Recent meetings at the top: scroll down for earlier events. Until "normal" official Masonic activity resumes, comments and articles will continue to appear here, on the Zoom Page and Coronavirus Page and elsewhere. For the "First Lockdown Message from the WM" scroll down to 17th March 2020.
All Humber Brethren are invited to contribute to the Blog Page.
Friday 24th September 2021:
W Bro Terry Fisher is in the Chair to initiate two Ridings Tablers' Candidates
Watch this space!
Thursday 23rd September 2021:
Brother Tony Tyler (that's his name, not his office) was succesfully passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason on the Founders Night meeting of the Lodge of St Michael 7833. He'd been waiting for some considerable time for this ceremony, having been initiated in the pre-covid era, but enjoyed the full dignity of the Emulation ritual, ably conducted through the ceremony by Bro John Burton, who also gave a flawless performance of the Second Degree Tracing Board. (The Lodge Founders decreed in 1962 that the full Emulation working should prevail: there are no shortcuts and the visitors should be prepared for a long-haul ceremony; the Brethren are punctillious in this.)
Covid shielding concerns had reduced attendance somewhat, but this in no way reduced the importance of this degree, often regarded as a mere mid-way point in Freemasonry. The UGLE Officer attending pointed out when giving greetings that the Candidate enters the Fellow Craft Lodge with an awareness not experienced at his initiation, and he is exhorted to apply his mind, to study the mysteries of the Craft as part of his masonic development.
The Festive Board (with the Lodge Birthday Cake generously supplied by the Senior Warden) continued at the same relaxed pace, and the SW gave the toast to the Founders in addition to those generally honoured. The Junior Warden remarked how good it was to be back in the company of familiar faces, and the murmur of agreement was unanimous.
[Photograph of Bro A T Tyler by Bro Peter Stokes]
Wednesday 22nd September 2021:
W Bro Smedley represents the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master at Beverley
One of the enjoyable aspects of working within the Provincial Team is the request occasionally to represent the RW Prov GM at a Lodge meeting. So it was that I was called upon at late notice to visit the Beverlonian Lodge No 9084 on the role of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). The event is preceded by a number of administrative tasks, not least of which making sure a meal is booked and the events of the night are clear. To this end, a Representative of the RWProvGM is afforded the luxury of their own Director of Ceremonies, a member plucked from the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9611. My DC for the evening was W Bro Colin Hunton who lives in Middlesborough and travelled all the way to Beverley to act in his capacity as my DC. I am always grateful for the support the DC provides. Not only administratively, but they afford company on the journey to and from the Lodge when circumstances are such that the journey can be made together. When from different ends of the Province it also facilitates an understanding as to how things are across the Province.
Anyway my arrival was not unexpected and as it’s a local Lodge for me, I knew many of the faces that greeted me. The Masonic Hall at Beverley on Trinity Lane has (as well as a number of lodges) recently lost a stalwart of the fraternity in W Bro Chris Hairsine (Fluffy as he is known to the Daggards) who had recently entered the Grand Lodge Above after illness struck him down. His memory will live on and his importance was remembered during the meeting. As this was an Installation meeting, there was a change of WM and the proceedings went well with Bro Baxter (an EA) a leading light in his explanation of the 1st degree Working Tools.
The meeting over, we went to dine, but as the Lodge building was still looking for a Chef, the festive board had been prepared at a local Hostelry and brought in and served in situ. It was an excellent meal, ample in quantity and quality. There is nothing like visiting a lodge as either a Representative or as a visitor with nothing to gain but good company and an enjoyable social outlook. I recommend the pastime to all our Brethren and Companions.
Tuesday 21st September 2021:
Alistair Kenyon-Brodie, son of Peter Kenyon-Brodie and godson to Eddie Wildman, became Brother to both as he was initiated into the Phoenix Lodge 9963 on the last day of summer. It was a warm evening and the fans were working hard in the upper room at the Sailmakers Arms, though not as hard as the Brethren and Officers of the Lodge who were determined that this night would be one to remember. Ian Parkinson, the Worshipful Master, courteously allowed W Bro Wildman to perform Alistair's obligation; Bro Peter Kenyon-Brodie presented his son with the Phoenix welcome pack on behalf of the Lodge Mentor. Also there were colleagues from Alistair's workplace: those that were Phoenix members delivered ritual admirably. It was indeed a memorable evening and the air of enjoyment prevailed into the bar afterwards where many of the Brethren and visitors elected to continue drinking Alistair's health.
