Room to set up my music, he was there in his shirt sleeves, carefully going through his words. I'd heard his debut at the Andrew Marvell Lodge (see 23rd May below) and this performance was equally stunning. It was pleasing that the Lodge was well attended with plenty of visitors from Tom's Mother Lodge, Minerva.

I asked afterwards if he'd do a brief write-up for this website. "I'll be in Sheffield for the next three days," he said, "but I'll put something together tonight for you." Sure enough, he did. An article was waiting in my in-box when I arrived home. Here it is.

Tom's Account

This evening, I had the pleasure of visiting Holderness Lodge, along with new Entered Apprentice, Ashley Tong and Dean Marshall at the request of WM Darren Wiseman in order to deliver the First Degree Tracing Board as a lecture to the Brethren.

The Lodge having been opened in due and ancient form, former Minerva member Danial Marshall was successfully balloted for as a joining member and it was a pleasure to sit in open Lodge with Danny again.

The lecture incorporated an explanation of the Tracing Board, Jacob's Ladder and the Jewels of the Lodge before the Entered Apprentices present were tested on the First Degree Working Tools in an interactive part of the presentation.

By the commendable attention that the Brethren gave, I trust they enjoyed the ritual as much as I enjoyed presenting it. Indeed, W Bro Wildman, whilst giving greetings from UGLE, reminded us all that the charge exhorts us to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge . . . everyone present is now several months in credit!

The Festive Board gave opportunity to meet visitors from as far afield as the Isle of Mann and provided the backdrop for an interesting discussion about the historical meaning of the two parallel lines, representing the winter and summer solstices; particularly pertinent to Minerva Brethren given our installation is held on the Feast of St John the Baptist.

A great evening was had by all.

Tom Calkwell


Saturday 16th September 2023 p.m.:

There were no visitors at Technical Lodge 5666 and numbers were down (27) amongst the Brethren as a number of last-minute emergencies had cropped up and the A63 had been closed following an incident the night before. The Chapter convocation in the morning (see below) may have discouraged some who might have visited but I was delighted to see that all those Technical Companions who had been at the convocation at York had turned up for the Craft meeting as well. I was also pleased that Bro Turner-Bone had spotted me at the bus stop and picked me up to take me to the Lodge at Beverley Road - and brought me home afterwards - thanks, Bill!

Nonetheless it was a splendid evening in which Brother Nanda Kumar was raised from the degree of an Entered Apprentice to that of a Fellow Craft Freemason. He answered the test questions flawlessly after which those below the Second Degree retired. He was then conducted by Adam Tunnicliffe to the Senior Warden and instructed in that which would form his necessary passport to gain admission to the next stage in his Masonic journey; Bro Nigel Goldthorpes's explanation was of admirable clarity and Bro Kumar retired to prepare himself.

Reports were submitted in the interim, some of them having already been distributed by email, and the Lodge Membership Officer, W Bro Steve Berry (who had also been at York that morning) spoke of there being a Candidate in the pipeline. Bro Nanda Kumar returned, having passed the test at the door by the Inner Guard, Bro Steve Walker and was now conducted by the Senior Deacon, W Bro Mike Cheeseman, though the latter "volunteered" the Junior Deacon to demonstrate the steps approaching the pedestal. Poetry in motion.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Dan Laughton obligated the Candidate after which the secrets of the degree were communicated by Bro Bill Turner-Bone, (then shared with Wardens Bros Ash Vesali and Nigel Goldthorpe as proof of proficiency,) the Second Degree Apron was invested by the SW, and the address at the Southeast Corner delivered by W Bro Ian Parkinson. I explained the symbolism of the working tools of the degree and the Chaplain, W Bro Hiten Thaker, delivered the Charge. The Worshipful Master exchanged the Questions and Answers leading to the Third Degree with the Wardens and Bro Kumar retired to restore himself to his usual sartorial elegance, during which time the Lodge was lowered to the First Degree, the Entered Apprentice readmitted and I had the honour of presenting United Grand Lodge Certificates to Brothers Steve Walker and Edward Thompson.

The Lodge was closed in due form and the Brethren retired below for food - excellent as always. There being no visitors, the Festive Board concluded with only two toasts, and the Brethren took their leave of each other happy to have met.

[Photos: Nanda and Dan shaking hands after the ceremony, and the Technical Chapter Companions who were at York: L to R E Comps Frank Lovely PPAGSoj, Alan Keith Large PPAGDC, Hiten Thaker PAGDC and Paul Hillary Provincial Principal Grand Sojourner. E Comp Steven Berry PPAGSoj who was also there has wandered off the picture. Observers interested in such matters will notice the double size apron trim for Hiten as a Grand Lodge Officer, and the distinctive large collar jewel word by Paul as an active member of the Provincial team.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 16th September 2023 a.m.:

I'm not used to two six o' clocks in one day, and Craig, bless him, thoughtfully rang me at six to make sure I was out of bed and to say that he'd pick me up in ten minutes. I'd everything laid out ready (I hoped) and even had time for a cup of tea before he arrived, then we were on our way to York in jig time.

Craig is an early bird and chattered on matters masonic as I gradually adjusted to wide-awake mode. I was looking forward to him receiving  the active Chapter rank of Provincial Grand Steward in the Masonic Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings. He had duties to perform along with other Stewards which is why we were so unconscionably early, under the able direction of E Comp James Kerr, Provincial Grand DC, I watched with interest as the Companions were directed hither and yon with astonishing efficiency. Some were gently admonished; two had forgotten their jackets. Jimmy managed somehow to find jackets for them whilst delegating Stewards to different areas with specific tasks. I carefully kept out of the way.

The Chapter had already been set up in the Voltigeur Suite and I persuaded a Companion brandishing his phone to take a pic of me on my camera. Meanwhile, on the floor below, stalls were being set up in the robing area with masonic ties and regalia on sale; interesting Masonic jewels (consult E Comp Richard Theaker, who has a fine collection of rare items;) the latest design in Masonic gloves, and - thankfully, cups of coffee. It was there I met E Comp Hiten Thaker who had received Grand Chapter honours with me in London. "I see we're sitting together again," he said. "Why aren't you wearing your tailcoat?"

Damn. I knew I'd forgotten something."Everybody will be looking at you," I said, "so I didn't bother."

Our rank merited seats with a good view of the ceremony, which was impressive. We were almost the last to be paraded in before the entry of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Dr David Chambers and the Provincial Rulers - a great honour - and E Comp Nick Page played suitable music on the keyboard.

Humber 57 was well represented, with E Comp Richard John Smedley PGStB as the Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp David Terry as the Provincial 1st Assistant Grand Sojourner and Malvin Sharpless, the Provincial Grand Janitor. E Comp Stanley Smith received recognition as Past Provincial Grand Sojourner. I was there as one of the Grand Officers of the year, but felt a frisson of pride as so many of my friends were officially recognised for their contributions to Chapter Masonry.

The three Principals looked magnificent in their robes and chains: the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Dr David Chambers in the scarlet robe of office, the Second Grand Principal Excellent Companion Richard John Smedley in the rich deep blue of Haggai, and Excellent Companion Mark Iveson PPGScN in the lighter blue of Joshua. These three opened the Chapter magnificently before taking their seats after which the MEGS addressed the Companions, welcoming distinguished guests from neighbouring Provinces and conducting the business side of the meeting with enviable alacrity.

Nearly seventy Companions received honours that morning, some continuing the tasks in which they were already engaged, others coming forward to receive their collars. 

The Most Excellent addressed the Companions speaking of the limitations in the number of awards he was allowed to confer, but also exhorting those with talents that might be of service to the Chapter or Craft to make themsleves known. Why should someone with useful expertise have to wait several years before his skills might be used to promote masonry? The MEGS mentioned media skills, but was keen to learn of whatever else could be offered. Another theme was a pre-festival plug and the suggestion that a standing order would be a useful way to contribute. The Chapter was closed in due and ancient form.

Many of the Companions stayed for the meal (which Hiten Thaker told me later had been excellent) but Craig and I, both having meetings later that day, had decided to forgo lunch. 

The drive back was comfortable (E Comp Maurier is an excellent chauffeur - thanks, Craig!) There was time, I decided, for a short nap before tonight's Second Degree at Technical Lodge (see above) and the second six o' clock of the day.

Eddie Wildman

 

Thursday 14th September 2023:

The Thesaurus Lodge 3891 had no business on the summons other than receiving reports, so this author prepared a short paper on the word Thesaurus and its application to the Lodge. The compulsive list-making of Dr Peter Mark Roget whose name is perhaps better remembered for his invaluable Thesaurus reference book than his work in the field of medicine and physiology was dilated upon, plus the etymology of the word, and its adoption in 1919 by the founder members of the Lodge with the Latin tag Quod petis hic est - that which you seek is here. The WM thanked me saying it was very interesting. The officers (mostly stand-ins) and visitors applauded.

Special mention should be made of the DC, W Bro East who set up the Lodge Room beforehand virtually single-handedly while other Brethren enjoyed convivial conversation in the bar area below, and for his supreme tolerance at the complaints and corrections from the Brethren after the Lodge meeting and at the festive board. Also meriting particular notice was Assistant Steward, Brother Tollan, who arrived a little late due to a delayed train from Manchester, discharged his duties regarding the chef and the festive board and then hastened back to Manchester without staying for a meal. Such loyalty and effort deserves recognition. especially when numbers were low, a number of the Brethren were disinclined to offer any assistance during the meal and there were visitors from far afield. 

William Horman, headmaster of Winchester and Eton in the early Tudor period of English history adopted the phrase Mores facit homo - Manners maketh man - a precept which still applies today.

Eddie Wildman

 

Wednesday 13th September 2023:

The Minerva Lodge 250 met at Dagger Lane for an initiation ceremony: Mr Evaldas Korsakov had been recommended to this ancient Lodge following his application to Province, and as a young man in his early thirties, he will, I am sure, fit in well. It was a good ceremony despite last minute stand-ins due to accidents  and the pressing emergencies of private avocations. Thus the Junior Deacon was replaced by the Senior Deacon, and the latter's role filled by Bro Driver. After the opening of the Lodge, with W Bro Martin Wright in the Chair, two Officers who had not been able to attend the installion were invested - W Bros Malcolm Sharman (now slimmed down and looking fit after a protracted illness) as Almoner and Mark Hartley as Mentor. There was a successful ballot for a rejoining member and an honorary member before the Tyler knocked to announce that Mr Korsakov was outside the door of the Lodge.

Supremely fit, a professional boxer and keen sportsman, the Candidate was conducted round the Lodge by Bro Jim Bradshaw. It was interesting to note the variations on Mr Korsakov's surname, but he continued undaunted through his obligation and listened attentively as Bro Rich Driver explained the Lesser Lights. W Bro Danny Betts gave the address at the north-east corner with the fluency one would expect of the Lecture Master, Bro Simon Tompkins explained the Warrant and Bro Fee imparted the meaning of the working tools with great sincerity. The Charge was delivered by W Bro Ogram. It was a pleasure to see the preponderance of light blues in the Minerva Lodge, which did not go unnoticed by the visitors, joining the Minerva ceremony from as far afield as Queensland, Australia, Lincolnshire, Bracknell and Beverley.

The Festive Board was very friendly with W Bro Richard Theaker wielding a firm baton to call the Brethren to order for the toasts. W Bro Steve Ball from the Shorncliffe Lodge 420 in Queensland, Australia responded for the visitors, congratulating Bro Korsakov on his taking the first step on his masonic journey and dilating upon the universality of the Craft. The rendition of the Entered Apprentice's Song gave a whole new meaning to the term "a bunch of keys." Bro Korsakov responded eloquently, remarking that he was proud to belong to the Lodge and looked forward to being an active part of it. The WM presented him with a summons signed by all present, along with the Book of Constitutions before the Junior Warden, Bro Kurt Crawford submitted the final toast.

[Photograph: WM Martin Wright shaking hands with Bro Evaldas Korsakov by ERW]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Tuesday 12th September 2023:

 

“The son of a Mason,” mused the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Byelov, “is called a Lewis.” He paused, and those experienced Freemasons amongst us considered the iron construction used to raise stones known as a lewis – a tool to lighten loads, possibly derived from the French ‘leveur’ – to lift, but as a patronym more likely Germanic in origin. “However,” continued Sergei, “here we have a son whose father has become a mason. I don’t know the word for that.”

“Dad,” suggested W Bro Burnett on my right, but sotto voce.

There were precedents, I knew. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had proposed his father into Freemasonry in the 1780s. There are more recent examples on the Internet.

But this was the first time, as far as I was aware, that this had occurred in Humber Lodge 57. Matthew (who is to take his third degree next month) proposed his dad Michael following a white table evening in which visitors and guests had been invited into the Lodge Room to hear about the Craft (see 11th April below.)

Tonight I had the privilege of taking the Chair as the WM, W Bro Charles Alexander was laid up with a painful trochanteric medical condition, and was pleased to discover we had visitors not only from local Lodges but from Essex and Nigeria. The Humber Brethren were well practised and the ceremony was a delight; Junior Deacon Bro Craig Morrison leading the Candidate round with military precision.  Bro Matthew flawlessly described the Lesser Lights to his father’s delighted astonishment, the Communication was given by W Bro Terry Fisher, the Investiture by the Senior Warden, W Bro Steve Longthorp and W Bro Byelov giving the address at the North East Corner. Brother Rob Parkinson, the Inner Guard, delivered the Warrant and Book of Constitutions (later that evening he was presented with his UGLE Certificate) and the Working Tools were explained by the Lecture Master, W Bro Phil Watts.

I’d received a call earlier from our Chaplain, W Bro Craig Maurier, who having just undergone root canal surgery which had been much deeper than he (and the dentist) had expected was having the greatest difficulty putting three words together, let alone the Ancient Charge, so I insisted we would manage without him, poor chap. W Bro Richard Smedley stepped into the role at a moment’s notice, and it was for this reason our three Grand Lodge Officers were sat together on the dais – I hope our visitors were impressed.

The Lodge Mentor completed Brother Michael’s initiation ceremony by going through the qualifying questions for the next stage with the Wardens, W Bro Longthorpe and Brother Craig Fish, and the Candidate retired to restore himself to his usual comforts while Bro Parkinson was instructed in the mysteries of the Grand Lodge Certificate. He returned for the Closing.

Propositions included a joining member and a nomination for initiation before we closed in due and ancient form.

The festive board (thanks, Bro Ben Houghton, for organising it so efficiently) formed a vivacious conclusion to the evening, with the Entered Apprentice Song for the Candidate, the traditional music for the Visitors toast (and an eloquent response by W Bro Mark Luscombe of the Hull Old Grammarians’ Lodge 5129) and for Absent, Sick, and Seafaring Brethren. The Junior Warden reminded us of the troubled times in the world and exhorted us to consider those in difficulty all over the inhabited globe.

I was delighted on behalf of W Bro Bill Burnett to present a Humber ritual book with its potted history and explanation of the ritual we use to W Bro Geoff Palmer, the Provincial Grand Pursuivant of the Masonic Province of Essex before drawing the raffle (£125 for Charity!) W Bro Smedley led the singing for the Parting Toast, “Happy meet again” and we took our leave of each other at ten o’ clock.

I'd like to thank the WM for affording me this opportunity to preside in the Chair in this, my fortieth year in the Craft. I'm not in my dotage yet!

[Photograph of our new Candidate with W Bro Wildman, Wardens and Officers and the Brethren from Essex by W Bro Smedley.]

Eddie Wildman, Acting WM

 

Friday 8th September 2023:

De la Pole Lodge 1605 started at 6:30 this evening; there was much to do, and so we began half an hour earlier than usual. It was Election Night and the Master Elect and Treasurer were named for next month's Installation. This was followed by a third degree ceremony wherein Bro Aaron Sutherland was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason; he too, was immensely busy and had to leave urgently for a meeting in Sheffield as soon as he retired from the Lodge. It was nonetheless an excellent ceremony, and the Brethren performed their parts well - the WM, W Bro Philip John Cowing PPJGD led from the front with a faultless obligation, W Bro Tom Lee of the Humber Lodge delivered the retrospect (I gave the historical oration - L57 was well represented - W Bro Malcolm Forbes was there as Almoner) and W Bro Mike Bastiman stood in for the Chaplain and gave an impressive charge to the Candidate. Another stand-in was Malcolm Brocklesby who took on the role of Secretary standing in for W Bro Peter Spencer, one of the Daggards who has had a heart attack - we all wish him well.

French Onion Soup, steak pie and cheesecake - Luke the Chef looked after us admirably. 

Sincere thanks to Bro Ian Fuller for the lift home - a lovely evening.

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

Thursday 7th September 2023:

For the Humber Chapter report for this date by the MEZ, please see the Chapter Blog page.

 

Saturday 2nd September 2023:

It was a pleasant drive in afternoon sunshine along the A1079 to the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 for the installation of Bro Thomas Baxter as Worshipful Master by W Bro Mark Alan Fox. I was lucky with parking and was delighted to meet and greet old friends following the summer recess. The representative of the RWPGM, W Bro William Glanville was smartly introduced by his DC, W Bro David Bateman; altogether it was an impressive line up with four UGLE officers present. The next business was a ballot for a joining member, W Bro Tony Calvert PPSGD, who was later invested and installed as Inner Guard. The Installing DC, W Bro Rod Taylor PAGDC kept the ceremony moving with his customary efficiency, and Worshipful Brother Thomas Baxter was duly proclaimed, the light blue Brethren perambulating round the Lodge while W Bro Roger Lewis PPJGW sang the Masonic Anthem.

Of particular note (and the Rep made mention of it in his address to the Brethren at the Festive Board) was the explanation of the first degree working tools by Fellow Craft Bro Liam Robinson, probably the tallest member of the Lodge. Other highlights included Bill Glanville's presentation of a Past Master's Jewel to the IPM, W Bro Fox, and the presentation to W Bro Roger Lewis of a Certificate of Excellence from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for his services to Freemasonry in general. Towards the end of the meeting, there were propositions for four new members - W Bro Baxter will have a busy year ahead! Greetings were given from the Old Clee Lodge 8697 in the Province of Lincolnshire, plus Wilberforce 2134, Sykes 1040, Wyke Millennium 9696, Ridings Tablers' 9586 and of course, Humber 57, premier Lodge in the Province.