[Photograph by James Steele]
Monday 20th September 2021:
James Ashby-Kelly, Worshipful Master of Holderness Lodge 3563 presided over a sincere and moving initiation ceremony at Beverley Road. It was an opportunity for some of the younger members who had never before performed ritual in public to show their skill: the Lodge is progressing rapidly in these difficult times. The new Brother, Shane Rawson proclaimed himself well impressed in his response at the festive board: that so many people had made an effort to welcome him properly had a powerful impact on him. It is characteristic of the Holderness Lodge that while the work is undertaken seriously and delivered to the best standards the Brethren can achieve,, there is an underlying good humour and tolerance. This continued afterwards - the guest organist left with a smile on his face.
Originally meeting in the wilds of Holderness, many of the original members belonged to the farming community - and indeed, some still do, despite the Lodge having relocated to Hull. While the reproduction here lacks clarity, it can be seen that the Lodge logo still portrays the open countryside with a sheaf of corn by a rivulet set against the rising sun - the significance of which will not be lost to Fellow Craft Masons.
Monday 20th September 2021:
Under normal circumstances a marquee seems inappropriate for a funeral service, but a fire at the crematorium has necessitated alternate arrangements, and on this unexpectedly beautiful day the dignified drapery proved an ideal setting for the celebration of the life of the late Joan Camm, who died on 30th August aged ninety-nine. The WM of her late husband's Lodge, Humber 57, attended, along with W Bro Phil Watts, who had kindly brought along Joan's friend, Mrs Joan Hoe, another Masonic widow; W Bro Trevor Whitfield, and W Bro Gordon Wiles with his wife Joy were also there. The funeral director was the Revd. Kathy Lonsdale, Chaplain at Willersley House Rest Home, who had given a eulogy at Vera Pinchbeck's funeral only a fortnight ago. She spoke of Joan Camm's sharp brain and positivity, and her deep faith.
Joan's family was well represented - there were over forty attended, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, some of whom gave readings. Wendy Camm and her sister Tracy spoke of their mum, reading extracts from her copious diaries which had begun in the Great Depression, mentioned her scholarship in 1933 and her subsequent library work; for Joan loved to read and passed this passion on on to her children. After the war, Joan wrote of her travelling to Australia, then Malaya on her way back to Hull - where she settled in 1958.
A fond mother of four, she was never idle, busy with knitting, sewing and the making of patchwork quilts, but she was also a keen cyclist and an inveterate traveller. She enjoyed sequence dancing; "Retirement," Wendy remarked, "didn't slow her down."
The service was web-cammed to Australia, and Sands Camm had recorded her thoughts inspired by her mum's journal and cherished the time they'd spent together. These were broadcast as part of the service.
Included with each service sheet was a bookmark bearing Joan's photograph.
Saturday 18th September 2021:
There is a pleasing upsurge in membership in the Craft in some Lodges, and Technical Lodge 5666 in particular is doing well. The intake of members recently is happily lowering the average age of the Brethren, and a youthful vibrancy characterised the delivery of the floor work at the latest meeting, whereat Edward Thompson was initiated. Though visitors were still in short supply the Lodge was well attended and it was a pleasure to hear the Brethren sing - especially the melifluous tones of W Bros Chapman, Daniels and Turner who delighted the festive board with their vocal contributions. The guest organist won a bottle of whisky in the raffle - which for him, at any rate, was a bonus!
Wednesday 15th September 2021:
Minerva Chapter 250 added lustre to the business night meeting by inviting E Comp Craig Maurier to give an illuminated talk "Lifting the Veil on the Royal Arch" which looked at the universality of the mysteries in the Craft, their historical application, and their continuance into the deeper meaning supplied in the Chapter. As usual, Craig made some of the profoundest thoughts appear simple with his modest and deceptively light-hearted delivery as he explained the concepts underlying the symbolism of the Order. The organ continued to behave, having worried everybody by ciphering at the Craft meeting the previous week (see below).
Tuesday 14th September 2021 - evening:
Congratulations and a very warm welcome to Brother Matthew Warkup, who was initiated into the Humber Lodge 57 to a well-filled Lodge room, including eleven visitors on this evening. Possibly the youngest Brother there (though there were initiates from other Lodges in their early twenties) Matthew responded confidently in his obligation, and also managed to win first prize in the raffle at the festive board! W Bro Andrew Nicholson, who had gifted the Lodge with a Humber Centenary Jewel he had acquired in an auction (see 2nd September) gave Matthew an old penny in the form of a keyring and spoke elequently about its masonic symbolism in his response to the visitors' toast. Possibly for the first time, the dining tables were decorated with Spider Plants - see the Table Nuggets page! The Humber Lodge is delighted to have a number of candidates waiting in the wings; our ceremonies for next year are all spoken for!
[Photograph of Matthew and Eddie by Craig Morrison]
Tuesday 14th September 2021 - morning:
An organ is a big box of whistles. Like most machinery it can go wrong from time to time and on the 8th of the month, it began to cipher. This meant that one pipe (a principal F sharp) wouldn't stop playing. This has happened before - a bit of fluff, or a moth could have got in and stopped the connection from closing properly so that air was blasting through the pipe - bad news. Having been out of use for so long, it is not unsurprising that a fault had developed - leave your car without using it for an extended period and some connections will corrode - organs are the same. Accessing the pipe was a problem - the big pipes at the front had to be taken down, then the swell box slats removed so that the offending pipe could be reached. Graham and Patrick unhooked the monster pipes at the front (Brethren will have notived the square and compass motif which appears on three of these bass pedal pipes) and removed two of the enormous slats which are part of a huge venetian blind affair which is called the swell - the slats can be opened or closed to control the volume. The pipe was found, but the blockage was lower down - Graham managed to remove it, and then tuned the pipe, plus some others that needed attention.
Worryingly, the larger pipes inside the instrument were leaning badly - undoubtedly because the instrument has been struck by the door on a number of occasions - the door stop which was in place seems to have disappeared. Please be careful if making an entrance, Brethren! I trust this will be addressed soon, or some meeting in the future might be accompanied by the sound of pipes crashing into each other, which would be a disaster. Fortunately there were no electrical issues, and Graham and Pat tuned those pipes which had wandered off-pitch before carefully slotting the organ components backinto place.
The organ was now fit for use that evening - a first degree ceremony - see above.
Saturday 11th September 2021:
Eddie comments on the Annual Meetings
Humber Brethren were well represented at the coronavirus-deferred annual convocations of the Provincial Grand Chapter and Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire North and East Ridings which were held at the York Race Course as the University site was not yet ready to accommodate visitors. Consequently, numbers were restricted, but it was a pleasant venue and the air conditioning was a relief after the sultry air outside. The morning session was devoted to the Chapter; E Comp Steve Hastings performed his Office as Provincial Grand Sword Bearer admirably, and it was good to see E Comp Ian Syddall in Provincial Chapter Steward regalia (pictured). E Comp Richard Smedley kept the Companions in order in his capacity as Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies - he had been working hard on seating everyone and finessing the final details in the inevitable last-minute flurry of changes..
I took the opportunity to wander during the lunch break, and as work was being done to change the room from a Chapter to a Lodge configuaration, I wandered to where a car boot sale was closing down after an evidently succesful morning, and to visit a book sale - sellers from far afield had brought shelves of rare and interesting volumes for perusal. I decided not to buy any.
In the afternoon (now in tails) I enjoyed seeing our secretary Ian Syddall shaking hands with the RWPGM in recognition of his role as Provincial Grand Charity Steward. Others received honours, of course, notably the Ridings Tablers' Chapter and Lodge, and it was good to see the WM of the RTL, W Bro Terry Fisher, supporting both RTL and Humber Brethren - both he and I were there in the capacity of serving masters, which was fortunate, for places were limited.
Other Brethren will doubtless add their blogs, so that's enough from me.
[Photograph of E Comp Syddall by Barrie Jefferies]
Here is Richard Smedley's Blog:
Life in the Day of a Mason at the Provincial Convocation. (Or how many jobs can one person get in a day.)
The day started early for me with arrival at the racecourse at 7:00am. I had already had a call on the way in from E Comp Ian Syddall who was in a traffic jam trying to get parked at York Racecourse and tried to explain to him where he needed to be. I met him at the main doors to the Ebor Suite where the meetings were to be held and headed upstairs to the auditorium. Ex. Comp Syddall assisted me to complete the layouts of the seating, a job I have done for the last five years for both the Craft and Chapter meetings (job 1 and 2). As Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Holy Royal Arch (job 3), the day is very much set out and rehearsals start promptly at 8am. Each of the incoming processions and last minute changes to formations and military precision floorwork are run through. 10am, the Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Jerusalem is officially opened and proceedings begin. All goes smoothly and the role of Dep ProvGDC is one which I enjoy. Halfway through the investiture of Honourees, I had the privilege to escort our Craft Assistant Prov Grand Master W. Bro Ian Johnson for his first appointment in Chapter (Job 4). At lunch time the Chapter closes and the whole room is stripped and changed into the Craft layouts for which seats are re-labled and the dais and layout of the room are rearranged accordingly. The whole team of Craft and Chapter Stewards muck in. (job 5). Normally at this stage I can sit back and relax, but on this occasion, I was asked to be the stand in Craft Prov Grand Sword Bearer in the incoming procession (job 6). All went smoothly and the day finishes with the room being cleared and all equipment collected and returned to Alcuin Chapter at Castlegate. (Job 7)
A fantastic day meeting old friends and new. Keeping busy makes the day even more enjoyable and pass quickly. The next meeting in May returns to York University where it all happens again. I look forward to seeing you all there.