Tereza the chef produced an excellent goulash soup and beautifully tender chicken and mash followed by apple and blackcurrant crumble with custard. Undeterred by the feast, W Bro Glanville stood and complimented the Lodge on its still having founder members present (W Bros Varey and McGorrigan) and other Brethren from forty years ago: the Lodge will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. Roger's rendition of the Masters Song followed the IPM's toast to his successor. Other songs included that to the visitors and the closing "May we all meet together." We were finished by ten o' clock, and I drove home observing the extra-large luminary - at its closest to earth only a couple of days ago, a rare super blue moon, and was reminded of part of the Freemason's ritual - as the sun governs the day and the moon the night, so the Worshipful Master rules and governs the Lodge, enlightening the Brethren. I quietly wished him well, confident that the Beverlonian Lodge is in good hands.

[Photos: W Bros Baxter, Glanville and Fox; W Bro Roger Lewis by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist.

 

Saturday 19th August 2023:

Firstly: grateful thanks to Chris who picked me up along with a couple of others for the trip to York and a meeting of the Invictus Lodge 9960 - a pleasant drive in good company. This military Lodge (one of the Circuit of Service Lodges) was consecrated in 2018 and despite the exigencies of Covid has gone from strength to strength. Today at St Saviourgate I played the organ for a full house - there were over three score present, including a team of active Provincial Officers and over twenty other visitors.

VW Brother Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith DPGM is a popular ruler, and unsuprisingly a number of Brethren from his mother Lodge were there to support. (I recall Jono being initiated in the Ridings Tablers Lodge 9586) but there were visitors from all corners of the Province and beyond - indeed there was a successful ballot for a joining member from a lodge in Sheffield who was present that evening. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master had travelled with the Provincial Charity Steward, W Bro Ian Syddall, who was part of the team. (The reponsible duties naturally tend to Brethren of the premier Lodge in the Province.)

There is something rather special about a military Lodge, not only because of the smartness of the floorwork, the soldierly perambulations, military ties and impressive arrays of miniature medals at the festive board, but also (as the DPGM remarked in his address afterwards) a keen awareness of mutual cooperation through discipline and an ability to get along together despite the traditional interforce rivalry (which became amusingly evident when the port was distributed.) 

The business of the afternoon (a 16:30 start was necessary for the long evening) was a double third degree ceremony: Bros Robinson and Cullen were made Master Masons. 

Fortunately the organ isn't much required during this ceremony in the Invictus ritual and a seat had been reserved for me in the body of the Lodge Room - while the nineteenth century instrument is good to play, its position behind the Junior Warden's chair and a carved lattice affords very little view of what is going on; rather like playing in a rabbit hutch with the shutter closed. I enjoyed a comfortable seat and a good view of the proceedings.

It was good to see a number of younger Brethren delivering floorwork and ritual with commendable facility. This brought a smile to the face of the Lodge DC, W Bro Jack Sharpe PGStB, whose exacting performance standards are an example to us all.

A similar attention to detail prevailed at the Festive Board: the personalised place settings, the colour coordination with the candles and the napkins; the roast beef and Yorshire pudding. It was a splendid evening.

Lastly: my thanks to the WM, W Bro Andrew Philip Hinchciff for the invitation to attend the "Undefeateds" and indeed to all who contributed to making it such a memorable and happy occasion.

[Photograph of VWBro Jonathan Smith, Bros Robinson and Cullen and WM Andrew Hinchcliff in the Lodge Room and the WM and sundry guzzlers at the FB by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 11th August 2023:

I was privileged for the second time in a week to witness a first class Third Degree ceremony at Beverley Road - this time in the capable hands of W Bro Philip John Cowing PPJGD as Worshipful Master of the de la Pole Lodge 1605. The start time was 18:30 - earlier than usual as the 3° is somewhat longer than the first and second, and the WM warned that there were likely to be late arrivals as some of the visitors from the west (Harrogate & Claro Lodge 1001, Yorkshire West Riding) were still on their way.

It was a very warm evening and the emergency exit was opened to let a little air into the Lodge Room. The sound of sirens from a passing ambulance didn't interrupt the flow: W Dave Nicoll gave a moving eulogy about the late Bro Pete Grantham and the Brethren stood in silent respect at the passing of a well loved Brother.

The rest of the Harrogate contingent arrived (and had remembered to type in their car registrations on entry - one of the requirements at Beverley Road as the car park is occasionally used by interlopers, who are subsequently fined) and the Entered Apprentices retired in order for the Lodge to be taken up to Second Degree. Bro Steven Laird  answered the questions put to him magnificently, the other Fellow Crafts retired and Bro Laird was entrusted with the info needed to gain entry to the next stage in Freemasonry. He went to change in preparation for the next stage in his journey, and the Lodge was raised to the Third Degree (which requires the setting up of certain articles not revealed to the lower degrees.)

On this occasion W Bro Mike Bastiman took the office of Senior Deacon and conducted Bro Laird round the Lodge on his return. W Bro Ben Kelly stood in as Chaplain. W Bro Malcolm Forbes stood in as Tyler (the Humber Brethren can turn their hands to anything.)

I'll not dilate on the many excellencies illustrated in the ceremony except to remark that the Obligation by the WM was superb, as was the Retrospect (delivered by W Bro Tom Lee of L57) followed by ritual of an equally high quality: the Secrets (Dave Nicoll), the investiture (Ian Fuller, SW), the Explanation of the Apron (Mike Kelly), the Historical Oration (me), the Working Tools (John Holmes) and the Charge (Ben Kelly). The questions relating to the Royal Arch were passed between the Wardens (Bros Fuller and Borkowsky). Bro Laird was well raised to the degree af a Master Mason.

The Lodge was lowered in due and ancient form and the Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices severally readmitted.

The Lodge was well attended, including visitors from the West Riding, and the Festive Board (a brilliant Luke Pyrah buffet) was exactly right for such a warm (and late) evening. It took enormous will power not to over-indulge; my diet continues apace; not all of the three dozen plus Brethren there were so restrained.

W Bro Clint Howard, a one-time member of the de la Pole Lodge and now the WM of the Harrogate and Claro Lodge 1001 responded on behalf of the fourteen visitors, the raffle raised £200 for the Hessle Road Network, the WM's chosen charity, and we took our leave of each other joining in the parting toast:

          Happy have we met,

          Happy have we been,

          Happy do we part

          And may we happy meet again.

Worshipful Master - thanks for the flowers!

[Photo: W Bro Phil Cowing, Worshipful Master with Steven Laird, Master Mason.]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Wednesday 9th August 2023:

The Lodge of St Andrew 4683 raised Bro Philip James Beadle to the degree of a Master Mason in a superb ceremony. I was pleased to be there, not only for the pleasure of providing a suitable accompaniment on the organ (and parts of the third degree working are much enhanced by solemn music) but to witness a powerful, well-rehearsed ceremonial, comfortably paced, neither hurrying nor lagging, delivered with sincerity and conviction. 

I had arrived early and met a potential Candidate for the Lodge waiting nervously outside the door. The Lodge of St Andrew had been recommended to this young man, and I understand his interview went very well; no doubt he will appear in one of these blogs in the future. There were a couple of Fellow Crafts and an Entered Apprentice Freemason not yet qualified to see Bro Beadle be made a Master Mason: L4683 is doing very well for Brethren; they retired during the ceremony, to return later before the Lodge closed.

The WM, Matthew Owen, led the Lodge confidently through the opening and subsequent ceremony. Bro Beadle had learned the answers to the questions when professing himself ready to undergo the trial awaiting him. "I didn't know what to expect," he confided to me at the Festive Board afterwards, "but I thoroughly enjoyed it."

The Lodge was well attended, nearly three dozen were in the large Lodge Room at Beverley Road; there were fifteen visitors from six sister Lodges, including W Bro Chris Wilson, WM of the Lodge of Peace 3988 in Yorkshire West Riding. He responded to the visitors toast, eloquently extolling the virtues of visiting. He would have a long drive back to Braildon that evening. The Hull Old Grammarians 5129 were out in force, and I gave greetings from Humber 57, whilst also standing as a member of de la Pole 1605 and Kingston 1010.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, with fish and chips to follow. Who could ask for more? My grateful thanks to the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Ian L Sugarman PPSGW for the invitation.

[Photo: WM Matt Owen and Brother Philip Beadle after the ceremony.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Tuesday 8th August 2023:

There were several stand-ins for the August meeting, which traditionally is not particularly well attended - a number of Brethren were on holiday, and W Brother Richard Smedley was unable to be there because a three line whip suddenly demanded his presence elsewhere.

This was unfortunate, as he and W Bro Maurier were on the summons as delivering a presentation, but Craig Maurier ProvGSuptWks and Chaplain of the Premier Lodge in the Province was unfazed and did the entire working himself, including a recital of the Second Degree Tracing Board, an enormous feat of memory in my opininion, but which he performed with his usual casual flair, and in such a persuasive tone of voice one could picture the Craftsmen at work. Richard's observations, which Craig faithfully delivered, looked at the anomalies in the explanation, with the reminder that our ritual comprises a system of allegory, and that the underlying message should take into account the literary conventions and eighteenth-century flights of fancy. It was a most interesting dissertation, and the historical and engineering issues mentioned in the 2° TB were given a thorough airing. The spontaneous applause at the end was sincere: it had been a most enlightening meeting despite the stand-in WM, SW, SD and IG, and the visitors (from Wilberforce 2134, St Michael 7833 and Phoenix 9963) professed themselves well satisfied and were delighted to be able to keep the printed hand-outs (thanks, Craig!)

The festive board was lively and brief; two toasts, a free raffle (W Bro Peter Wright won the box of chocolates) and an early finish - it was good to travel home in daylight.

As stand-in WM, let me thank the Brethren for their presence. I look forward to seeing you all next month - from the organ!

[Photograph of W Bro Craig Maurier by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 29th July 2023:

The Widows Sons Lodge 10011 held its seventh regular meeting at the Hull Ionians RUFC Clubhouse, Brantingham Park, Elloughton in East Yorkshire by dispensation, and the enormous building was full to capacity with hundreds of Masonic bikers in their (Masonic) leathers, some having travelled enormous distances to be there. It was interesting to see the WM W Bro Dave Brocklesby and his Wardens, W Bros Pete Younger and Paul Bull at their places, each seated on large and immaculately maintained machines (there's a whole vocabulary of Beasts, Hogs and other terms used by the Dilligafs but I'll not torque of such things here.) There had already been a magnificent rally, and the processional arrival of the bikers, welcomed into the extensive grounds by a piper was an impressive sight. One reporter on the WS Facebook wrote "Chapters from all 4 corners of the country came together & enjoyed each others company in peace love & harmony. The bikes raw'd, the beer flowed & the party rocked."

The meeting was supported by the Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire North & East Ridings, Rt W Bro Dr David Chambers (accompanied by an escort of Active Provincial Officers under the direction of his DC, W Bro Karl Ward,) with the PGM of Yorkshire West Riding, Rt W Bro James H Newman OBE. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Durham was there and numerous high ranking Officers.

The meeting was brief, and afterwards the Brethren were joined by their partners and guests (a number of them obviously enthusiastic bikers too) and the Humber Daggards (W Bros David Terry, Richard Smedley and Eddie Wildman) gave half an hour's entertainment with Festive Board Songs in their inimitable style.

 

 [Photographs by W Bro John Rees.]

Eddie Wildman

 

Friday 28th July 2023:

Read about the funeral of Bro John Anthony Kaye on the C&R page.

 

Thursday 20th July 2023:

Read about Richard Smedley, Charles Alexander, Eddie Wildman and others at Driffield on the Chapter Blog Page!

 

Monday 17th July 2023:

Congratulations to Bro Craig Fish who did a magnificent job with the various pieces of ritual demanded of the SW at the Lodge of Instruction, and to Bro Craig Morrison who was JW, and pointed out the Warrent with Highland panache. W Bro Alan Todd in the Master's Chair fought valiently to make a cohesive whole of the ceremony, greatly hampered by the lack of support on this occasion, though W Bros Phil Watts, Trevor Whitfield and myself were there to assist. But it is for the benefit of the younger Masons that the Lodge of Instruction is maintained; please do let the Lecture Master know if you can't make it! Next LoI will include a brief talk, a question and answer session and a focus on some of the floorwork: please make a special effort to attend! NB the Lecture Master was in his shorts on this occasion (casual dress is fine for LoI) - the first time anyone has seen his legs since 1998.

LoI starts at 7.15 pm but often the Brethren meet in the Head of Steam in Trinity Square for a drink and a chat beforehand. We generally finish round about 9.00 so parking in Zebedee's yard is a useful option; unless there's an event going on!

Eddie Wildman

 

Saturday 15th July 2023:

Mentoring at Technical 5666

I was very tired having arrived in Hull at five o' clock from Southampton, a long coach journey, but fortunately was in time to give my good friend Philip Daniels a ring, and he picked me up at home, changed and with my regalia ready at six o' clock, for the Technical Lodge meeting at 6.30.  The traffic in Hull had slowed things down a little, and we were late starting, but Bro Malcolm Amir Hussain Gambles was very succesfully passed to the Second Degree in due time. 

As there is little for the organist to do during the ceremony, I took the opportunity to leave the Lodge with Entered Apprentices Thekkootupisharam Nandakumar and Kenneth Wright and we looked at the symbols depicted on the Grand Lodge Certificate, their interconnection and their application in the Lodge - a stimulating exercise with two such perceptive Brethren, and the Solomon website was encouraged as an aid to increasing in Masonic knowledge. Meanwhile Bro Hussain Gambles was extending his researches in the Craft still further. The Lodge was lowered back to the First Degree and we re-entered for the closing.

I managed to take a picture of Brother Malcolm at the Festive Board. There being no visitors, the toasts were reduced to the first two, the WM W Bro Dan Laughton drew the raffle, and we took our leave of each other after the final chorus of "Happy to Meet Again."

Eddie Wildman, organist.

Wednesday 12th July 2023:

 

Surprise Visit to the

Lodge of Saint Andrew 4683
Meeting at The Masonic Hall Beverley Road.

Ian Syddall reports:

 A surprise visit? What’s one of them?

Well, the DPGM VW Bro. J M M Smith sent out to the Team of Active Officers a request that there was a window of opportunity for the Team to attend a Lodge meeting, but the Lodges would not to be informed, this was the surprise! We would not be attending their festive board, but would be dining somewhere after the meeting, no Lodge was mentioned at this time, just the potential date.

Two days prior to the date we were informed where the meeting would be, so in response to the DPGM the following Active Officers including myself agreed to attend.

These were the Provincial Officers of the Year:

Also present were L4683's own members who were Active Officers:

 

 

RECEPTION OF THE DEPUTY PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER: SURPRISE!!


Bro. Inner Guard announced that W Bro Karl Alwyn Ward, Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies was in attendance and sought admission. GULP! Not expecting a Provincial Officer!!

The Worshipful Master said that the Brethren would be pleased to receive him and W Bro. Ward was admitted. He announced that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith, a Past Grand Sword Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England, was at the door of the Lodge and that he demanded admission. Deep breath!! Not expecting the Provincial Deputy Grand Master!!

The Worshipful Master said that the Brethren would be pleased to receive him and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master was escorted into the Lodge by W Bro. K A Ward Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro. C J Thomas Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Officers of the Year, the impressive line up mentioned above.

The Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sugarman, presented the Royal Arch Address to Bro Eastburn, who had been Raised at the meeting in June.

 

The main business on the evening was the Initiation of Mr Okikiola Lookmam Imam.

The Candidate was admitted and obligated by the Worshipful Master who was assisted by:

The ceremony by the whole team was very impressive, but two Brethren ritualists who stood out in light blue were:

The usual questions were passed between the Wardens and following a presentation by the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sugarman, Bro  Imam retired from the Lodge. The Worshipful Master expressed his thanks to all those who had participated in the ceremony and stated that although they were a new team, the standard of ritual had been excellent.

After the meeting, there was photographs taken of the occasion, of the Provincial Team with the Candidate, and of the St Andrew Brethren with Bro Imam in the middle. The Secretary, W Bro Sugarman provided the above.

The team left the lodge to their festive board and retired to the curry house across the road from the Lodge and a very happy festive board was had.

Happy Meet Again!

Ian Syddall PGChStwd

 

  

Tuesday 11th July 2023:

Street Angels at Dagger Lane

by the Worshipful Master

Humber Lodge 57 was visited by two ladies from the City of Hull Street Angels, Mrs Carole Fenny and Mrs Gaynor Smith.

We opened the Lodge in due form after which I called the Lodge off and  invited the ladies to Join us in the temple. There we enjoyed a presentation by the ladies on the work carried out by the Street Angels on Friday and Saturday nights. The Angels are normally seen on the streets in two locations: Hull City around Lowgate and the surrounding areas and in Beverley around the Saturday market areas.

The ladies informed us that the City of Hull Street Angels is a local registered Charity, established in 2018.


"Our volunteers," they said, "patrol on Friday and Saturday evenings, currently from 9pm until 2am, as well as Bank Holidays. You will easily recognise our red jackets! We are happy to help you by providing water and flip flops, (for a small donation) and wipes, foil blankets and vomit bowls if you need them!We also carry portable phone chargers if you need to make urgent calls but you’ve run out of power! All our volunteers are trained in Basic First Aid and we can contact Emergency Services, if required, and will stay with you until they arrive. Our Street Angels will be there for you and provide support and guidance. We can provide a listening ear and can help with ensuring you get home safely, for example, by escorting you to public transport, if you’re alone, or arranging for family or friends to collect you. We also work closely with all emergency services and venue security staff to ensure the safety of all."

At the end of the presentation I presented the ladies with a cheque for £250.00, on behalf of the Lodge which was gratefully received. (See the Charity page.)