By Richard john Smedley (Past Z Humber Chapter No 57, MEZ PGSC 9611, Dep Prov GDC (HRA))
[Photograph of W Bro Richard Smedley by Eddie Wildman]
Here is the Blog from Steve Hastings, MEZ of the Humber Chapter 57
It was an honour and a privilege to attend the Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation at York
Racecourse. The ceremony was sixteen months later than planned, a hastily rearranged venue change from York University also limited the numbers, but could not detract from the pride I felt at attending such a prestigious event. It has been a very long time since we have been able to meet under more normal circumstances and it was heart-warming to see so many familiar faces, share the traditions, a hearty meal and sense of companionship.
From my seat I was honoured and privileged to the the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent as he presented each companion with his honours in the warmest and sincerest way.
At the end of the ceremony, I proudly took my place as Provincial Grand Chapter Sword Bearer with humility and respect.
Here is Ian Syddall's blog:
At the Provincial Convocation at York Racecourse.
Friday 10th September 2021:
Worshipful Brother Michael Bastiman, Master of the de la Pole Lodge 1605, presided in the Chair of King Solomon in the pre-installion meeting when business matters were settled and various Brethren were nominated for office for the following Masonic year. This included four Master Masons to the Lodge Committee, two Auditors, the Tyler, the Treasurer, and, of course, the next Worshipful Master, W Bro Ben Kelly, who stood to thank the Brethren for the confidence placed in him. This, along with the confirmation of the minutes, two ballots, a proposition for a new member and various reports was managed expeditiously, reflecting the efficiency and attention to detail which has distinguished W Bro Bastiman during his difficult (and extended) time in Office. At the next meeting he will of course install his successor. The Lodge room was very warm in the current heat wave, and the meeting was mercifully short. The Brethren left the two-course festive board in record time - some of us will be travelling to York tomorrow for the annual convocation and are grateful for the opportunity of an early night.
Thursday 9th September 2021:
Quod Petis Hic Est - That which you seek is here.
Thesaurus Lodge 3891 saw the initiation of Mr Carl Moore. "At last," said W Bro Garry Millett, Worshipful Master, for Brother Moore had been proposed in Open Lodge on the 9th January 2020, and ballotted for later that year - but the pandemic had precluded meetings for some time thereafter. The organ was still misbehaving (Eddie Wildman and Terry Lynn had located the offensive pipe but were unable to resolve the issue, which may be electrical rather than the intervention of an inquisitive moth) but the opening and closing odes were sung more or less melodically. Interestingly, the substitute Junior Deacon was the IPM, W Bro Ian Paul Johnson, PJGD and Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings;
few Candidates can boast so eminent a conductor on their first masonic meeting! Carl enjoyed the full festive board, with nine visitors from seven Lodges including a number from Phoenix 9963 (one of their recent Candidates took the photograph) and of course Humber Lodge 57 - the highest and lowest numbered Lodges in the area. The Entered Apprentice Song was sung and musical points given. Brother Carl was surprised when his proposer announced it was also the date of his birthday - and a cake had been provided for the occasion. For many of us it was a recognition that we had missed our Masonic meetings so much - and the Thesaurus motto, which features on the Lodge logo, summed it up admirably: That which you seek is here. A splendid evening.
[Photograph by Mark Starky]
Wednesday 8th September 2021:
A successful First Degree even without the organ.
Minerva Lodge enjoyed an initiation with W Bro Kevin Marshall, the newly installed WM leading the proceedings, ably supported by his Wardens, Bro Dean Marshall and Bro Daniel Marshall (the Senior Deacon was Bro Richard Marshall - the Minerva Lodge is marshalling its forces, evidently). The organ began to cypher - i.e. one note refused to stop playing, so the music upstairs had to be a cappella, but despite this hitch, Mr Will Derlaud was beautifully initiated, with some excellent floorwork. The lively festive board (with keyboard accompaniment from Eddie Wildman) was another occasion where the Brethren sang with gusto, and the Entered Apprentice Song was rendered with enthusiasm. It was a delight to see so many there: it seems that the covid virus is being beaten back at last - though we continue to be cautious!
Monday 6th September 2021:
Account of the funeral of Mrs Vera Pinchbeck, Lodge widow, by David Terry, Lodge Almoner:
Mrs Vera Pinchbeck
28th February 1920—21st August 2021
The sun was shining on 6th September 2021 as I, and several members of Humber Lodge No 57 joined the family and friends of Vera Pinchbeck to say farewell to a lady who had lived for a hundred and one years.
The service was held at All Saints Church, Hessle, the village where Vera had lived for over seventy years and in the church she had attended (and for which she had worked) for many of those years. Some of the kneelers used to this day had been embroidered by Vera.
We were greeted at the church by Celia and Brenda, Vera’s two daughters, who, along with their families made us most welcome.
The service was conducted by Reverend John Walker who addressed the suitably masked and sanitised congregation. We did our best to sing the three chosen hymns through the face masks!
A lesson, 1 Corinthians 13 was read by David, Vera’s son in law and a reading of the poem “She is gone” was bravely recited by Tom, Vera’s young Great Grandson.
We heard of Vera’s life as the eulogy, which had been written by the family, was read by the vicar.
The memory that I take away from the eulogy is how important family life was to Vera and her generation. In many ways they lived their lives through their children. Vera was a wonderful wife to our late Brother Tom Pinchbeck: a kind and caring mum to her daughters, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She was an extraordinarily good cook and her cake tins were always full of treats for visiting children (and the occasional passing almoner).
Tom, Vera’s husband, (pictured here with Vera at their 50th Wedding Anniversary) who I remember very fondly from my early days as a member of Humber Lodge, passed away on 5th August 2003. W.Bro Gordon Wiles was the almoner of Humber Lodge in those days and I know he was a great help to Vera after Tom’s passing, encouraging her to meet up for meals with Mrs Joan Camm and Mrs Joan Hoe who had also lost their husbands (both members of Humber Lodge).
Vera continued to live alone for many years until her loss of hearing and deteriorating eyesight necessitated a move to Willersley House Care Home in Willerby. Mrs Joan Camm was also a resident at that home over the same period.
A very quiet and reserved lady by nature, Vera took some time to settle but enjoyed the church services that are held at Willersley twice weekly. Kathy, the Chaplain of Willersley House, also spoke at the funeral, telling the congregation of how important faith was to Vera. Her 100th birthday was quite a day of celebration. A celebration at which our Worshipful Master Eddie and your Almoner were delighted to attend!
Vera lived a long and happy life and we at Humber Lodge No 57 pass on our condolences to all her family and friends.
Saturday 4th September 2021:
Ian Syddall, ProvGChtyStwd takes a trip to the seaside
I visited Dennison Lodge 1248: they are a daylight lodge and meet at the Masonic Hall St Nicholas Cliff, Scarborough.
The Lodge tyled at 11:00am; the business was to ballot for a joining member and to demonstrate a first degree ceremony, and on this occasion the candidate was none other than the Deputy PGM VW David Chambers.
The First Degree Ceremony was carried out by both Dennison members and invited visitors; the ceremony / ritual was excellently carried out. The Candidate played his part beautifully, well done David.
When it was time for greetings, Grand Lodge greetings were given followed by visiting Lodges, I gave greetings on behalf of the Humber Lodge 57, afterwards I asked why they did not have Provincial greetings, I was told it was because the traditions of the lodge are such that if Grand Lodge greetings are given Provincial ones are not.
On this occasion I did not stay for the Festive Board.
Thank You WM Chris Harland PPJGW for the warm greetings I received.
Friday 4th September 2021:
Beverlonian Lodge 9084 held its Installation meeting; the gathering was a little smaller than in previous years, particularly regarding visitors, but the pandemic is still making people cautious. As guest organist there, it was nice to play the familiar songs at the festive board ("Though we will not join hands in the final song, Brethren," warned the DC) and to hear the Representative, W Bro Richard Smedley, singing in his fine bass-baritone. I asked Richard if he could do a report of the meeting from a Rep's point of view - this can be seen by scrolling up the page to September 22nd.
Thursday 2nd September 2021:
Humber Lodge receives a gift of a Centenary Jewel discovered in an auction package:
Masonic visiting is a joy, and I went to visit Constitutional Lodge's first post lock-down meeting at the Masonic Hall, Trinity Lane Beverley. Constitutional Lodge 294, originally a travelling military Lodge that eventually settled in Beverley has seen many trials and tribulations since it began in 1793, and has survived the covid crisis with the same insousiance; though numbers were not yet up to full strength, it was a very respectable turn-out and the First Degree enactment, with W Bro Daniel Longley in the Chair, was a sterling demonstration of the Constitutional ritual. Towards the end of the meeting, however, the IPM, W Bro Andrew Nicholson, stood to say he had a presentation to make. "It is appropriate that the current Master of Humber Lodge is here," he said. He went on to explain that he had taken part in an online auction held at Cornwall, bidding for an Air Raid Police Badge such as had been worn by his grandfather, and was successful. Amongst other items in the lot, was a hallmarked centenary jewel with the Humber Lodge number 57 on its bar, and the year 1756 on the enamalled rondel (the year the original warrant was issued by the Duke of Atholl.) As the Humber Lodge number went through various changes (originally it was 53, then after a number of adjustments it became number 57 in 1863.) The name engraved on the back is George Robinson - and one George F Robinson appears on the roll of Past Masters in 1918. But how the jewel found its way to the southern tip of England - and happily, back again, is a different story. Clearly some research is needed here - perhaps a job for our Librarian and record keeper, W Bro Terry Fisher,
W Bro Nicholson presented me with the jewel, which I will present to the Lodge at the next meeting.