After the ladies left the temple the Lodge was called back on and the business completed, aside from the two ladies from the Street Angels we had one other visitor. The Lodge was closed in due form and we retired from labour to refreshment at the festive board where we were joined by our guests.

Charles Alexander, Worshipful Master

 

Wednesday 5th July 2023:

Kingston 1010

I wasn't looking forward to playing the organ at the Kingston Lodge 1010 as it was bound to be a sad occasion; since the last meeting the Lodge has lost W Bro Paul Goldthorpe (see 26th June below) and W Bro Peter Adamson (linked to the Lodge of St Michael 7833 for 4th July). Furthermore, Patricia the wife of W Bro Malcolm Watkinson, the Lodge Treasurer, had also died recently. 

We were down on Brethren, and to their credit, the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge 9611 provided assistance. Paul had been the Senior Deacon (a vital role in the Second Degree) and so his Office was taken this evening by Bro Wayne Walker, who relinquished the Senior Warden's chair to W Bro Jimmy Kerr, while the Office of Tyler was taken by W Bro Eddie Brooks, these Brethren being active members of the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Marcus Whereat thanked them both upstairs and down, but I record here the thanks of the Kingston Brethren who really appreciate the honour done to the Lodge by such kind consideration. Thanks Jimmy! Thanks, Ed!

Other visitors included W Bro Philip Daniels (Technical 5666) and W Bro David Terry (Humber 57 - he is the Provincial Liaison Officer for Kingston and other Lodges) but also two visitors from the Old Hymerian Lodge 6885. Without them we would have been very thin on the ground.

After the opening, Eulogies were given for the departed Brethren; W Bro Simon Ramshaw spoke of Paul as a Mason and a friend; W Brother Bill Hartley spoke of Peter's great Charitable work and intimated he would take over as Almoner until matters were resolved. The Worshipful Master spoke of Patricia and the grieving W Bro Malcolm, and the Brethren stood in solemn silence remembering them.

The main business after the evening's sombre start was to Pass Bro Carl Proctor to the degree of a Fellowcraft Freemason. The JD, W Bro Mike Price escorted Bro Carl to the WM after ensuring he was familiar with the answers to the questions leading to the Second Degree; and entrusted with the password to gain admission later, Bro Carl retired to prepare himself. The Lodge was opened on the Square.

On his return, Bro Carl was placed in the care of Bro Wayne Walker who perambulated him around the Lodge most efficiently. The Candidate was obligated by W Bro Whereat, whose clarity and measured phrasing was well appreciated both in the Obligation and the Charge. W Bro Price explained the secrets in his sepulchral deep voice - and those of us familiar with Humber Working rather than Emulation Ritual observed the difference in the steps. The Junior Warden, Brother Gary Crossland has a contrasting timbre, and the Senior Warden's questions were in a Scottish accent. I was privileged to explain the Second Degree Working Tools.

The Acting IPM, W Bro Hartley formally proposed a vote of thanks for the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Neil Armstrong, who, he said, had held the Lodge together at this difficult time. The WM closed the Lodge in due form. I bagged a snapshot of WM W Bro Whereat. Fellowcraft Bro Proctor, and Bro Wayne Walker who had conducted the Candidate round the Lodge perfectly.

I was in good company at the festive board, where W Bro Philip Daniels demolished his mushrooms on toast with good humour (he's a fun guy.) The mood was considerably lighter than when the meeting had begun, and as we had two Daggards singers with us, the evening concluded with Philip and David Terry in duet with "Happy to meet again", the Worshipful Master melodiously intoning "this toast must be the last", and everyone joining in the chorus. 

I for one left in a happier mood than I'd arrived, and I think this applied to others, too. The Kingston Lodge is now in recess until October - watch this space!

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

 

Tuesday 4th July 2023 pm:

For an account of the Technical Chapter 5666 Exaltation see this date on the Chapter Blog Page.

 

Tuesday 4th July 2023 am:

A service celebrating the life of W Bro Peter Adamson was held at the Chanterlands Crematorium. For details visit the blog page of the Lodge of St Michael 7833. https://www.lodge7833.org.uk/?Blog_Page

 

Monday 3rd July 2023:

Juno 10001

Although I knew the Juno Lodge 10001 started late, I had one or two errands to do in town and caught the bus into Hull with lots of time to spare. Hence it was just before five in Hepworth's Arcade that I took a snapshot on my mobile of the Minster Tower - glimpsed through the glass - (two iconic Hull features in one shot, I said to myself), and arriving at the Lodge in Dagger Lane, sat down with a welcome cup of tea to begin these notes.

Hepworth's Arcade was built in 1894-5 by Gelder & Kitchen (founded by William Alfred Geldar, British architect born in North Cave in 1855 and who became mayor of Hull at the end of the century) for the Leeds tailor, Joseph Hepworth. (Hepworth was a self-made man, a clothing manufacturer who founded the UK's largest company and which is now known as Next plc.) It is the only Victorian L shaped arcade in the country and is Grade II listed. Marks and Spencers opened one of their first penny bazaars here. Now it is probably best known for Dinsdale's Joke Shop, Fanthorpe's HiFi and Beasley's clothing store. It is a grand building with its glass roof.

Hull Minster - seen through the glass, and still known to many as "Holy Trinity" is exceptional for the extensive use of brick and has too much history to mention here, but as I looked at the tower, I thought of its construction in three stages, the lowest being early 14th century, the upper storeys added two hundred years later, with two Perpendicular style windows to each side. The clock was acquired in 1772 and was given four dials in 1840.

By the time I'd scribbled the above, other Brethren were arriving, and some went to set up the Lodge Room (though not to the satisfaction of one Brother who was still searching for missing items at the last minute.) I agreed to provide some music as the Brother who has the tunes on his mobile was absent.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Paul A Harper PJGD welcomed the visitors and invited those who wished to remove jackets and gloves to do so on account of the sultry evening. Few removed jackets: the principal Officers wore academic gowns, a tradition in this University Scheme Lodge. This being election night as well as a regular meeting (L10001 meets five times a year) there was much to do, but after the dispensation had been read, the portion of Ancient Charges recited and the minutes confirmed, ("Nobody has the temerity to disagree with the Secreteray," quipped the WM as he rattled through the declaration of the Master Elect and Treasurer, members of the Lodge Committee etc. 

The main business was the passing of Bro Harry William Thomas DeWalmsley Dyer to the Second Degree. Fortunately the Secretary, W Bro James Steele ProvAGDC had included the name on the summons; it still caused some difficulties however, and after the obligation the Brethren reverted to "Brother Dyer" which was easier. W Bro Bill Hartley left with the Entered Apprentices to explain some of the mysteries of the First Degree Tracing Board after Bro Dyer had proved his proficiency with the answers to the questions. Bro Dyer retired and the Lodge was opened on the Square.

It was an interesting variation that in setting up the Lodge  for the ceremony of Passing, the DC, W Bro Jimmy Kerr placed a chair in front of the pedestal in the manner of some of the old ceremonies. "That's clever," I thought to myself. "We do that in Phoenix 9963 as a revival of an ancient tradition. Now Juno is also looking to the past as well as to the future." On his return Bro Dyer took the symbolic steps to the pedestal and was well obligated by the WM.

W Bro David Cowley communicated the secrets, which were then transmitted to the JW, Kieran Newton and to the SW, Bro Arash Vesali. I was fascinated to observe that the ritual leans more to Humber than Emulation, but there were interesting differences.

I'll not dilate on each piece of ritual - it was all impressive, and I was jealous of W Bro Adrian Haywood who delivered the Charge and made it look easy.

The Lodge was lowered to the First Degree, the Entered Apprentices returned and W Bro Andrew Peach talked on bank and fiscal matters, intimating that a rise in subs was going to happen. Soon.)

There were about thirty Brethren there - how many were visitors, I couldn't be sure, but I stood to give greetings with others from the Ridings Tablers Lodge 9586, announced not by the WM, W Bro Martin Clark (who as a member of Juno Lodge should not do so) but by Fellow Craft Bro Alex Street; his first time in this role, and he did very well. Phoenix Lodge 9963 Brethren stood with W Bro Alex McCallum (WM) and of course, I gave laconic greetings for Humber 57.

It was turned nine o' clock when the meal began (two courses only) and all was over an hour later, the sky just turning to twilight as we took our leave of each other. Jimmy Kerr kindly agreed to give me a lift home, and we strode over Prince Street's sturdy cobbles, past the Georgian old town architecture and under the Joseph Page archway to the empty market square. The drive home was without incident, and I turned on my laptop immediately to try to transform my hasty ramblings into coherent prose before I forgot everything. I hope I succeeded: Good night!

[Photographs: Hepworth's Arcade, looking south; Bro Newton, W Bro Harper, Bro Dyer and Bro Vesali by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman, volunteer organist.

 

 

Saturday 1st July 2023:

Fifty Years in Freemasonry and still going strong

It is not often one sees a presentation of a certificate for fifty years' service, and this evening I was privileged to present one in the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 on the occasion of the business meeting whereat W Bro Mark Alan Fox conducted the necessary opening and declarations to ensure that his successor, Bro Thomas Baxter would be properly installed at the next meeting, along with  a Lodge Treasurer and properly elected committee. Reports followed and the Lodge closed in due form, after which the ladies were invited into the Lodge Room to join their husbands and to see W Bro David Ernest Thorne presented with the certificate and badge in recognition of his work.

There are not many British Freemasons who have lived in the reigns of three monarchs and have still retained a full head of hair. Croyden-born David is one such, through the childhood days of playing on bomb sites, eating rabbit during rationing and the days of make do and mend. He waxed lyrical on his schooldays, with ex military teachers that insisted on smartness and standards, his early work days as an Office Boy in Croydon, and National Service in the Household Cavelry Regiment and Storeman with responsibility for seeing that the Duke of Wellington's ceremonial dress was perfect in every particular. He spoke of his work in the MET as a tall twenty-one year old and the importance of being able to talk to people, sometimes in distressing circumstances, and his subsequent work in the CID.

David acknowledged the love of his life, Margaret, who was present at the meeting, and how she has stood by him in thick and thin - and how her secretarial work earned a couple of visits to Buckingham Palace. He illustrated his place in the iconic picture of the Beatles on Abbey Road (in the police van - he brought the picture along to show everybody) and his love of bulldogs.

His Masonic career began in East Croydon in 1893, and in the East Surrey Lodge 2697 where he became WM in 1998, He became a member of Beverlonian in 2002 after retiring to Leven, and with the voice of experience, exhorted younger members "to enjoy it" saying that the Craft has lost a lot of the stuffiness of the old days.

He received his framed certificate and fifty year badge with aplomb and to sincere applause.

I was surprised at the Festive Board - by W Bro Andrew Hinchcliff (I'd met him and his wife before the meeting when I called into Costa Coffee for a double espresso.)  Andrew is the WM of the Invictus Lodge 9960, and we sat together at UGLE earlier in the year. Once at Invictus I won a custom-built mousemat in a raffle, which Andrew had designed, and I'd remarked that it had been really useful but was now becoming rather dog-eared.

At the Beverley meeting, just as I was about to leave (I confess I wanted to drive home in daylight,) The WM called me back and Andrew stood, told the story of the Invictus mousemat, and presented me with another he'd designed, just for me, with the opening and closing ode on it, plus a matching glasses cleaner and a mug bearing the same image. I was touched. "It's the first time I've seen Eddie speechless," he quipped, as everyone applauded.

Thanks, Andrew, for the lovely gift, I'm using the mousemat right now!

[Photograph of David Thorne and me by Peter Stokes.Mousemat by Andrew Hinchcliff.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

 

Tuesday 27th June 2023:

Richard Smedley reports on the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge Installation

I was picked up by the inimitable Jimmy (2 Kilts) Kerr. Jimmy, then the current WM of Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge  9611 was within hours to be installing his successor, Harry Elliot.

We enjoyed a smooth and uninterrupted journey from Hull to the Masonic Hall Roman Road, Middlesbrough where we were greeted with tea, coffee and pork pie apéritifs. The pork pie and Black pudding mix was particularly scrumptious. Soon the hall was filling up with the Provincial Team who had arrived in support of the VW Dep Prov G Master Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith. An excellent ceremony filled with the pomp and ceremony of the presence of the Provincial team ensued. Seventy-two stayed to dine at the festive board and a great deal of camaraderie was evident.

Good luck to Harry Elliot and i am sure the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Chapter (Jimmy) is breathing a muted sigh of relief at his outstallation from the Chair of King Solomon.

 Richard Smedly PAGDC

 

 

Monday 26th June 2023:

300+ at Crematorium

It is sad to lose anyone, and suddenly to lose a Brother such as W Bro Paul Goldthorpe, fifty-five and full of life, is especially tragic. I have travelled with Paul on a number of occasions to his mother Lodge, Nelson of the Nile 264 in Batley (see 17th April below) and enjoyed his ready humour, his tales of his adventures and his open approach to life  that endeared him to many people from every area of society. He was much admired and respected..

A Past Master of the Kingston Lodge 1010  and a Past Principal of the Kingston Chapter, he had Masonic friends on both sides of Yorshire, and was also a keen cyclist and sportsman. Indeed, it was during an outing with his the Cottingham Cycling Club that he suddenly died, leaving a wife and daughter bereft.

Unsurprisingly his funeral was attended by many - over three hundred people were there to pay their last respects. The Brethren were out in force and sang the Closing Ode after the committal. There were refreshments afterwards at the Masonic Lodge on Beverley Road, where the car park was full to capacity.

Paul was at the prime of his life when he left us and while we all sincerely regret his passing, perhaps it was a good time to go. Our sympathies are with his wife Debbie and Hannah his daughter.

Rest in peace, Paul.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Saturday 24th June 2023:

 

Minerva Lodge Installation

 

Report by Eddie Wildman

 

The Minerva Lodge 250 traditionally meets at the summer solstice, so it was understandably very warm in the Lodge Room at Dagger Lane and the Worshipful Master, W Bro Dave Green, gave permission for the Brethren to remove their gloves if they wished before he opened the Lodge in due form. The DC for the Representative, W Bro Marcus Whereat, Provincial Grand Steward was admitted on a report and he informed the Brethren that the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Paul Hillary PPJGW was outside the door of the Lodge, whereupon the Lodge DC, W Bro Richard Theaker organised an escort for W Bro Hillary. Thereafter the minutes, having been distributed electronically and there being no amendments required, were declared carried and signed by the Worshipful Master. Brief reports were delivered.

There were two Entered Apprentices present: they retired and the Lodge was raised to the Second Degree. Bro Martin Wright was then presented to the Lodge as Master Elect. W Bro Green informed Bro Wright of the character expected of him when in the Chair, before the Secretary, Bro Tom Calkwell, read out the duties he would be expected to fulfill. Bro Wright having indicated his agreement to all the above, then took his obligation as Master Elect.

The Lodge was raised to the Third Degree, and all those below the degree of an Installed Master retired. The Lodge was further raised to a Board of Installed Master, and during the ceremony known as the Inner Working, during which W Bro Green gave the second obligation - again from memory - and the Installed Masters saw Worshipful Brother Martin Leslie Wright placed in the Chair of King Solomon and the gavel placed in his hand.

The Lodge was severally lowered to the First Degree, the Brethren were appropriately readmitted and perambulated under the skilful direction of W Bro Theaker, saluting the newly installed master, who sat in the East with a broad smile on his face, proudly wearing his apron and collar of Office. The address to the WM was given by the Representative, that to the Wardens by me, and that to the Brethren by W Bro Christopher Brown. Normal business was resumed, and W Bro Wright took greetings from the many visitors (W Bro Charles Alexander gave greetings from Humber 57) and closed the Lodge, the Brethren figuratively locking away their secrets in the safe and sacred repository of their hearts. The Masonic Anthem was powerfully sung by W Bro Graham Miles, the Brethren joining in the choruses.

The festive board (thankfully a salad!) was a time for merriment - Graham sang the Masonic Anthem and also "Happy to Meet Again" at the end and the Brethren departed looking forward to the next meeting.

 [Photograph of W Bro Martin Wright by W Bro Charles Alexander WM of H57.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

Friday 23rd June 2023, Leeds:

Lodge of Living Stones, Headingly

by Charles Alexander

 

Craig Maurier and I assembled with the West Riding Brethren in the impressive entrance hall of Castle Grove Masonic Hall, which is the home of the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Yorkshire, it is an impressive building which was built as a private residence in 1834 for the linen merchant Samuel Holmes, many of the original architectural features still remain including the sweeping main staircase and the wood panelling, there is also a beautiful domed ceiling.

After a meeting of Past Masters was finished we were invited to clothe and enter the Lodge. The Director of Ceremonies then proceeded to square the Lodge with an incense burner starting at the central Bible pedestal under the "G", and pausing at each pedestal in turn to purify and cleanse them before the Lodge was opened.

The Officers of the Lodge of Living Stones 4957 were then assembled to create an escort for the Worshipful Master, W Bro David F Jones; the Lodge was opened in due form with some of the ritual being familiar and some of it not so familiar. The candles at each pedestal were ceremonially lit, and also there was a word given to the Inner Guard and Tyler when they were presented with their emblems of  office, (a dagger and a sword), the word we were later to learn would be required if any of the Brethren had to leave the Lodge for any reason.

The Senior Deacon, having not been present at the installation, was invested with his collar, after which the lights of the Lodge were dimmed and we had five minutes of quiet contemplation.

We then moved on to the work of the evening: a Paper presented by W Bro Philip Harris entitled "Thou Shall". This curious title, which seemed to bridge the gap between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, explored the meaning and symbolism of the word "Love" and the various interpretations with regard to the Masonic ritual and to the wider world in general, and how its use has changed over the years and in modern society.

The paper was well received by the Brethren. We then had a further five minutes where the lights were dimmed to allow individual time to consider the paper that had been presented.

The Lodge was closed in due form with a repeat of the candle ceremony but now extinguishing the lights at the pedestals, after which the Inner Guard and Tyler returned their implements of Office.

The Officers of the Lodge escorted the Master from the Lodge. We then all assembled for an excellent festive board which rounded off a great evening.

 Charles Alexander, WM

 

 

Friday 23rd June 2023, Beverley:

Tablers' Passing

Disappointingly few members were at the June Ridings Tablers' Lodge meeting - and it is not so long ago that the members voted in favour of an extra meeting in Summer. Doubtless the result of a combination of factors - holidays, work commitments, ill-health - one hates to consider apathy as a factor, but looking at the decline in numbers in other organisations, it seems that since Covid there has been a reassessment of commitment. Are we now scared to meet and shake hands?

Once again, the Brother for whom the ceremony took place must remain anonymous and unphotographed. While he (and the Brother in last night's initiation, also the Beverlonian Brother at the beginning of the month - see below) is proud to be a Freemason, the sensitive nature of his work makes it unwise to risk exposure in the public domain.

It was the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586, on a warm Friday evening. The WM, W Bro Martin E Clark opened the Lodge with confidence which inspired those stand-in Brethren, and those multi-tasking Brethren now holding several offices, to make their best efforts. The Secretary relinquished his crossed quills for a Deacon's wand. W Bro Stephen Hastings as Mentor, Secretary and DC was rushed from pillar to post in his various roles. I'll not name everyone, but if you are a RTL member reading this blog who for whatever reason couldn't attend, I exhort to to try and turn up in future.

The Brother taking his Second Degree was there early, setting up the tables for the meal afterwards - not to mention collecting the cash and negotiating with Theresa, the chef. Others helped, of course when they arrived, but let me add a thank you here on behalf of all the L9586 Brethren. 

Having answered the questions supplied at his initiation, the Candidate was entrusted with the secrets leading to the Second Degree, and, while he retired to change into the judo suit for the ceremony (how we envied him as we sat there in jackets and gloves) the Lodge was opened on the Square. On his return the obligation was given flawlessly by the WM, the SW, VW Bro J M M Smith communicated the signs and word of the degree. Senior Deacon Bro Paul Holland conducted him round with great dignity. The working tools were explained by W Bro Terry Fisher along with the perfect ashlar in an impressive sincere delivery.

After the Charge, the Candidate went out to restore himself to his suit and tie, and Bro Ian Brough was instructed in the Royal Arch, an explanation given by the WM. The Lodge was closed in the 2° and the Brethren retired to the dining hall below where Theresa had prepared a delicious mild chicken curry. The WM had two helpings.

A good evening - pity there weren't more there to appreciate how good it was.

Eddie Wildman - organist

 

 

Thursday 22nd June 2023:

1st Degree for 7833

The Lodge of St Michael 7833 was rather low on numbers, this being a traditional holiday month, and will not meet again until September when another initiation will be performed. Consequently, a substitute Junior Warden was found in the person of W Bro Armadas Tuboalabo who had recently become WM of his mother Lodge in Nigeria. "Yes, I know Emulation," said Armadas, "I don't need a book." Other Offices were swapped too.

Our Candidate for the evening, whilst already a Mason, did not join in the English Constitution and has wisely decided to go through each degree again as a member of L7833, thereby becoming a more integral part of this friendly Lodge. In the meantime, he has tales to tell of foreign parts in which Freemasonry is not well regarded.

I was privileged to give the address in the North-East Corner, but it was unashamedly Humber Working, so our Candidate experienced a mixture of two different workings, which the WM later referred to as "Humberlation Ritual." It was a convivial evening, one of the warmest in the year as one would expect of the Summer Solstice and after the traditional Auld Lang Syne at the end of the festive board, we departed in daylight.

For the comments of the Worshipful Master, W Bro Peter Stokes, please see this date on the L7833 blogpage

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

Wednesday 21st June 2023:

Summer Solstice at the Sailmakers

Craig Maurier gave a brilliant lecture showing the astronomical influences which have been used in esoteric societies and others from past ages, for the Phoenix Lodge 9963, which was attended by a Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Ian Syddall, and his DC, W Bro Mark Cusack.  (Mark is the one on the right of the picture.) The Phoenix Lodge boasts several members from Humber 57, and as the visiting Rep is also a member he kindly agreed to provide the blog for the L57 website on this occasion.

 

Phoenix 9963


My Visit as Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master

by Ian Syddall


On Wednesday 21st June 2023 I was honoured to attended the Phoenix Lodge 9963 as Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Dr David Chambers. In this capacity I was afforded a DC in the name of W Bro Mark Cusack ProvGStwd.

This was Mark’s first DC visit and what a fine job he did, thank you Mark for your support!

This Lodge I was proud to visit, not only as the Representative, but because I was one of the founder members.

On arrival we were greeted as were the other visitors with a typical wonderful Masonic warm welcome,

The Phoenix Lodge meets at the Sailmakers Arms, 158 High Street Hull HU1 1NQ…Yes in a pub! Other unusual facts regarding this lodge, the attire is as stated on the summons for a Regular Meetings: Conservative attire; work wear, shirt tie if preferred any colour, jacket trousers, lounge or morning suit. Aprons, as appropriate and Collars and white gloves.

However, on this occasion, the WM Alex McCullum PPStdB authorised the Brethren to remove their jackets and gloves, the upstairs room where the meeting was being held was very warm indeed.

It was really good to see other Humber 57 Brethren in attendance, but as members of the Phoenix Lodge; those were W Bro Eddie Wildman who is the Mentor and Acted as Tyler for the evening and Richard Smedley, Assistant Secretary.

The business of the evening was to receive a presentation by W Bro Craig Maurier (another member of Humber 57) called “It’s written in the Stars” about the connection between Chapter masonry and the Stars, it was fascinating. Well done, Craig.

     • The Lodge Started at 1900 hrs. Ended: 20.15
     • 16 attended the meeting, 14 members and 2 visitors.

Another unusual difference with this Lodge, it has no festive board. in fact there are a number of differences to this Lodge, if you want to find out more, why not make a visit and see how many differences there are to your own Lodge? They meet on the third Wednesday in April and June, the third Tuesday in September and November and the fourth Saturday in February (Installation.)

Because they do not have a festive board, I was unable to give the official response to the fifth toast So I gave greetings at the end of the meeting, passing on the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master’s greetings and best wishes for the future. The WM also afforded me the opportunity to mention information which would have been given at the festive board:

    • The Provincial Grand Lodge was held on Saturday the 13th of May and James Steele received Active rank of Provincial Asst Grand Director of Ceremonies; First appointment Antonio Ramirez received PPAssGstdBearer; Past Active Rank Paul Hillary PPSGW and Mark Richardson PPGSwdB.
Also Congratulations to Richard Smedley and Eddie Wildman on receiving Grand Rank.

    • The Chapter Convocation will take place on Saturday the 16th of September from 11am. (Please be seated by 10.30.)

     • We will enter Festival in 2024 so we will need to be prepared. Further details will follow soon
   • Provincial Charity Day will take place on Thursday 26th October 2024 it will be held at The Parsonage Hotel Escrick, again more information will be sent out later in the summer.

Thank you to the Lodge Secretary, W Bro Antonio Ramirez PPAGStB for his time and support, Also, the WM and Brethren for their very warm Masonic welcome. The Lodge is in solid competent hands under the mastership of W Bro Alex McCullum PPStdB.

The Lodge has 27 members plus 6 honorary members, of which 21 are members of Chapter.

Thank you, Phoenix Lodge 9963, for a superb evening, and I will see you again.

Ian Syddall Provincial Grand Charity Steward

 

  

Monday 19th June 2023:

Holderness 3563 Initiation

Another splendid evening at Beverley Road with the Brethren of the Holderness Lodge 3563 (WM: W Bro Darren Wiseman) - with eighteen visitors from seven sister Lodges (the Light Blues and the Cornerstone Circle) well represented - the place was buzzing.

It is always a pleasure to welcome a new Candidate, and Mr James Anderson looked on good form even before he signed the forms and changed into shirt sleeves for the ceremony (it was very warm - I certainly envied him) and the Brethren were well rehearsed. The WM, W Bro Darren Wiseman welcomed the visitors (seven from Minerva 250, seven from Old Hymerians 6885 - the latter on a mission to capture the travelling gavel) and opened the Lodge smoothly. The DC, W Bro Paul Greenwood, tall and authoritative, led the greetings to UGLE, the new Secretary, Bro John Ledger read a portion of the ancient charge, and we were under way.

Bro Andrew Holbrook was invested as the Inner Guard, and a report was taken for the Candidate.

Mr Anderson was conducted around the checkered pavement by the JD, W Bro Danny Betts, immediately becoming accustomed to the smart squaring of the Lodge with precise 90° corners, and answering the questions put to him clearly and distinctly (a blessing to those of us who struggle with hearing aids.) The Worshipful Master obligated him, and the Lesser Lights were delivered by Bro Colin Wilson. Having relinquished the Secretary's chair, it felt strange, he said, to be out on the floor again. Nonetheless he gave a fine performance with his measured delivery and warm smile.

W Bro James Ashby-Kelly left his post outside the door of the Lodge to deliver the Secrets, and Brother Anderson then communicated them to the JW, Bro Jimmy Kitchen, and the SW, Bro Chris Taylor before being invested with the white leathern apron that characterises Freemasons everywhere, however exalted their rank. W Bro Rich Tyson gave the address at the North East Corner and the Warrant was pointed out and the Book of Constitutions presented by W Bro Malvin Sharpless, looking remarkable fit after his recent heart attack. Bro Lee Atkinson explained the Working Tools, and W Bro Ben Kelly, acting as Chaplain, delivered the Ancient Charge with his usual flair.

While Bro Anderson retired to restore himself to his suit and tie, reports were given, and on his return there was a proposal made for a joining member after which greetings were extended along with an intimation that the travelling gavel would be claimed in due course. The closing ode was sung and the Lodge closed.

I took several photographs, but as usual  Bro Mike Kelly's snapshots were much better than mine and are included here. He looked at my picture of W Bro Crozier receiving the gavel, and nodded. "Nice angle," he said kindly. "Pity it's blurred."

A festive board of melon, chicken curry and black forest gateau was too tempting, and I'm sure I was a stone heavier after the meal. Ben Kelly, now sitting in as Senior Warden was slimly abstemious, forgoing the starter and nibbling a mouse-size portion of blue cheese. "I like to look after my figure," he told me, eyeing my waistline reproachfully. "There's nothing wrong with the figure nought," I said. 

James Ashby-Kelly proposed the toast to the Candidate, "James will be a great asset," he said, to which the Lodge's newest member responded ably and eloquently. At the response to the toast to the visitors, W Bro Andrew Crozier, Master of the Old Hymerians' Lodge 6885 claimed the travelling gavel, posing for snapshots as only a frustrated photographer can do. "Try it in landscape!" he told me. It was blurred.

W Bro David Green, WM of the Minerva Lodge 250 offered me a lift home. "I'll do the write-up for Minerva," he said. "Terrific" I answered. "I'll put a link to your website on my blog." Here it is.

 A splendid evening - well done, Holderness Lodge!

[Photograph of Bro Anderson and W Bro Wiseman, and of W Bro Crozier receiving the travelling gavel from the L3563 WM by Bro Mike Kelly.]

 Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Saturday 17th June 2023:

Technical Mentoring by the Crossed Chisels

The business stated on the Technical 5666 summons was to "receive a talk from the Provincial Mentor W Bro Mike Cheeseman and the Lodge Mentor W Bro Allan McKay." The Mentor's Badge of Office is "Two Chisels in Saltire" - that is to say, crossed diagonally.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Dan Laughton opened the Lodge efficiently and invited Worshipful Brother Cheeseman, Provincial Grand Mentor, to speak. Mike dilated briefly on his personal life, working in Mental Health from 1983, beginning as a Trainee Nursing Associate and providing person-centred care across health and social care settings alongside a multi-disciplinary team, little knowing how in the years to come these disciplines would prove essential in his Masonic career. He retired thirty-four years later as a director. He has worked in security in the magistrates' court in Beverley and is a keen supporter of White Ribbon UK - a leading charity engaging boys and men to end violence against girls and women.

His Masonic rise has been impressive, from his initiation into the Technical Lodge in 2008 to being Provincial Mentor (that is to say an active rank, in which he works with the Provincial Management and supports the RWPGM on visits etc.) "It is hard work," he conceded, "but great fun." His responsibilities include the overseeing of mentoring around Yorkshire North and East Ridings, linking to Lodge Mentors (such as Allan McKay, who was to speak later) with advice and assistance where needed. "I'm basically a friend and confidante," he smiled, but I'm responsible in part for retention, and implementing the Pathway among members."

His high rank seems but an extension of what he has been doing throughout his entire career, encouraging younger people to become involved and appreciative of what good can be done in the world, and demonstrating by example that engaging and talking to people "blesses him that gives as well as him that receives," to quote the Charge at the North-East Corner. He was at pains, however, to emphasise that the Technical Lodge was so well organised in its present mentoring scheme that it had none of the problems that had damaged other Lodges.

W Bro Allan McKay reiterated this point. He had skilfully managed the Technical Lodge 5666 as Worshipful Master through the difficult Covid years, and now as Lodge Mentor, his role was much more personal than that of W Bro Cheeseman, in that he was immediately aware of every Lodge member, and well qualified to advise any that needed any guidance either on his own merits, or by directing them to assistant mentors who might supply their needs. A quiet and modest man, even with the Tyler's sword in his hand (he currently holds two offices) he is eminently approachable. "It is not only the new members that need support," he commented, "but those who don't often turn up, that often could use encouragement."

Various pertinent points were raised by the listeners, including the role of proposers and seconders, and of relatively unknown joiners through the internet: it was evident the talks by the Crossed Chisels had served at least one purpose in raising awareness and increasing understanding.

The Royal Arch Representative Bro Jon Paul Robinson delivered the new RAC address to Bro Steve Walker, after which reports followed.

The WM closed the Lodge with equal efficiency and the Brethren retired to join the ladies at the Festive Board, a tribute to the skill of our chef, Luke Pyrah, this being the second function he'd fed that day. Only two toasts were given, but W Bros David Turner, Jonathon Sykes and Philip Daniels sang "Happy to meet again" to everyone at the end, delighting the ladies who had never heard this Masonic musical jewel before.

A lovely night.

[W Bros Cheeseman, ProvGMent; Dan Laughton, WM; and Allan McKay, Mentor and Tyler, and the Ladies at the Festive Board - Photo by ERW]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

Wednesday 14th June 2023:

Provincial Trip to UGLE

It was early morning on bin day when I set off, but the sun had been warming the air for ages. I checked I had my regalia and train tickets and set off in good time: the black bins stood like sentinels outside the houses on Welbeck Street as I walked past. I was in luck: a bus was on its way down Princes Avenue and I was able to ride into town instead of walking. Consequently I arrived at Hull Paragon Station before six o' clock and forgot to buy a newspaper.

Four Thesaurus Brethren were already on the platform, colourfully clad in shorts and teeshirts - all they needed was a bucket and spade. "We're going to paint London red," announced Garry Millett, twirling his case on wheels. He explained that they were staying overnight, so were going to change into their regalia at the hotel. "That's a relief," I said, imagining the Grand Director of Ceremonies' expression if they'd attempted to gain entry in beach gear. Craig Stainforth was anxiously consulting his phone. "Who's he ringing, " I asked, "at six in the morning?" Adam Watson gave a tolerant smile. "My Membership Officer has forgotten his regalia," he explained. "You see what I have to put up with as Worshipful Master." W Bro John Watson nodded. "His wife doesn't sound very happy," he pointed out helpfully. Craig grimaced. "Eddie, don't you dare put this in your blog,"he said. "Of course not," I lied. Danny Betts joined us on the platform - I'd been sitting opposite him the night before. Unlike me, he's an early bird. I was still struggling to keep my eyes open.

There was a gaggle of schoolchildren there too, but fortunately not in my carriage - we'd booked seats seperately, and I was happily by myself so I could relax and jot down some preliminary notes as the sunlit landscape hurtled past - green fields and wild hedgerows full of cow parsley. Just before Eastrington there was a beautiful hge clump of purple poppies, gone too fast to photograph. Consider the lilies of the field, I said to myself.

Last time I travelled to Kings Cross for a meeting at UGLE (see 27 April below) I mentioned my growing concern with AI or Artificial Intelligence. I wasn't the only one, and according to the radio those movers and shakers who know much more about such things than I were discussing about controlling its application by agreement - a futile gesture, for as computer whizz Alistair said, "the cat is out of the bag now." Do the governments of this and other nations really believe foreign powers will meekly comply to technical restrictions? At a time when ex-prime ministers are shamed and ex-presidents indicted how can we trust the integrity of those who rule? And on a more basic level, how can a simple man like me know what is real and what is scam? Given the extraordinarily huge sums of (virtual) money that are (virtually) transferred over the (virtual) globe every nanosecond, how can I be sure some AI doppleganger isn't spending all my hard-earned cash on (virtual) sex, drugs and rock n' roll? I'm sure AI can dupliate my voice perfectly with "My voice is my password."  We are in great danger. I anticipate a religious revival in the next decade.

However, it was too early for such depressing speculation about in whom one could put one's trust. I stared at the green acres flashing past and let my eyes close.

The carriage filled at Grantham and someone invaded the seat next to mine, while an unbooked young lady was politely ousted from a seat in front of me. Laptops were deployed, mobile phones plugged in and electronic messages flickered invisibly from our south trajectory at unimaginable speeds to destinations all over the spinning globe. Come the AI revolution the human element will become unnecessary, people will be redundant and everyone will stay in bed.