(The following day I took the jewel into Segal's Jewellers where Mr Ben Beal examined it. "It is sterling silver, " he said, "that is 92.5% silver - it is quality work." He studied the hallmarks through his loupe. "With the queen's head and the letter B in a shield," he mused, "this was made in 1877." I thanked him for his expertise, and Ellie, the lady assistant who kindly replaced a couple of watch batteries for me. I wondered at the conflict of dates - there is a twenty-one year difference between this and the actual centenary - but I am sure wiser heads than mine will provide a solution.)
Many thanks to the Constitutional Lodge for a most enjoyable evening - and for the splendid festive board put on by the Masonic Hall's new cook!
[Jewel photographs by Eddie Wildman]
Saturday 28th August 2021:
Eddie Wildman travelled to York to play the organ for a ceremony initiating four Candidates:
Invictus Lodge 9960 is a military Lodge, recently consecrated, and is increasing its membership rapidly. A dispensation was required to hold this meeting at St Saviourgate, York, where the WM Shaun Carroll initiated four Forces Candidates in a ceremony which obligated first two, and then another two. Another "double bubble" is planned for October. It was a late night, despite the early start: the Invictus Festive Board incorperates the drinking of port as part of its toasting ceremonial and mirth and merriment prevailed. Congratulations to all who took part. Eddie Wildman, who had been asked to play the organ and piano for the occasion was very grateful that Bro Shaun from Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 had kindly offered to take him to York and back!
Wednesday 25th August 2021:
W Bro Ian Syddall witnessed the closing of a Lodge, an unusual event; here is his report:
I attended a meeting of the Dales Lodge 9554, a daylight lodge which met at the Masonic Hall, Newbiggin, Richmond, Yorkshire at 10.30; an Extraordinary Meeting by Dispensation.
The business on this occasion was Pursuant to Notice of Motion given on 23rd June to vote on the proposition that due to lack of members, the Dales Lodge had ceased to be viable and the affairs of the Lodge be finally wound up and the Warrant of the Lodge returned to the MW The Grand Master.
The Lodge’s Warrant of Constitution was dated 28th April 1994 and the Lodge had been Consecrated 19th October 1994. The vote was successful and the Warrant was handed to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W Bro David Chambers PAGDC.
This was the first time I had seen a Lodge return its warrant, and although a sad situation, the meeting was a celebration of what the Lodge had achieved. Most of the members were in fact also members of other Lodges and those who were not had made enquiries to join elsewhere.
Saturday 21st August 2021:
Hims Ancient and Modern
Technical Lodge 5666 initiated another new member (see 17th July) in a well-supported meeting at Beverley Road with some stunning ritual delivered by the Brethren. It is good to see this thriving Lodge increasing its membership with young people, and a pleasure to find them so enthusiastic and ready to participate. At the same time, the senior members continue in strength; Bro Bennett's initiation was followed by the presentation of a fifty years service certificate to W Bro D Gambles by W Bro Steve Berry. W Bro Gambles spoke of the regional and national variations in ritual observed in his experiences all over the UK, but maintained that looking beyond the delivery and the artifacts, the message underlying the Craft was the same everywhere. Picture: Bro Bennett and W Bro Gambles after the ceremony.
[Photograph by W Bro Paul Hillary]
Tuesday 17th August 2021:
Phoenix Lodge 9633 (WM Ian Parkinson) initiated another new Brother in the upper room at the Sailmakers Arms in Hull Old Town. It was a warm evening, but a pleasant one, and a number of the younger Brethren delivered ritual for the first time. W Bro Danny Betts gave a magnificent rendition at the Northeast Corner. W Bros Smedley and Broughton led the singing in "Here's a health unto her majesty" and Brother Solomon confessed himself well impressed in his response to the toast to the Candidate. There is no festive board following the Phoenix meetings, but drinks are prepurchased from the tavern below, so the conviviality continues after the Lodge is declared "Free and Easy."
Tuesday 17th August 2021:
W Bro Ian Syddall represented Humber Lodge 57 visiting Wilberforce Lodge: here is his report:
Along with W Bro Malcolm Forbes and MM Ian Douglas I attended Wilberforce Lodge 2134 for a double 2nd degree ceremony. There was a good attendance which included seven visitors. The ceremony was carefully orchestrated and the two Candidates thoroughly enjoyed themselves -as did all the Brethren.
The festive board was an excellent buffet; what made it even better was the cost - £5 per head.
It is a pity that Wilberforce and Humber usually meet on the same night, and therefore we cannot generally visit. However, this being Wilberforce's moved meeting allowed our visit to take place and the welcome we received was truly Masonic. Thank you, Wilberforce Lodge, for an excellent meeting.