The express drew into Kings Cross two minutes early and I made my way to Holborn on the tube without difficulty. The nearby Shakespeare's Head was open; sitting happily outside were Malcolm Brocklesby and Jimmy (Two Kilts) Kerr who had arrived for a meeting the day before. The hostelry was thriving serving gentlemen in morning suits with full English breakfasts their wives probably wouldn't allow them to have back home. I'd just ordered a coffee when Danny Betts arrived - he'd walked from Kings Cross. I didn't want to endure the traffic noise and smells - even before ten in the morning it was busy, so I made my way to Great Queen Street, only a few minutes away. The main entrance was still surrounded by scaffolding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Rob Atkinson and Danny Laughton were drinking coffee. "I think there are about ninety from Yorkshire North and East Ridings," Danny said. "Are you coming to the Freemasons' Arms afterwards for lunch?" I confirmed I'd signed up for that, and went for a wander round the building - meeting familiar faces on the way. (Peter Stokes took one of me on the stairs, and I took one of him, which will probably appear on the website for the Lodge of St Michael.)

We were not altogether in the magnificent Lodge Room (other Provinces bringing significant numbers got a mention but we didn't!) but I elected to sit with some friends on the north balcony. Richard East (who was suffering in the heat) was good at spotting people. "There's Jeffrey Gillyon," he said, pointing to a glittering array of gold braided Brethren down below. He's in the cheap seats now he's a Past Provincial Grand Master."

I saw Steve Cox, Richard Theaker and Danny Betts at the back of the opposite balcony - and tried to put names to other faces I knew from all over the Province as I scanned the scene. It was impressive as always and the organist, playing until the meeting was about to begin, was excellent. The console is now reversed so that the organist can clearly see what is going on instead of having to rely on mirrors and hand signals from the wings - a great improvement.

Everyone became quiet as an Assistant Director of Ceremonies gave a safety announcement, after which the Grand Director of Ceremonies, Very Worshipful Brother C B Hopkinson-Woolley warned us to ensure our phones were turned off, and gave permission for gloves to be removed. There would be three processions, he explained, culminating with the Pro Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Jonathan Spence.

The ceremonial was achieved with solemn dignity, the MWProGM was saluted with eleven. As Brethren will have access to the UGLE minutes I'll not dilate on everything, except to remark on the award of the Grand Master's Order of Service to Freemasonry, presented with a suitable citation to Brother Michael Edward Herbert, aged ninety, for his exceptional services to the Craft and elsewhere. Later on a talk was given about this remarkable and limited honour, instituted in 1945 as a personal gift from the Grand Master. The Order is limited to twelve holders (returned on their deaths) and entitles them to place the letters OSM after their names, preceding any other Masonic rank they hold. Bro Herbert has never taken the Chair despite his outstanding services to Freemaonry over many years. I looked across the hall to see W Bro Richard Theaker paying close attention. He has a fine collection of rare Masonic jewels - I bet he'd be keen to take a close look at this one.

We stood for a moment in memory of passed Grand Officers, and my thoughts turned to the sudden and unexpected death of W Bro Paul Goldthorpe. As I am typing up these  notes, I have just received notification of another Brother of the Kingston Lodge 1010, W Bro Peter Adamson. Sic transit gloria mundi.

The Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master spoke of the midsummer quarterly meeting being a time for reflection, and of the new strategies now in operation for the promotion of the Craft, remarking that the role of Royal Representative was increasingly challenging and important.

Grand Lodge was closed in due and ancient form.

The Freemasons Arms had closed to the public to accommodate the YN&ER Brethren; there were too many for us all to dine upstairs with the RWPGM Dr David Chambers, and a couple of dozen or so dined in the bar area. it was meat pie (big surprise) and there was plenty to drink. Ian Syddall kept filling my wine glass while I wasn't looking (okay, sometimes I was) and I enjoyed myself thoroughly, in good company. It was satisfying to see friends from the Ridings Tablers' Lodge, (Jonathan Smith was in good form as always) Technical Lodge and many others. The noise was getting to me before the end, however - as I'm getting old I don't cope with random racket and clatter very well, so I left and made my way (perhaps a little wobblier than usual) back to Kings Cross, with its ambient fusion of Victorian and modern styles, gallery of eateries and Harry Potter Shop. I bought a bottle of water at Marks & Sparks and applied myself to this blog after failing to solve the Sudoku in the free Metro paper (I blame Ian Syddall) and noting there was nothing reported about Artificial Intelligence. (Maybe it's already on guard, I reflected.)

My reserved seat on the return train was in the carriage with the Bricknell Primary children, but they were well behaved, and, surprisingly, not exhausted after a long day in the metropolis. The sun was on the side of my face or the back of my neck, but it would have been churlish to ask people to close the blind, so I went into a doze again.  Senectus est insanabilis morbus.

I joined Malcolm and Jimmy as we neared Hull, and gratefully accept Malcolm's offer of a lift home. "My wife's waiting for us," he said, as we approached the barrier at the station. "We're taking Jimmy and you're on the way, it's no problem." So I made it back to Welbeck Street just before the sun dropped below the horizon. There was my black bin, standing guard, waiting for me to put it away.

Eddie Wildman

 

 

Tuesday 13th June 2023:

International Author Lectures at Humber Lodge

Eddie reports:

Appropriately, the Humber Lodge had visitors from the cardinal points of the compass to hear W Bro Robert Lomas dilate on the third degree at the regular meeting, for his talk revolved around the symbolic directions in the Lodge Room (and their significance in geographical and esoteric applications.) As W Bro Lomas has already enlightened the Brethren on the deeper meanings in the first and second degrees on previous occasions, it was interesting to hear him give a resumé of these before completing the trilogy.

As this material is intended for those who have already passed through the third degree - and indeed, one young member had to absent himself during the lecture - I shall not go into depth here; suffice it to say that the talk, well illustrated on a wide screen, showed how the third degree is built on the lessons taught at initiation (light and knowledge) and on passing (he hidden mysteries and the building of character) culminated in the supression of ego, a balance between emotion and rationality, cold reason and spirituality, and an awareness of the divine spark and man's ultimate purpose.

Robert Lomas gained a first class honours degree in electronic engineering and was awarded a PhD for his research into solid state physics and crystalline structures, whereafter he has been involved in emergency services Command and Control Systems and Information Systems. He has lectured on the Neolithic period, archaeoastronomy, monuments and megaliths and on Freemasonry and is the author of several Masonic books.

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Charles Alexander, thanked W Bro Lomas and the Brethren showed their appreciation with sincere acclamation. The Lodge was lowered to the first degree, reports were given in brief, a proposition for a new member was made, correspondence and other matters dealt with efficiently and the the Lodge closed.

At the festive Board (the Brethren arranged in three sides of a square around the compass marking the centre of the floor) Chef Roy fed us all well (braised steak - lovely) and the toasts were given - notably a kind response from W Bro Dr Lomas, thanking the Humber Lodge for inviting him. W Bros Smedley and Terry led the singing of the visitors song and W Bro Neil Armstrong (Kingston Lodge 1010) gave an eloquent response on behalf of the visitors.

I was delighted that Bro Craig Morrison had picked me up on the way to the Lodge - and brought me back home, along with W Bros Fisher and Terry; which meant we could enjoy a drink - most welcome on this warmest of evenings. And an early night - it's bedtime for me after writing this brief report, for a number of us are due in London for the UGLE meeting in the morning.

Good night!

[Photograph of Robert Lomas and Charles Alexander by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

Charles Alexander reports:

 

There's not much I can add to Eddie's excellent report other than to say that at the festive board Robert and I had an interesting conversation about masonry in general with regard to some of the books he has written, and also his connection to masonry in Aberdeen, a place close to my heart.

He is a member of the Lodge of St George which meets at the main Masonic Hall in Aberdeen which is located in Crown Street - which is where I attended back in March of this year (see 27th March below.) 

He has also kindled my interest in discovering more about the history of the origins of Freemasonry in Scotland, and more importantly the role of Aberdeen in the early years.

This has been one of the highlights of my year in the Chair of KIng Solomon so far.

Charles Alexander, WM.

 

Saturday 10th June 2023 am:

Well done to the Worshipful Master and Bro Craig Morrison for their sterling work in running the Whisky Galore stall at Connaught Court: once again the Humber Lodge actively supported this very worthy cause. For W Bro Alexander's report, see the Events and Social Functions sub menu - and thanks to all who have donated bottles and cash contributions over the past two years - it is very much appreciated, not least because of the sacrifice made by these two sturdy Scotsmen in encouraging bottles of Uisge Beath be taken away by Sassenachs!

Congratulations to both!

 ERW

 

Saturday 10th June 2023 pm:

I do like to be beside the seaside: Eddie's report

The DC for the Representative of the RWPGM was the irrepressible W Bro Barry Longstaff, who asked if I'd like to go to Bridlington with him for a Saturday meeting in Sunny Bridlington. I said I'd be delighted, and Bazza kindly picked me up from Dagger Lane, where I'd played the organ for a wedding there that afternoon (see the picture of Zoe and Dan on the Wedding Venue page). It was a glorious day and we made good time in Bazza's swish VW; indeed there was time for a cup of tea on the seafront, and a stroll down Gypsey Bank, where he identified the various plants with modest expertise. I recognised the nettles (urticaceae) - mentioned in Freemason Robert Hooke's Mitographia in 1665, but Barry seemed to know every tree personally. "That's a laburnum," he said, pointing to a cascade of yellow flowers, "the most poisonous tree in Europe."

He proved himself to be equally knowledgeable about Masonic Tracing Boards as he dilated on the hand-painted ones in the Lodge Room at St John's Avenue. He looked carefully at the smaller tracing boards in the ante-room: "Harrises," he pronounced, "but early versions. Later, Harris revised the positioning of the pillars."

While we were upstairs I was asked if I would play the keyboard for the meeting, and I agreed. We went downstairs again and the WM arrived, W Bro Tony Durham, a younger member whose joining halved the average age of the Brethren. He was still in uniform, having come straight from work, where he is a paramedic manger with NHS ambulances, and greeted us fleetingly before going to change. The Representative then arrived, W Bro Kenneth Shaw PPSGW, and consulted with Barry about the protocol during the evening. He seemed a little surprised that the start time was six o' clock. "I thought it was half past," he said.

The WM opened the Lodge, and Barry reported in the distinctive tones of a Tyne tunnel man that the Representative was waiting at the door. He was admitted after an escort of Provincial Grand Lodge Officers had been formed.

Ken as a professional bricklayer took off his jacket to address the Lodge with a talk on "My Working Tools" and it was interesting to realise that in essence the same items cited in the three degrees are still deployed in the building industry. He explained the ancient level and plumb rule, pointing out that they have largely been superceded by the Spirit Level. His left-handed trowel (so shaped to be able easily to cut bricks) had an obvious Masonic connection with the Charity Steward's jewel of office, and his demonstration of the use of the ranging line, recalling one of the Third Degree implements, led on to the use of the Pythagorean right-angle.

W Bro Shaw spoke of the sealing of indentures at the end of apprenticeships, pointing out the etymology of the word relating to the tooth-like or wavy line cutting the document, and of the developments in Health and Safety since the 1950s.

The WM picked up on this point, recalling incidents where Brickie Shaw had suffered injury while working, then thanked the Reprentative for his valuable contribution to the evening before closing the Lodge in due form.

The festive board was enjoyable - the Lodge DC, W Bro Alan Smith across the table from me brandished his fork enthusiastically. "Hurray, it's not pie," he remarked. W Bro Shaw responded to toast number five with reminders about upcoming charity events, about Heritage Open Day on September 9th, and thanking Bazza for his invaluable assistance. "These chaps," he said, as Barry stood with tall authority, "are priceless."

Barry dropped me off at home at a quarter to ten. It was still light outside. I thanked him for his kindness in getting me there and back, and he smiled. "Anytime," he said, as I took my case from the boot. "See you at Humber on Tuesday!"

[Photograph of W Bro Ken Shaw by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor (and organist.)

 

 

 

Friday 9th June 2023:

Initiation at De la Pole Lodge

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Philip John Cowing PPJGD opened the De la Pole Lodge 1605 promptly and conducted the ritual with the calm authority of a ship's captain expecting a high degree of efficiency from his crew. It was an excellent ceremony; there were few visitors, but the Brethren were typically supportive, I counted thirty-four from the organ seat, including the Candidate.

After the opening, W Bro Cowing mentioned the four members who had received Provincial honours at York in May: W Bros Ron Stone, Ben Kelly, David Duffill and Jim Kerr; the Brethren applauded, appreciative not only of the Offices conferred, but on the reflected glory to L1605. This was followed by a ballot, after which the Inner Guard, Bro Mike Kelly took a report and admitted the Candidate, Mr Paul Dickinson. Conducted round the Lodge by the Junior Deacon, Bro John Holmes, Mr Dickinson was in safe hands; there was not a word nor even a toe out of place throughout the ceremony.

The WM led the Candidate through his obligation, and explained the Three Great Lights in Freemasonry to (now) Brother Dickinson. Bro Mike Kelly pointed out the Three Lesser Lights and the Signs were beautifully illustrated by Bro Thornally, all lines, levels and uprights enhanced by elegant gestures. Thus enlightened, Bro Dickinson was conducted to the Wardens for examination; W Bro David Nichol (Stand-in JW) and  Bro Ian Fuller (SW), and proved himself to be a quick study. Some Candidates during Initiation become overawed and allow everything to pass over their heads, not really taking in what is happening, but this was not the case this evening, in no small part because the Brethren performing the floor work had taken pains to ensure they were thoroughly familiar with the ritual.

Brother Fuller invested Brother Dickinson with his Entered Apprentice Apron, the belt of which had to be adjusted to its minimum length, the recipient being enviably slim. The address at the North East Corner was given by W Bro Peter Spencer and Bro Thornally rattled the collection box with dramatic fervour, doubtless inspired by Peter's delivery.

W Bro Forbes, his wrist still in plaster following his argument with Table Mountain some months ago, explained the Warrant and presented Bro Dickinson with his Book of Constitutions and the Lodge bylaws. I was priviliged to be asked to explain the Working Tools. I am short and the Candidate is tall, so I was in danger of getting a stiff neck looking at him. This situation was reversed when the Chaplain, W Bro Bastiman, delivered the Ancient Charge. From his lofty height and his position on the dais he commanded absolute attention as he communicated this extensive piece of ritual to Bro Dickinson, who remained totally focussed.

The questions (and answers) required for admission to the Second Degree were passed between the Wardens. Bro Fuller was word perfect, and resumed his seat with a satisfied smile on his face. The Candidate retired, the Almoner supplemented his email report with a verbal update, greetings were given and the Lodge was closed in due form.

There was a brief photograph session, after which the Brethren retired to the festive board, which was more informal. Bro Dickinson responded to the toast to him as the Candidate, thanking the Brethren and looking forward to progressing in the Craft.

A good evening - well done all.

[Photograph of Bro Paul Dickinson and W Bro Phil Cowing by Eddie; group photograph by Bro Ian Montgomery.]

Eddie Wildman, Organist

 

 

Thursday 8th June 2023:

Hymerian Initiation

I was proud to give greetings from the premier Lodge in the Province at the Old Hymerian Lodge 6885 following an excellent Initiation ceremony. I also stood when Bro Alistair Kenyon-Brodie and his father gave greetings as members of Phoenix Lodge 9663; there were a number of Phoenix Brethren there, including the L9963 WM, W Bro Alex McCallum, who was acting as the Inner Guard on this occasion. I counted twenty-nine Brethren there, nine of whom were visitors. A good turn-out.

The Old Hymerian Lodge uses Emulation ritual, which differs from Humber working in detail while still outlining the essential initiation ceremony. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Andrew Crozier opened the Lodge (in Emulation ritual the "flight check" is done by the WM and his Wardens, not shared between the other Officers) after which there was a report, and the ProvADC, W Bro James Wallace announced that the Provincial Senior Grand Warden. W Bro Stephen Cox, representing the RWPGM was outside the door of the Lodge requesting admission. An escort was formed, and W Bro Cox entered with dignity, taking his place on the left of the WM.

The minutes being confirmed, there was another report, this time to inform the Brethren that Mr Joshua Hornby humbly solicited to become a member, and after the usual confrontation at the door, he was admitted and placed in the capable hands of the Junior Deacon, W Bro Percy Little, who conducted him in review around the Lodge. He was obligated by the WM, instructed in the Great Lights and Lesser Lights in Freemasonry, and entrusted with the Secrets. Brother Hornby was obviously paying close attention to the proceedings, and enjoying the ceremony. It transpired at the Festive Board that he had known the WM for years and that gave him a certain confidence. During the ceremony Brother Peter Presland distinguished himself not only with the explanation of the Working Tools, but with a flawless rendition of the Ancient Charge. I was in awe.

After the reports, (the Charity Steward W Bro Michael de V. Roberts mentioning the Connaught Court  event in two days' time,  the opportunities regarding grants, and the P. A. U. L. for Brain Charity; the Almoner W Bro Robin Alden and others informing the Brethren of the health and otherwise of absent Brethren and their wives) there was a ballot for a new member to be initiated in October. It proved succesful - I was impressed to see the younger members of the Lodge taking part. The Lodge was closed in due and ancient form. 

The buffet afterwards was excellent, Alistair K-B somehow managing to eat two helpings ("Salad is healthy," he told me, as he made a sausage roll disappear) and the toasts were managed efficiently. W Bro Cox developed the RWPGM's theme of "change" explaining it is not threatening Lodges, but providing an opportunity for any Brother with skills that might be of use to Province, however junior or senior he may be, to make himself known. W Bro Cox used a business analogy explaining that the sensible employer makes best use of his workmen's talents.

The toast to the Candidate, followed by firing glasses and the Entered Apprentice Song showed a talent amongst the Old Hymerian Brethren of singing notes that have never been heard before, though the Organist, W Bro Graham Hunter did his best to keep them in order. Bro Josh Hornby's response was splendid, and we took our leave of one and other following the parting toast, Happy meet again.

[Photograph of Josh Hornby by Alistair Kenyon-Brodie. Photograph of the buffet by Eddie Wildman, before Alistair got there.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Wednesday 7th June 2023:

The summons for the Kingston Craft meeting had been changed as the Worshipful Master's mother had fallen ill, and rather than leave the Lodge to perform a second degree ceremony without the WM, W Bro Marcus Whereat ProvGStwd asked the Secretary to make other arrangements. W Bro Neil Armstrong asked me if I had any material, and, as the perceptive reader will have already realised, my lecture Confessions of a Masonic Organist  has been well rehearsed at other Lodges recently, and so featured on a re-run of the summons. It transpired that the Master's mum made a surprising recovery, thankfully, and so Marcus was able to attend anyway.

Rather than deliver the talk upstairs in the Lodge Room at Beverley Road, I decided to make the presentation from the keyboard in the dining hall. Consequently the meeting upstairs was essentially an open and close, and the Brethren came downstairs to fortify themselves with a drink from the bar, taking their places at the festive board, with their chairs turned to face yours truly.

The light-hearted reminiscences of my musical upbringing and its usefulness in the role of Masonic Organist was well received by the Brethren, and the visitor, Chris Fuller of the Phoenix Lodge 9963, while too young to recall such tunes as Dr Finley's Casebook, said he had nonetheless enjoyed the talk and the company of the Brethren, and hoped to come again next month to see Brother Proctor advance to the Second Degree.

It was still light outside when the parting toast was submitted, and I was grateful for the opportunity of an early night for a change, before which Neil Armstrong borrowed my phone to take a picture of me for the website. "It tends to blur a little," I warned."No, it's simply your age," he said, rather unkindly, I thought. "After all, you are much older than I am."

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist

 

 

Tuesday 6th June 2023:

To see Eddie Wildman's report on the Exaltation at the Technical Chapter 5666 see the Minerva blog page for this date.

 

 

Monday 5th June 2023:

Old Infections in New Clothes

1. Eddie Wildman reports:

The Humber Installed Masters Lodge 249c opened promptly at 6.30 with W Bro Philip Daniels PPSGW in the Chair. The meeting was well attended, with thirty-eight Brethren or thereabouts (it was difficult to see everyone from the organ seat) of whom three were visitors. Philip deftly sped through the opening, the Acting DC, W Bro Craig Maurier directing salutes at the Immediate Past Provincial Grand Master (with seven) and the other Officers of UGLE (with three, so it worked out as one each, I suppose.)

The ballot was interesting as when the ballot box was presented, it was found to be missing the dividing partition so it was impossible to know whether or not there had been any black balls; but the missing wooden slat was discovered, and the ballot taken a second time. It proved clear, and both W Bro Richard Smedley L57 and W Bro Peter Stokes L7833 were welcomed as members.

Two Officers were appointed, W Bro Paul Brown as Mentor, and W Bro Ian Syddall as Almoner. The latter reported there and then on the health of the Brethren, concluding "We have a hundred and seven members in this Lodge - and we are all mentors - please keep me informed, Brethren."

The next item was a lecture (though he refered to it as a talk) by the Junior Warden, W Bro Hiten Thaker PPJGW; MB, M.Sc FRCP (London) FRCPS (Glas), FRCPI, DTM&H, PG Cert Med Law - Consultant in Infectious Diseases - Hull University Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust. The thrust of his illustrated exposition was an examination of the historical incidence and spread of pandemics as a salutary warning for the future.

"When I became a doctor," Hiten began, "people said 'We've got rid of infections . . . the war against pestilence has been won.'" This was not true, he told us, giving a detailed account of the spread of Monkey Pox, SARS, Ebola and others, backed by careful graphs, maps and some horrible graphics. He spoke convincingly of the "forgotton infections" - Syphilis, Measles and Influenza. While some are commonly regarded as recent, this is a fallacy: medieval skeletons unearthed when digging the foundations for the nearby Princes Quay showed evidence of bone changes due to syphilis. "We live with flu," he remarked, noting that the available injections are tailored to protect against a frequently changing virus, "but seasonal flu still is the cause of 250,000 to 500,00 deaths per year." The Spanish Flu in 1918 had claimed the lives of over 21,000,000 people, he reminded us.

It was alarming to discover how many infections had initially been considered unimportant and had subsequently mushroomed, either through touch, or as air-borne particles. SARS (Severe Acute Respiritory Syndrome), MERS and COVID-19 (the name being an acronym of Corona, Virus, Disease and a date) were cases in point. While there is superb preventative treatment available for some diseases (e.g. measles) media scares about the vaccines being unhelpful have resulted in recent exponential growths of these infections.

Antibiotics, he said, while remaining currently effective may pose a problem, as common infections are becoming increasingly resistant to them. Southern Europe and countries where appropriate antibiotic policies are not in place are at a greater risk. Hiten spoke hopefully of other solutions which may become available in the future, informing rather than alarming his audience in his customary calm, measured delivery. 

Dr Thaker answered questions, saying that often the cause of the spread of infection was due to poverty, poor sanitation aand lack of information. "Don't eat salads abroad!" he warned. "Have cooked food. Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes." The probability that bats might be the originators of some deadly viruses, (but rodents, snakes, and even camels have been cited) was aired. It was a very useful talk, making us all more aware of the invisible dangers we face and reasonable precautions we might observe, because, we were warned, "the fight is not won just yet!"

Spontaneous applause indicated the close attention the Brethren had given to W Bro Thaker. This was the second lecture I had heard from him (see 13th May, a.m. below) and I was well impressed.

AOB included discussion about the Broken Column Brooch for Masonic Widows, and the possibility of HIM Lodge becoming partially peripatetic. Greetings were given from Technical Lodge and from Humber 57, for WM Charles Alexander was there as a visitor; several of us stood as he did; almost all of us in Active Office in the Humber Installed Masters Lodge.

The meal was splendid, as always, and the WM reminded everyone that the Daggards would be performing at the next meeting in October. (The Night Soil Men. Watch this space.) W Bro John Chapman sang the "Happy to meet again" song at the conclusion of the proceedings, and W Bro Gary Shores gave the Tyler's toast.

[Photograph of W Bro Hiten Thaker wearing the Junior Warden's collar by Eddie Wildman.]

 Eddie Wildman, organist.

2. Charles Alexander reports:

 

Last night Monday 5th June I attended Humber Installed Masters for the first time, at Beverley Road Masonic Hall; these are familiar surroundings as this is where my mark lodge Lord Bolton 785 is held,.

It was great to be at a meeting where all the faces were known to me, and it was a pleasure to talk to some I haven't seen for a while.

We all proceeded to the Lodge Room where the master, W Bro Philip Daniels called the meeting to order and opened the Lodge in the first degree. There were two new members balloted for that evening: our own W Bro Richard Smedley, and W Bro Peter Stokes of the Lodge of St Michael 7833. After troubles with the ballot box and a second attempt at the ballot they were duly accepted as members. I was also proposed by W Bro Terry Fisher and seconded by W Bro Ian Syddall; I will be balloted for at the next meeting in October.

We then went on to receive a talk by W Bro Hiten Thaker entitled " Old infection in new shoes" about the rise and fall and rise again of infectious disease such as COVID-19, Ebola, and Influenza (flu) which was very interesting and well received by all the Brethren.

The Lodge was closed in due and ancient form and we all retired to the festive board where the talk and the banter was quite lively. It was noted that at the toast to Provincial Grand Officers there were only three of us who stood up, which was quite amusing. I gave the response for the visitors and the festive board was closed by W Bro John Chapman singing the parting song.

It was a great evening with some great friends.

Charles Alexander. Worshipful Master

 

 

Saturday 3rd June 2023:

"Adolescentiam Alunt Senectutem Oblectant" - the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 has adopted the School Motto from Cicero's words, which the summons loosely translates as "Sustain youth and entertain old age." It is an incomplete translation, as it is only part of the sentence originally in Cicero's oration "On behalf of Archias the Poet" who was accused of not being a Roman citizen. However, the concept of sustaining the young and entertaining the old was particularly apt in the Lodge this evening as one of the younger members of the Lodge was succesfully raised to the Third Degree. Once again, only those who were there will know who he was, as his profession advises against his membership of the Fraternity being widely dispersed. I understand he has recently been given a double-O number which he has not deigned to deny or confirm.

While certain youngsters took part (magnificently) in the ritual- Liam's explanation of the Apron was impressive, indeed, one of the visitors asked for a copy to take to his Lodge in the Province of Lincolnshire - and the Worshipful Master, Mark Alan Fox, is one of the youngest Masters the Beverlonian Lodge has ever had in the Chair, there were plenty of senior citizens amongst the two dozen Brethren present. W Bro Roger Lewis delivered the Retrospect with immense authority, and indeed everyone who took part contributed to what was certainly one of the most powerful and moving Third Degree Ceremonies I have enjoyed in years. I was privileged to explain the working tools, and the close attention Bro 007 paid - along with the rest of the Brethren - was flattering. The peculiar subject of the Third Degree demands a certain amount of solemnity, dignity and respect, and this evening did not disappoint.

Reports followed, and donations agreed for various charities. The DC, W Bro Rod Taylor PGADC took the opportunity to exhort the younger Brethren to put themselves forward for the delivery of ritual, wisely advising that it should not be left in the hands of those Brethren drawing old age pensions.

The festive board was toothsome, and, surprisingly, it was approaching ten o' clock when the Brethren gathered in a Masonic Chain to take their leave of each other. I drove home watched by a huge full moon, bright in the clear sky.

Congratulations, Beverlonians! This ancient pensioner was well entertained.

[Computer reconstruction of the image of Roman statesman Marcus Tulllius Cicero (106 - 43 BCE) by Alessandro Tomasi.]

Eddie Wildman, Guest Organist.

 

Thursday 1st June 2023:

See the Humber Chapter Blog for an account of this evening's meeting.

 

Friday 26th May 2023:

 

Raising Ian

The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 meets in Beverley and I had the pleasure of being driven there by W Bro Barry Longstaff (pictured in the previous article) in his capacity as Provincial Grand Steward; he also picked up W Bro John Marris and the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Paul Harper. We arrived in good time.

Once again, ill-health and other circumstances contrived against a full team of Brethren being there and there was some swapping of roles at the last minute. W Bro Roger Lewis of the Beverlonian Lodge 9084 agreed to stand in as JW in addition to delivering some floor-work; W Bro Terry Fisher graciously took on the Office of Secretary to enable another Brother to act as JD, agreeing to let W Bro Wildman deliver the Historical Oration - there had been some confusion as to who was going to do that.

Nonetheless, Bro Ian Kenneth Brough was succesfully raised to the degree of a Master Mason, the WM, W Bro Martin E Clark remaining in firm control throughout despite the difficulties which on his arrival had appeared insurmountable.

Our Entered Apprentice, Alex, did a sterling job of setting up the dining room and sorting out the finances: next month he should be taking his second degree. The meal was excellent.

The Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master spoke persuasively on falling numbers throughout the Craft in general, saying that the greatest danger was apathy. 

The evening concluded with the singing of "May we all meet together". Thanks for the lift home, Bazza!

[Photograph of Ian Brough by ERW]

Eddie Wildman

 

 

 

Thursday 25th May 2023:

Reinstallation

Eddie Wildman reports

Cool, calm and collected, W Bro Peter James Stokes invested his Officers after himself taking the Chair of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 for a second year. The Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Michael de-Villamer Roberts, enlightening the Brethren on the etymology of the word "Master" gave its definition as "well skilled" and it was a pleasure to see the WM's acceptance of the role for a second term as his skills in diplomacy, thoughtful benevolence and solid common sense have kept L7833 on an even keel throughout the last twelve months; the Lodge can look forward to another year of happy stability.

The installation ceremony began at 5.30, an hour later than usual as the ritual was truncated, it not being necessary to re-obligate the WM. Unfortunately there were a number of Brethren who will have to be invested on a future occasion, and the visitors were fewer than one might have expected pre-covid. One may wonder if the pandamic has significantly challenged attendance not only in Lodge meetings but all social gatherings, especially as the enforced abstention appears in some instances to have persuaded some to retire completely. Only time will tell.

The Lodge of St Michael is a very caring Lodge and it was good to see some Brethren there who while suffering with ill health and old age are nonetheless made to feel welcome and appreciated; the Almoner does a sterling job - resonating, indeed, with our own at Humber Lodge. I was a little less impressed by the manners of some - especially at the Festive Board, where I felt the behaviour was occasionally less than gentlemanly, but perhaps I was being unduly sensitive.

W Bro Terry Lynn PPJGW sang both the anthem in the Lodge Room and the Master's Song downstairs beautifully.

A particular mention should be made of Julie's cookies with the coffee before the meeting began. Very welcome and very yummy.

[Photograph of W Bro Stokes flanked by the Representative W Bro de Villamar Roberts and his DC, W Bro Barry Longstaff by Eddie Wildman.]

 Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

Wednesday 24th May 2023:

See the Chapter blog page on this date for Eddie's presentation at the Chapter of St Andrew 4683.

 

 

Monday 22nd May 2023:

Tom Calkwell's Lecture début

Eddie Wildman reports

When greetings were given at the end of the meeting upstairs at Beverley Road Masonic Hall, I was put in mind of the Venn diagrams used to identify sets. (John Venn was a mathematician born in Hull - see the Well Connected nugget in the Humber nugget cache.) The Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 was quite full - indeed the visitors outnumbered the Brethren, with half a dozen Entered Apprentices, from L5642, from Juno 10001, and from a Lodge in Ipswich. One visitor was from a London Lodge, but there was a contingent from Humber 57 (Malcolm Forbes and me - but if you were to draw Venn diagram bubbles to connect us, we would also be in the Andrew Marvell bubble as Malcolm is Charity Steward - and stand-in Junior Warden on this occasion.) Bro Tom Calkwell, of whom more later, is the Andrew Marvell Senior Warden, but as he is the Minerva Lodge Secretary, he was also supported by Brethren from Minerva 250: Chris Brown, Danny Betts, Rich Driver and me. The Representative of the RWPGM, Steve Cox, is a member of Holderness 3563 along with Danny and Malvin Sharpless. His DC, James Steele. is a member of Juno. There were other connections, but that's enough!

The Worshipful Master, W Bro Chris Lefevre opened the Lodge, pleased at the number of visitors and asking the Entered Apprentices to stay behind for a photograph afterwards. A knock on the door from W Bro James E G Steele, making his first appearance as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and his smart entry was impressive; he fluently organised a Provincial escort  and subsequently formed them into a well disciplined parade for the Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W Bro Stephen Cox, whose commanding presence and enormous poise highlighted what the ritual calls "the dignity and high importance of Masonry."

After the minutes had been signed and other essential business, the Lodge was called off. This must have been a new experience for some of the visitors; the VSL closed, the Wardens' columns reversed; but it marks a certain relaxation, and permits the Tyler to enter (while keeping a close watch should there be any latecomers.)

The next business was an explanation of the First degree Tracing board, by the Senior Warden, Bro Tom Calkwell.

The Lodge Room has a painting  after John Harris on the South Wall, and the Brethren seated themselves in order to view this, but Tom had thoughtfully provided photocopies as the detail on the large painting has become obscured by age-darkened varnish.

The explanation is a long piece of ritual, and I was not surprised to learn that Tom had spent much of his holiday time learning it - "I don't know what the others must have thought," he said, "when I was just sat by the pool with a book in my hand, mumbling to myself." It had paid off, though. Tom's measured delivery was crisp and clear, delivered at a pace that allowed the listeners to understand the Victorian sentences, yet with conversational inflexions, and with movement around the Lodge, to hold the interest. I have seen the Tracing Boards described many times, and few explanations were as engaging as this. When it came to the working tools, Tom asked the Entered Apprentices to stand, and asked who could say what they were, handing the items in question to those who answered correctly; an effective bit of theatre which involved his listeners far more than a dull recital could ever do.

Brethren wishing to study more can find explanations on line, and of course, Solomon is a useful resource; I shall not reproduce Tom's lecture here. But I was interested that there were digressions within the familiar ritual I have not heard before, perhaps peculiar to the Minerva Lodge explanation. Rebecca's exhortation to Jacob to flee his brother's wrath and the consequences thereof was given in more detail than I recall - and there were other instances. 

At the conclusion, the WM remarked that "The Tracing Board is one of the biggest pieces delivered in our Order, and I am in awe."

The Lodge was called back on, and reports received. W Bro Colin Shields reported that Lodge finances were sound and that the Lodge of Instruction is expected to be held in September this year. The Charity Steward named the two charities who would be receiving donations at the special Charity Lodge meeting: Hull and East Yorkshire Centre for the Deaf  and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Greetings were extended (see the first paragraph) and the Lodge closed, after which (some of) the Brethren gathered for photographs. 

The meal was lovely, the company convivial, the toasts under the expert direction of W Bro Barry Kensett, stand-in DC. Alas, the Andrew Marvell Brethren were few in number, some were obliged by virtue of their Office to stay in their seats, some prevented by age and others were typically reluctant to move, so a number of the visitors lent a hand as waiters. Well done, those visitors.

The WM introduced the Representative of the RWPGM, speaking of his love for classic cars and his meteoric rise in the Craft before proposing a toast to the Provincial Officers. W Bro Cox responded to the toast eloquently, with a mild reprimand that no mention had been made upstairs of W Bro Colin Shields' promotion to Provincial Junior Grand Deacon and the Master's own promotion to the Office of Provincial Grand Sword Bearer - both active Offices which reflected honour not only on the recipients but also on the Lodge. He addressed the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Freemasons, speaking of the value of visiting and congratulating Tom Calkwell on his brilliant presentation. He spoke inspirationally on the subject of Change, explaining the Provincial Grand Master's intention to tap into talent regardless of rank, and of finding out the best people to promote what the Craft needs. Using himself as an example, he told his listeners that a healthy ambition is useful, and that the Brethren should not be afraid to promote themselves.

W Bro Mark Luscolme, WM of the Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129 was eloquent, saying to the newcomers that visiting contributes much to Masonry and to Masons: "Every night you learn something, and cement bonds with your fellow man." I thought again of the Venn diagram - those interconnecting circles, extending, ultimately, all over the globe.

"Happy to meet, sorry to part, and happy to meet again," intoned the WM for the parting toast, and we took our leave of each other, well satisfied both mentally and physically, in peace and harmony.

[Photograph by Eddie Wildman. Perhaps someone can tell me all the names?]

Eddie Wildman, Lodge Organist.