Monday 16th August2021:
Richard Smedley gave a brilliant Zoom presentation for the Lodge: see Zoom page.
Friday 13th August 2021:
In his capacity as an Officer of Grand Lodge and an honorary member of the De la Pole Lodge 1605 W Bro Eddie Wildman was delighted to interview Brother William Lawrence Revell, Past Provincial Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, and, on behalf of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, to present him with a badge and commemoration certificate marking his sixtieth year in Freemasonry. Bill spoke eloquently of his upbringing during the war years, (he was born in 1938) his schooling and military service and his fascinating career with shipping logistics. His charm and modesty endeared him to all present - a Brother remarked afterwards that he could have listened to his reminiscences for hours, it was so interesting. For observant readers, Bill proudly wears a Provincial apron, but with roundels instead of the level shapes customarily seen. This is because he has never been through the Chair as Worshipful Master, and to have been awarded Provincial rank in such circumstances is very unusual, but Bro Revell's work as Almoner received special recognition by the RWPGM. The presentation was followed by a brief lecture by W Bro Jim Kerr, Provincial Grand Mentor, assisted by W Bro Russ Garbutt, on the Pathway Initiative and key performance indicators for the De la Pole Lodge.
At the end of the meeting Bill Revell was introduced to De la Pole's latest member who has only been in the Craft for six weeks, "Make sure the family comes first," Bill advised. [Photograph by W Bro Russ Garbutt]
Thursday 12th August 2021:
For the first time in eighteen months Brethren of the Province of Yorkshire North & East Ridings gathered in force. It was a happy occasion. Hosted by the Old Hymerian Lodge 6885, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Jeffrey Gillyon, accompanied by his team of Provincial Rulers and Officers, entered the Lodge in splendid ceremonial. The WM, W Bro Christopher Shuttleworth kindly relinquished the Chair and the RWPGM led an initiation ceremony, bringing his grandson, Nicholas William Jeffrey Gillyon into the Craft, a third generation Old Hymerian Freemason. Nick was an excellent Candidate, and his response to the toast at the magnificent festive board echoed his grandad's eloquence and humour.
It was good to meet friends again at an event which marks the end of lockdown and the beginning of the burgeoning of Freemasonry. Well done to all who took part!
Wednesday 11th August 2021:
The Lodge of St Andrew 4683 displays the Scottish flag, possibly in reference to St Andrew's Church in the old Drypool Parish in Hull. Early meetings took place in the Parish Hall. The Founding Master, W Bro the Rev Edward Berry was vicar of Drypool. This evening, the Lodge of St Andrew enjoyed an excellent Third degree Ceremony in which Bro Paul Marshall was raised to the degree of a Master Mason. The WM, Eddie Brook (who looks about sixteen) had an impressive team of equally young Brethren in addition to the older members, and the commitment and enthusiasm of his officers show the Lodge to be thriving even in these difficult times. The excellence of the ritual was a tribute to work undertaken by the Brethren during the lockdown period. Humber Lodge was represented by W Bros Ian Syddall and Eddie Wildman, who played the organ for the ceremony. It was a pleasure to be there.
Tuesday 10th August 2021:
"The best-laid schemes o' Mice and Men" wrote Brother Robert Burns in 1785 "Gang aft agley." The Brethren of the Humber Lodge were rehearsed and prepared for the initiation of a keen new Candidate who had been waiting for eighteen months to join us. But a member of his family proved positive to the coronavirus, and the gentleman regretfully rang the Secretary to say that as a responsible paramedic, he could not in all conscience attend. It was too late by this stage to ask another on our waiting list, but a ceremony was performed with one of our visitors, Bro John Burton of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 acting as our Candidate. As the Lodge of St Michael practises Emulation Ritual, the differences in Humber working were, he said, most surprising, but he proved an excellent Candidate, the Brethren performed well, and the festive board afterwards was joyously musical, with our guest organist, W Bro David Nicoll at the keyboard and W Bro Richard Smedley leading the singing. In response to the visitors toast, W Bro Neil Armstrong gave a learned dialetic concluding that while there was little evidence of Beethoven being a Freemason, his final symphony was a powerful statement extolling the Brotherhood of Man. Many thanks to all who took part!
Tuesday 20th July 2021:
Phoenix Lodge 9963 succesfully initiated Mr Starkey in the upper room of the Sailmakers Arms in Hull's Old Town. The relaxed dress code of this Lodge and the very warm weather persuaded some Brethren to appear more casually than one might expect, but the Candidate was clearly impressed with the ceremony and the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Chris Thomas PGStB said he'd enjoyed himself. In the afterproceedings, the WM, Ian Parkinson, explained that the Lodge had further Candidates awaiting initiation so the next year would be a busy one. As the Covid pandemic had intervened following his installation in 2020, the WM was proclaimed as continuing the role for a second year, and invested new officers. Congratulations to those who had striven to perfect their ritual during the lock-down.