 

  

Sunday 21st May 2023:

Ladies Lunch at Dagger Lane

Worshipful Master Charles Alexander reports

Today we had our annual widows' and ladies' lunch at Dagger Lane. The guests started arriving just before midday, it was very good to see so many people there; as the WM I went around and welcomed our visitors and said how good it was to see them. It was pleasing to see that some of the Brethren had brought their (grown-up) children, and some of the ladies had brought friends along.

At around 12:30, our DC, Terry Fisher called everyone to sit down  for lunch. He then knocked for everyone's attention and I welcomed everyone as a group to the Lodge Building at Dagger Lane to have Sunday lunch with us, and I told them that Eddie and David had organised some entertainment for afterwards.

David said grace and then the lunch was served; Leek and Potato Soup, Roast Chicken Breast with Seasonal vegetables, and either treacle sponge or fruit and ice cream to finish. It was so tasty some of the ladies asked for doggie bags. There was some animated conversation going on at the four tables, including talk about rugby, and being members of the forces. Some of the ladies also reminisced about past events; as some were between eighty and ninety years old, there were plenty of interesting memories. It was very enjoyable, and so was the food. (See also the Events page.)

After the meal was finished we were entertained by Eddie and David, a selection of old-time songs, introduced by David with his customary panache. Eddie had organised the words of the songs into a presentation which was shown on the big screen, with appropriate illustrations. Everyone joined in enthusiastically; the songs were enjoyed by all and even brought back some fond memories at the tables.

Too soon the afternoon came to an end. I would like to thank David Terry for organising the event and Eddie Wildman for his musical talent, and of course Terry Fisher for setting up the room and deftly changing the slides. Thanks, too, to Roy the chef and his staff for such a nice lunch.

There is a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, but when one considers the outcome, it is well worth the effort. In the words of our Almoner, David Terry, "Thanks to all who supported this new venture. It has been greatly appreciated by the widows that are under our care."
 
Best wishes,
 
Charles Alexander, Worshipful Master

 

 Saturday 20th May 2023:

Technical Lodge 5666 raised Bro Ed Thompson to the rank of Master Mason in well practised ritual; unusually I had been asked by the Lecture Master to deliver the traditional history and the Third Degree Tracing Board, which I understand has never been performed in this Lodge. Bro Thompson was an ideal Candidate; word perfect with the answers to the questions, he paid careful attention to what happened during the ceremony and watched the Tracing Board conscientiously. I'm sure that if I'd asked him at the festive board to explain the significance of the three number fives, he would have given the three answers without hesitation.

It was a pleasure to see those Brethren who had been awarded honours last week at the convocation in York (see 13th May am on this page) and I took the opportunity when giving greetings as an Officer of UGLE to explain to the three Entered Apprentices and Fellow Craft the significance of the dark blue rosettes on David Turner's sparkling new apron.

Luke the chef produced an excellent salad - ideal, as it was a warm night and we had finished the ceremony somewhat later than expected, and David Turner and Rob Atkinson sang the Visitors Song after which W Bro Jonathon Sykes made his soloist debut with the Parting Toast.

Congratulations to the WM, W Bro Dan Laughton, for taking the Technical Lodge forward, and to all the Brethren who helped make the evening a succesful night.

[Photographs: Bro Ed Thompson MM and W Bro Dan Laughton, WM; those with Provincial honours, L to R: W Bros Mike Cheeseman, David Turner, Mark Cusack and Paul Hillary, with WM Dan Laughton in the centre, by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

Friday 19th May 2023:

I decided to gatecrash the St Peter Lodge 7648 when Craig Maurier told me that this was to be his last night as Director of Ceremonies. W Bro A C Maurier (PProvGSuptWks in the Province of LIncolnshire) is the Chaplain in the Humber Lodge 57 but he is in much demand in other Provinces too not only for the quality of his ritual, but for the calm, balanced manner in which he delivers it. This was the case in sunny Cleethorpes this afternoon.

I'd been rehearsing that morning with W Bro David Terry on a musical contribution for Sunday's Ladies' Lunch, and spent the next few hours putting the words on a power point presentation for the same event. The discovery that there was not a laptop available was not a pleasant surprise, but the WM, W Bro Charles Alexander managed to sort out that problem. I was still chuntering to myself however when I unlocked my car and set off for the Humber Bridge. The traffic was slow up to Clive Sullivan Way, after which I was able to put my foot down and enjoy the drive.

Not having booked a meal, I was not expecting to stay, but there had been a cancellation, so my plans changed. Moreover, the Provincial ADC, W Bro Alan Ham, seeing my Grand Lodge regalia, insisted that I was part of the escort for the Personal Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, so instead of slipping quietly into a back corner, I had a good view of the proceedings next to the glitterati, and observed how well W Bro P W Garner installed his successor.

It was a delightful ceremony; Craig, sedate and relaxed (how does he do it? - he arrived a few minutes after me, and I'd barely had time to put on my apron) took control while the active Provincial and Grand Officers waited outside and we heard the strains of the Opening Ode and the WM opening the Lodge. We went in smartly ("No flourishes, Brethren, you are on display and we will do it properly," warned W Bro Ham, demonstrating that the salute should be sharp and efficient and no more, "the younger ones will be watching to see how it should be done.")

There are differences. The Yellowbellies (The LIncolnshire Regiment wore yellow waistcoats as part of their uniform and their nickname was then applied to anyone from that county. According to the Sealed Knot Society, officers directing the Lincolnshire troops in the civil war wore yellow sashes in battle) have different ways of giving greetings and differences in ritual, and I'll not name them all, but this is part of the joy of visiting. I was impressed at the dignity and high importance accorded to the ceremony, and the care taken with the ritual; there were a few Brethren who had not yet been raised to the third degree, and the way the presentation of the Working Tools to W Bro Mark Tomlinson, the new WM was delivered, sharing the ritual in a well-rehearsed sequence, impressed me mightily. 

The Festive Board (Prawn Cocktail, Yorkshire pudding and Roast Chicken Breast, Cheese and Biscuits) was excellent, and as the evening progressed, the evening became rowdier. The new Master had relaxed and was clearly enjoying himself. There were several occasions when the Brethren were invited "to take wine with the Worshipful Master" (I was driving later, so I didn't have any alcohol) and the Lincolnshire accent became increasingly noticable as the evening progressed. One characteristic is the pronunciation of the word "Mate" with two syllables, a sort of slow dipthong, so that it sounds like "May-ut". It puts me in mind of the traditional poem, warning someone swinging on a gate to desist:

Get thee off me gay-ut, may-ut,

Get thee off me gay-ut,

Get thee off me gay-ut, may-ut,

Before it is too lay-ut.

 

It was getting lay-ut, but I remained, amused by the casual gluttony and good humour, and was pleased to win a bottle of wine in the raffle. The latter raised £335, but two bottles were auctioned following this, so over £500 was collected for the Lincolnshire Blood Bikes. A very worthy cause.

With the choruses afforded after certain toasts ("Prosper the art" for a single brother, "Worthy Masons all" for more than one") going through my head I drove back without incident, though a fox attempted to commit suicide on the M18. It failed. "You brushed with death there," I told it as I swerved out of the way. It had taken me an hour to travel to Cleethorpes, but I was back to Hull in forty minutes and in bed before midnight. A splendid evening - and Craig had insisted on paying for my meal - thanks, may-ut!

[Photograph of Mark Tomlinson at the festive board by Eddie Wildman]

Eddie Wildman, gate crasher.

 

 

Thursday 18th May 2023:

For an account of the Chapter of St Michael 7833 and the smoked mackerel paté visit the Chapter Blog for this date.

 

Wednesday 17th May 2023:

O I do like to be beside the seaside

As the Worshipful Master's house is more or less on the route from where I live in central Hull to the sunny seaside town of Hornsea, it made sense, Charles said, for me to pick him up on the way to Alexandra Lodge 1511. I agreed, of course, but quailed inwardly. W Bro Charles Alexander is an accomplished driver, having practised doing wheelies on Green Goddesses from the age of eight, whereas I am a cautious driver, not at all adventurous, and scared by the prospect of winding unlit country roads at night, where I could be attacked by hares and owls and other nocturnal horrors. 

I set off in good time because I knew I'd get lost despite the SatNav. I did. I went round one roundabout three times trying to find the correct exit. But I reached the Master's Manor (or the Laird's Castle - I discovered later that evening that Charles owns a tract of land in Scotland) before five o' clock and we set off along a route which twisted and turned like a piece of demented knitting. Unconcerned by my white knuckles on the wheel, Charles blithely told me tales about the local eateries, the Meaux clog-dancing society, and the Wawne Neighbourhood Witch, while I kept my eyes open for kamikaze rabbits and unfriendly tractors.

It didn't take long to reach Hornsea, (motto: Health and Happiness) though I think I aged a month or two in the process. We found a parking place close to the Lodge, and were warmly welcomed. Charles headed for the bar immediately - I don't think it was anything to do with my driving. 

Consecrated in 1874 while Queen Victoria was on the throne, the seaside Lodge uses a form of Humber ritual, though with unique features. It originally met in the Alexandra Hotel,  but the current premises were built on Alexandra Road in 1899. It takes its name from the wife of Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, who married Bertie in 1863. Their coronation took place in August 1902. More information about the Lodge may be found on the Alexandra Lodge website, which is still under construction, but worth a visit.

It was a pleasure to greet old friends, and to discover that the Lodge has a growing population of younger members - four initiates expected for this Masonic year, I understand. It was heartening to see that there were officers below the degree of a Master Mason - the Inner Guard, Bro Christopher Smuts, for example, was a Fellow Craft, but carried the sword with impressive authority.

Tonight's ceremony was an initiation, and it was a fine example of ritual at its best. Surprisingly, both Wardens were stand-ins; W Bro David Tunstall as SW and  W Bro Chris McGrath as JW. They were superb - and W Bro McGrath's delivery of the Ancient Charge was a masterpiece. Mention should be made of the Secrets, explained by W Bro Sylvan Rust, the Working Tools by the Junior Deacon, Bro Tony Greenway, and the North-east Corner by W Bro Paul Ralph, whose punctillious secretarial skills included amendments to the amendments, clear evidence that in the Alexandra Lodge at least, the minutes are carefully read. The WM, W Bro Paul Brown led from the front with confidence, demonstrating a powerful hand with the gavel. The initiate, Arron Edwards paid careful attention to the proceedings and became an Entered Apprentice Freemason in the time-honoured manner. Arron responded well at the festive board. The Brethren sang the Entered Apprentice Song, some of them finding notes that have not hitherto been discovered.

The H57 Master responded to the toast to the visitors with his usual Caledonian vivacity, congratulating Bro Edwards on becoming a member of this fine Lodge and the WM on his work, well backed by an excellent team.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding set me up for the drive back and I didn't crash even once. Charles told me a story of colliding into a deer while taking a television to an oil rig, but I refused to be frightened. My SatNav thought I was going straight home, so it had a shouting match with Charles as I headed towards Hull. And so home to this write-up and a welcome beer before bed. I think all that invigorating sea-air has done me good. I do like to be beside the seaside.

[Photograph of W Bro Paul Brown, WM and Bro Arron Edwards, EA by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor

 

 

Monday 15th May 2023:

The Holderness Lodge 3563 is unusual in this part of world in that the celestial and terrestrial globes are on display flanking the pedestal during Lodge ceremonies. They are also depicted in the east wall above the two pillars, and they feature on the Wardens' columns, but it is interesting that what was very much a Masonic fashion accessory in the Victorian era has been retained by the Holderness Brethren. Such traditions add lustre to the visitors' experience, and certainly they were observed today; there were twenty-nine visitors from seventeen Lodges, some having travelled from far afield. W Bro Peter Spencer had driven from Swanland and kindly picked me up and dropped me back home afterwards - he was there to sing the Anthem in the Lodge Room and the Worshipful Master's Song at the Festive Board - and he performed superbly. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was all superb; a model installation ceremony. After a highly succesful year, W Bro Rich Tyson relinquished the Master's Chair to Darren Ian Wiseman. Rich started on time at six o'clock and opened the Lodge with his customary flair. Then there was a report, and the Inner Guard informed the WM that W Bro Malvin Sharpless requested admission. The DC, W Bro Paul Greenwood, escorted Malvin into the Lodge, and the WM complimented him on his promotion two days ago to the Office of Provincial Grand Tyler. No sooner had the applause ended when another knock at the door announced that W Bro Ben Kelly, newly promoted to Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies was waiting to come in.  A third knock heralded the arrival of W Bro Steve Cox, the new Provincial Grand Senior Warden awaiting entry. All three are members of the Holderness Lodge, and W Bro Tyson congratulated them on their honours awarded at York two days previously, adding that their preferment as Provincial Officers added lustre to the Lodge.

Sitting at the organ, I expected another knock for the appearance of the Deputy Provincial DC, but this was somewhat delayed. On the way to his first visit in that capacity, W Bro Simon John Simpson had had a puncture, and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Allan Ramsey Armbrister PPGReg elected to wait with his team of Active Officers for his DC to arrive. (Mobile phones are terrific inventions - they can let people know what is happening in situations like this. Years ago, we would have been worried. I dutifully checked that my phone was turned to "Do not disturb" mode - yes, all was okay.)

Rather than delay matters, the WM took reports from his Charity Steward (Bro Foster, also his Inner Guard) who spoke of contributions to the Candlelighters, supported by the Holderness Lodge, and of other donations. W Bro Paul Greenwood gave a brief Almoner's report on the health of the members and some of the wives. A successful ballot for joining members took place, after which, the expected sonorous knock was given, and W Bro Simpson entered toapologise for the delay and to tell us all that the Assistant Provincial Grand Master demanded admission.

The escort marched in smartly, and W Bro Armbrister entered, saluted, and made his way to the Worshipful Master, who vacated the seat. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master named his team who took their places, after which the AsstPGM was saluted. He thanked the Brethren, then returned the gavel to W Bro Tyson.

The minutes (distributed electronically) were passed and signed. The Entered Apprentices were then asked to retire, and the Lodge was opened in the Second Degree.

The Lodge DC then presented Brother Darren Ian Wiseman, escorting him from the JW's Chair to the centre of the Lodge where he was told of the neccessary obligations of the appointment before taking his first obligation, conducted by W Bro Tyson.

There being no Fellow Crafts present, the Lodge was raised to the Third Degree and all offices were declared vacant. The Wardens' places were occupied by senior members of the Lodge, and all the light blue aprons retired for a while.

In the Installed Masters' Degree Bro Darren Wiseman was expertly taken through the Inner Working, and W Bro Tyson placed him in the figurative Chair of King Solomon with great dignity.

The Lodge was lowered to the Third Degree and the Master Masons admitted, but just after the Working Tools had been explained, my mobile phone suddenly burst into life with a loud jingle. I was devastated - I had carefully put it into "Do not disturb" mode, not knowing that if somebody rings me twice within a quarter hour, it will overide the instruction. I think if you'd put a kettle on my head you would have been able to make a cup of tea. "It's the best tune he's played all night," quipped the AsstPGM, relieving the tension somewhat. I was horribly embarrassed and will no doubt be reminded of the incident for the next six months. James Ashby-Kelly (Installing Inner Guard) was sympathetic. "I'll put it into aircraft mode for you," he said, bless him. "Remember to do that in future."

The Lodge was lowered to the Second, and then the First Degree; the Brethren perambulated round the Lodge, the Warrant was presented, and then, seperately, the Book of Constitutions from the Master's father, who had travelled to Hull together with other Southerners, including Darren's Brother. It was a pleasure to see them all. The Officers were then invested and installed.

W Bro Allan Armbrister gave the address to the WM, W Bro Ashby-Kelly delivered the address to the Wardens and W Bro Danny Betts supplied the address to the Brethren. 

That concluding the ceremony of installation, W Bro Peter Spencer gave an outstanding performance of the Masonic Anthem, the Brethren joining in the chorus. The sound of so many Brethren singing harmoniously was electrifying. Somewhat moved, the New Worshipful Master thanked his Immediate Past Master and everyone who had taken part, before gavelling and saying "Brethren, assist me to close the Lodge."

The newly appointed Junior Warden, Brother Jimmy Kitchen, invited the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, his Team of active Officers and visiting Worshipful Brethren and Brethren  to stay and partake of refreshment, and the Provincial escort accompanied the Ruler out, after which the closing ode was sung. There was a brief return for photographs after which we all retired to the bar and the Festive Board below. "I'll show you how to put your phone back into normal mode," said Mike Kelly, who, as usual, took far better photographs than I did.

I sat with the H57 Worshipful Master, Charles Alexander on my right at dinner (Spring Veg Soup, Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Raspberry Crème Brûlée) and W Bro Bazza Longstaff on my left, and listened to fascinating accounts of working on oil rigs and travelling abroad. At the fifth toast, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master was brief but complimentary, talking about the involvement of the light blues, and the necessity for forward planning. Danny Bett's toast to the new WM and his team was amusing but poignant, after which Peter Spencer gave the best rendition of "Here's to his health in a Song" that I have ever heard him do; it was very well received. Ben Kelly spoke of the many achievements of W Bro Rich Tyson, who responded modestly, thanking all his team and hoping that the Lodge would continue to excel.

It was a late night - but a very enjoyable one, and Peter Spencer and I drove away with smiles on our faces. Peter very kindly made no mention at all of my mobile phone.

[Group photographs by Mike Kelly; photo of Darren Wiseman by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, organist.

 

Saturday 13th May 2023 p.m.:

Lord Bolton Mentoring

Despite his work in the morning carrying the Provincial sword in procession and consuming  a rewarding dinner at York Racecourse, W Bro Chris Lefevre dutifully turned up at the Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 to perform his evening duties as Tyler (though with a much lighter sword this time.) The business of the evening under the mastership of W Bro Martin Tomkins was to pass Bro Jamie Bird (pictured) to the second degree. As the Lodge is blessed with three Entered Apprentices, Tony, Chris and Husayn, I offered to retire with them at the appropriate point in the ceremony so as to allow the other L3263 Brethren to watch Bro Bird enter into the second stage of his Masonic career.

As an aside, let me stress the importance of mentoring through LoI; it is all too easy, once a Candidate has been initiated, to forget that much of what we do is strange to him - why do we stand to order in that peculiar way? Why is there a chequered floor in every Lodge? What is an ashlar? New Brethren should be nurtured and guided, we cannot expect them to become adept merely through imitation and osmosis.

As a retired teacher, I was well impressed by this trio of initiates as we studied a number of UGLE certificates, noting the correlations with items on the page to artifacts in the Lodge Room and making a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge; the three of them often surprising me  by the speed of their thinking and their ability to join the dots, as it were.

Meanwhile the Deacons Keith McMaster and Jerry Lock were conducting Jamie Bird around the Lodge to be obligated by the WM, with Alan Shand communicating the secrets and Eric Healand giving the address at the South-East Corner. When Jamie had been instructed in the questions leading to the third degree, he retired, the Lodge was lowered to the first degree, and the Entered Apprentices and I reentered for the closing.

Luke Pyrah's steak pie was a delight.

[Photograph of Jamie Bird looking apprehensive about answering the questions ( - he needn't have worried) by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, gatecrasher.

 

Saturday 13th May a.m.:

Race Course Convocation

This year the venue for the Provincial Craft Convocation was York Race Course. W Bro Dave Green, WM of MInerva Lodge 250 kindly drove me there and back. The venue does not give so clear a view of the proceedings as at the University, and it seemed to me from my viewpoint amongst the Grand Officers ("Sunglasses, on, Brethren - beware of the bling!" remarked some wit) that there was far more dark blue there than light blue on this occasion. I met many friends there, however, and applauded with extra enthusiasm when our Humber Brother W B Ian Syddall was invested for a further year as Provincial Grand Charity Steward. Of great interest, too, was the account given by W Bro Hitendra Thaker of the Technical Lodge 5666 who dilated modestly on his work with a team of infectious diseases specialists in finding the vaccine for the coronavirus. (Hiten received Grand Chapter rank on 27th April - see the Chapter Blog page for that date.) Also from Technical: Paul Hillary received promotion from his active rank as Provincial Junior Grand Warden to PPSGW, and Technical Lodge saw the appointment of David Turner to PPAssGStdB. Well done L5666! The Humber Lodge was well represented by W Bro Richard Smedley, W Bro Charles Alexander and me.

Having appointed and invested his officers the RWPGM spoke of the essential unity of Craft and Chapter, of rank not being an essential accompaniment to Provincial involvement, but that all Masons with skills were to feel free to offer their services. 

David and I didn't stay to eat, but drove back through delightful scenery back to Hull, a study in green in a thousand shades.

Eddie Wildman, spectator.

 

Friday 12th May 2023:

Confessions of a Masonic Organist

"Traditionally," said the WM, W Bro Philip John Cowling PPJGD, "the May meeting at the De la Pole Lodge 1605 is a short one, and with a sparser attendance than usual, because it falls on the day before the Provincial Convocation." But rather than have nothing to offer the score and more who faithfully turned up, he had asked me if I could provide something for the evening. "How about the confessions of a Masonic organist?" I asked. "Ideal," he said.

I'd travelled with Peter Spencer that morning to set up my keyboard at the Beverley Road Masonic Hall, and to take some sample organ pipes. Other Brethren were there, laying out the tables for the festive board. "It's going to be a buffet," Peter told me. "Excellent! I love Luke's buffets," I said, reeling out the extension lead and checking that everything was working. "Will you be okay to sing tonight?" Peter looked puzzled. "Sing? What?" he said. "What about the anthem?" I said (Hail, Masonry Divine, written in the 1770s is used at installations.) "Yes, I know that," Peter said. "In fact, we'll be doing it on Monday." W Bro Philip came in then, to set up the Lodge Room, so we said no more,

That evening the opening was managed in minutes, (and the minutes managed in moments) and I was called upon to speak. The talk was a thumbnail biography, with samples of music heard in childhood which provided useful training, on the move from the piano to the organ and the differences between them, and the varying demands made by Lodges. Peter sang melifluously, and the Brethren joined in.

I was complimented afterwards on how interesting the talk had been; for me, it had been a pleasure to deliver it to such an appreciative audience. Mike Kelly, the Inner Guard, took some photos afterwards (he has a real talent for this - mine are rarely in focus) one of which is included here.

The festive Board was excellent. Again. There were two toasts only, and we were finished by nine! Ian Fuller kindly gave me a lift home, laden as I was with the keyboard, the stand and the organ pipes. So - a quick report here, then an early night, ready for the convocation in the morning.

Thanks, de la Pole Lodge - I enjoyed myself tremendously.

[Photo of Eddie Wildman in full flow by Bro M C Kelly.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist

 

Thursday 11th May 2023:

Brother Escorts Brother

A family health crisis prevented the WM, W Bro Adam Spencer Watson from attending the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 and at very short notice, the IPM, W Bro Stephen Burns stepped into the breach to preside over a magnificent first degree ceremony. From the first sounding of the gavel, everything went smoothly; the opening hymn was sung, the minutes dealt with, the ballot beautifully choreographed, the book signed and fees paid.

The Candidate, twenty-seven-year-old Alan Jason Miller was two years senior to his brother Pericles Miller who acted as the Junior Deacon on this occasion so that he could escort his sibling round the Lodge. Bro Carl Moore relinquished the office for this reason, and acted as Inner Guard; with his big voice and military bearing he was very impressive and his delivery of the Lesser Lights in parade-ground fashion straightened a few backs amongst the twenty-one Brethren present,

The Wardens, W Bros Rob McKenna and Mark Rudston were on form as Mr Miller was presented, and also with the Investiture and Working Tools after W Bro Stephen Burns' excellent obligation. Bro Stuart Gamble gave the address at the north-east corner. The warrant was explained by the Secretary, Bro Malcolm Dale and the Ancient Charge delivered by the Chaplain, W Bro Hayward with his customary aplomb.

Brother Alan Miller retired to restore himself to his usual comforts, and reports were given by the Treasurer, Almoner and Charity Steward. The announcement that the ADC Bro Matt Hunt was now the proud father of a beautiful baby daughter brought applause from all present. It is good to see the increasing number of young Brethren in the Lodge!

On Bro Miller's return, I was pleased to present Grand Lodge Certificates to Bros P Miller and Neil Tomlin. I gave greetings as a member of the Humber Lodge, along with W Bro Malcolm Forbes, who's hand seems to be recovering after his fight with Table Mountain; the pot has been reduced so that Malcolm's fingers and thumb are now free. (W Bro Forbes gave me a lift home as he's now able to drive - cheers, Malcolm!)

W Bro Burns closed the Lodge as efficiently as he had opened it, and we retired to the festive board. The singing of the Entered Apprentice Song discovered some notes hitherto unknown to the world of music, but it was a happy occasion - welcome, Brother Alan - you have had a brilliant start to your Masonic career!

[Photograph of Pericles and Alan with W Bro Stephen Burns by ERW.]

Eddie Wildman, guest organist.

 

 

Tuesday 9th May 2023:

The bag of money goes back over the water

The Lodge gasped as the WM, W Bro Charles Alexander took a tumble as he was about to enter the Chair; I'm not sure if he missed the step, or his stick got in the way, but he rolled very nicely for a moment (he is a good shape for rolling) and was helped to his feet by the Senior Deacon, Bro Craig Morrison. "For my next trick," said Charles, sitting down and indicating that he was alright to continue, smiling to reassure everybody that all was okay. I was worried - Charles has had ambulatory problems for a while - last time he broke his leg; but today he carried on undaunted.

There was a report at the door, and W Bro Sergei Bylov, the stand-in Inner Guard as well as Mentor on this occasion announced that W Bro David Bateman, T.D., Prov GStwd, the DC for the Representative of the RWPGM requested admission. This worthy Brother entered and asked for the designated officers to form an escort; this done, W Bro Paul Hillary, ProvJGW came in with tremendous dignity. He didn't fall over, thank goodness, and he took his seat on the Master's right. The minutes were read, and then the first business of a busy evening commenced.

The Second Degree ceremony proceeded smoothly, and our Candidate, who remains unnamed as his professional calling demands a level of secrecy, was succesfully passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft. His response to the essential questions was just about word perfect, and the Junior Deacon, Bro Ian Douglas escorted him to the WM to prove his knowledge of the signs and words of the first degree before the SW, W Bro Stephen Longthorpe instructed him in the password to gain entry to a FCFM Lodge.

Returning after preparation, (non Masons reading this may not be surprised that the rolled-up trouser leg is not a myth) the Candidate was conducted round the Lodge by Bro Craig Morrison with military precision; he was obligated by the WM, and W Bro Alan Todd dilated eloquantly on the significance of the perfect ashlar. W Bro Carl Cross explained the Secrets, and W Bro Terry Fisher showed him the working tools, pointing out their use to operative masons, and how they apply in moral terms to freemasons. I was privileged to deliver the Ancient Charge, usually in the capable hands of our Almoner, W Bro David Terry, but alas! Covid has struck again, and David was languishing at home, though we understand he is on the road to recovery. There were other absentees too, and we wish them all well.

The Lodge was lowered to the first degree, reports dealt with swiftly, and a photograph of the Humber Brethren, taken in 1926 and recently discovered in London, was presented. Looking at it afterwards I reflected how much better looking the Brethren were in those days. The WM closed the Lodge in due form and the Brethren hastened to the festive board - this was Founders' Night, and we were looking forward to what W Bro Ian Syddall (Tyler) was going to tell us after the meal.

After the response to the fifth toast, where W Bro Paul Hillary gave greetings from the RWPGM and spoke of the best ways to maximise charitable donations, it was time for the Founders' toast. The story of the resurrection of the Humber Lodge, its changing number, its growth under the care of Crow, Eglin and Feetham was delivered by W Bro Ian Syddall with his usual precision; rather than poetic rhapsody. Ian prefers unarguable facts and figures; his measured delivery had the cool thoughtfulness of a judge doing a summing up in a courtroom. The toast was drunk in darkness while the sepulchural chords of the Dead March from Handel's oratorio "Saul" were played.

Nor was this the end of the business. After the toasts (and singing) to Absent Brethren and to the visitors, the WM, according to ancient custom, returned the bag of coins to the WM of Pelham Pillar Lodge 792, W Bro Richard Turville. This light-hearted tradition refers to an event in the 19th Century when the dastardly W Bro William Cooper Robinson (WM of the Humber Lodge) made off with the money collected by the Humber Brethren for a warrant for a new Lodge in Grimsby. A bag of coins is traditionally passed between Pelham Pillar and Humber to remind us of this occasion. Different accounts of the Founders, (some including this episode) may be found on the Founders Night page http://humber57.org.uk/?Founders-Night

W Bro Richard Smedley was in fine voice for "Happy to Meet Again" and the Brethren joined in the choruses.

[Photograph of W Bros Richard Turville and Charles Alexander arguing over the bag of coins by this evening's Candidate.]

Eddie Wildman, organist

 

Friday 5th May 2023:

Worshipful Brother Timothy Derek Granger Brown, Worshipful Master of Brough Lodge of Freemasons 5464 presided over an excellent third degree ceremony at the Masonic Hall in College Street, Sutton-on-Hull where Brother Matthew Harvey was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. I attended with two Phoenix 9963 Brethren: Peter Kenyon-Brodie and his son Alistair, the latter having been made a Master Mason himself (see 19th April below.)

Surprisingly, the roads were clear for a Friday night and Peter pulled up close to the Lodge in ample time; I postulated that perhaps most people had left work early on account of tomorrow's coronation. Whatever the reason, it was good to arrive promptly and to chat to the Brethren before the meeting. Originally a chapel (built in 1876 by Joseph Wright, pupil of Cuthbert Brodrick, Hull's most celebrated Victorian architect) the building has changed considerably since my early days as a Mason - I remember the problems with damp - no keyboard could survive there for long, but now it is frequently let out to private functions, including a dance class.

There were over two dozen Brethren there - it was heartening to see that there was  an Entered Apprentice and a Fellow Craft present. They stayed in the Lodge Room as a ballot took place for two new members and while the Master for the installation meeting was elected - congratulations to Bro (Captain) Brian Fletcher, whose brief but sincere response to the Brethren having been officially proclaimed shows that he was obviously well prepared. Of course, all those below the degree of a Master Mason had to leave as the Lodge was taken up into the second and third degrees following Bro Matthew's word-perfect answering of the questions leading to the completion of the Masonic circle. W Bro Alan Hatfield, the Lodge Mentor, left with the EA and FC to further their Masonic education.

The third degree ceremony is said by many to be the most interesting and dramatic of the three Craft degrees, but it is not my intention to give anything away about it. The ritualists were excellent, and the obligation was delivered by W Brother Tony Calvert (Matthew's "Uncle Tony.") Particular mention must be made of the JW, W Bro Eddie Patchett, who explained the significance of the Master Mason's apron and delivered the historical oration with such flair that Matthew, talking about it afterwards, said he was riveted: "I was so taken up by the story I couldn't wait to hear what happened next." The FC and EA returned for the closing, and greetings were given from the Scottish Constitution in Singapore, from LEO Lodge in Barton-on-Humber, from Phoenix Lodge in the Old High Street and of course from Humber 57, Premier Lodge in the Province. "I was just waiting for you to say that," murmured the WM , sitting on my left.

Alistair's tummy was rumbling loudly by the time we descended to the dining room but as it was raining outside most of the Brethren thought it was thunder. "It's probably one of the best Masonic meals I've ever had," Ali told us after he'd demolished the soup, lasagna and cheesecake. "I'm going for another helping of cheese." It was indeed a tasty repast, in good company. The hour was late, and W Bro Tim Brown wisely decided to limit the afterproceedings to two toasts. It had stopped raining by now, and Peter drove  Alistair and me home without incident. We'd enjoyed ourselves.

Thanks, Brough Lodge, for a splendid evening! Thanks, Peter, for the lifts!

[Photograph of W Bro Tim Brown and Bro Matthew Harvey by Eddie Wildman.]

Eddie Wildman, visitor.

 

 

Thursday 4th May 2023:

Around the World in Eighty Lodges

I drove to Trinity Lane Beverley and was fortunate to find a parking place close to the Masonic Hall. I'd have a drink when I got back home, I told myself. It had been a while since the Installation of the WM Mike Noble into the Chair of Constitutional Lodge 294, and, having the evening free, had managed to book a place so I could see how this leading light in the Daggards was doing. As the Constitutional Brethren were short of an organist, I took my place at the organ; the Lodge began with the Opening Hymn.

The ritual was spot-on: Michael has a good memory and a confident delivery, so the opening was impressive. The Secretary, W Bro Gavin Collinson PPGReg read a portion of the Ancient Charge, the minutes of the last meeting were approved, and the Lodge was called off.

This procedure was new to some: the VSLs were closed on the square and compasses, the curtains were drawn across the recently revealed Tracing Board. The Junior Warden proclaimed "high time" and the WM explained that the Brethren would adjourn below to view a video. Those with ambulatory difficulties would be excused returning afterwards.

There was a large screen set up ready for the audience of twenty or so Brethren, and the lap-top and electronic equipment already in place. W Bro Andrew B Nicholson doused the lights and began the Tristan Bourlard film after a brief explanation.

"Terra Masonica 'Around the World in Eighty Lodges'" (the title is based on Jules Verne's novel - there is some speculation as to whether or not Verne was a Mason) this two-part film is a world tour of eighty Lodges unveiling their fascinating communities, Freemasons in everyday life, and a glimpse of history within a changing world. From Scotland to the US, from Brazil to Argentina then to Norway, this was an excellent presentation. Some of the scenery was mind-blowing, the photography was stunning. It has been shown elsewhere celebrating the tricentenary of UGLE and as part of the Light Blues project. but this was my first time. I ws riveted - all that was missing was the popcorn.

We only watched the first part because of time constraints, but it was salutary to see the different cultures, the variety of aprons, the incredible variation in buildings and the common thread in all. It was a pleasure to watch.

A few remained downstairs as we returned and W Bro Noble went through the ritual of "Calling on", after which there were brief reports, greetings (E Comp Malcolm Forbes, who was acting Inner Guard, stood with me as I gave greetings from Humber) and the Closing hymn was sung.

The meal was Mexican, which seemed appropriate somehow. Two toasts, and home again - the heavens had opened earlier that evening and it was still raining hard, so I was glad I was parked close by.

An unusual evening - the first time I've been in a Lodge that called off to watch a film, but I was very well impressed.

Eddie Wildman - visitor.

 

 

Wednesday 3rd May 2023:

KINGSTON LODGE 1010

Eddie Wildman reports

Worshipful Brother Neil Armstrong PPGSwdB has a well-deserved repution as a Masonic historian, especially with regard to the local community and has delivered many stimulating lectures in addition to providing extensive research material for Daggards presentations. It was no surprise to discover that for the Founder's Night of Kingston Lodge 1010 Neil had put together a short lecture about the Primus Master of that Lodge, Simeon Mosely, giving a fascinating insight into the life and times of this extraordinary bewhiskered Freemason, dentist and businessman, even providing each Brother present with a postcard bearing a picture of him. The old master hangs in the committee room at Dagger Lane. The portrait is by George Pycock-Green, the artist who produced the fine portrait of Queen Victoria on display in the City Hall.

The Lodge opened in due form, and as it was Founders Night the WM W Bro Marcus Whereat ProvGStwd and his Wardens were wearing a bow ties, an allusion to the early days of the Lodge (Kingston Lodge was consecrated in 1864) when stylish dress was de rigueur. There were three UGLE officers present on this occasion and W Bro Chris Sharp responded on our behalf. Then came a knock at the door and the Inner Guard, Bro Roger Watkinson, reported that the DC for the Representative of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro David Bateman, ProvGStwd requested admission. The latter announced that W Bro Ian Syddall ProvGChStwd was outside the door, an escort of Provincial Officers was formed and Ian was brought in and saluted.

The next part of this report is in his hands.

IAN SYDDALL REPORTS

Kingston Lodge 1010