Saturday 17th July 2021:
Congratulations to Technical Lodge 5666 who initiated a very keen Candidate - the young man had been waiting since 2019 and on the hottest day of the year (the temperature in the Lodge Room was 30° with both doors open) enjoyed an excellent ceremony. One of the visitors remarked afterwards that only when he had visited other Lodges for comparison would Bro Walker realise the high quality of the ritual and the lengths to which the Brethren had gone to achieve this standard. At the festive board, someone remarked how splendid it was to be bantering with friends again. The Lodge was very well attended, given the restrictions of social distancing still in force.
Wednesday 14th July 2021 p.m.:
Minerva Lodge 250 enjoyed a surge of enthusiasm at Dagger Lane, the Brethren taking the opportunity to enact this traditional Open Night celebration, with the new WM, W Bro Kevin Marshall in the Chair, and his predecessor, W Bro Mark Hartley acting as the Candidate. The Lodge was Called Off for this light-hearted event, with a specially designed apron for Mark (this Lodge goes to extraordinary pains to reflect the profession of it's IPM) but the skill with which the ritual was delivered was testimony to the dedication the Brethren had applied to the task. A delightful evening, full of laughter and good fellowship - W Bro Eddie Wildman congratulated all concerned as he gave greetings from Humber Lodge 57.
Wednesday 14th July 2021 a.m.:
Meridian Lodge 9597 installed Bro James Costello as WM in its daylight meeting beginning at 10.30 in the Lodge Room at Castlegate, York, attended by the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Mark Iveson PJGW. Covid restrictions still being in place movement was minimised and singing forbidden but Eddie Wildman, representing Humber Lodge 57, provided approprate music nonetheless. The Brethren were obviously happy to see each other again after so long an absence.
Tuesday 13th July 2021:
Bro Thundercliffe interrupted his holiday in the Lake District to drive to Hull, where he was passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft, and set off back immediately afterwards. It being over two years since his Initiation due to the pandemic, it was a particular pleasure for the Lodge to see him take this important step, and to commend him for the pains he had taken to achieve it, shown by the applause as he bid the Brethren farewell. Covid restrictions dictated that the ceremony took place in the Red Room, which allowed more room to manouver. (The usual room was to be used the following day for a first degree enactment by Minerva Lodge 250 and Humber Lodge agreed to accomodate this by moving next door.) The meeting was enhanced by the presence of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Ian Johnson, introduced by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Steve Cox. The escort, comprising only Humber Lodge Provincial Officers, was equally impressive.
The festive board was augmented by two non-masons, who had been balloted for and accepted that evening. They (and other Candidates, will be joining us later - our first post-lockdown initiation will be next month. The WM's brief nugget about UGLE's updating of the words can be found in the Nugget Cache.
Saturday 10th July 2021:
Greetings were given from at the Lord Bolton Lodge 3265 by the WM of Humber 57 who was pleased to represent the premiere Lodge in the Province, and to attend an interesting meeting whereat W Bro Ian Paul Johnson, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master interviewed W Bro Graham Witty PPGrand Reg before presenting him with a lapel pin and certificate recognising fifty years Service in Freemasonry.
Wednesday 7th July 2021:
Brother Marcus Whereat gave an interesting illustrated presentation on Freemason John Wood the Elder and his son, JW the younger; English architects responsible for the development of the City of Bath. It was followed by a delicious meal at the Lodge, Beverley Road, Hull, but proceedings were not protracted as many Brethren were keen to return home in time to watch the EUFA Euro 2020 semifinal. England beat Denmark 2 - 1 after extra time. National jubilation following the victory has proved a welcome shot in the arm for the country, though coronavirus levels are again on the rise.
Tuesday 6th July 2021:
Technical Chapter 5666 exalted Bro Chris Fuller at the first post-lock-down meeting. Social restrictions were still in force, but Companion Fuller proclaimed himself delighted to have made this next step in his Masonic career. The Third Grand Principal, E Comp Chris Thomas was in attendance, and presented Companion Fuller with the latest Chapter tie to mark the occasion, remarking that it was a pleasure to see the Companions looking so happy and eager to resume Chapter meetings after a long absence.
Tuesday 29th June 2021:
June has seen a tentative but pleasing resumption of Lodge activities, and the WM of the Humber Lodge 57 has given greeetings at various venues (see below) beginning with Kingston Lodge 1010 on the second, where W Bro Neil Armstrong delivered his lecture about "That Bright Morning Star". The Humber Lodge Membership Officer W Bro John Ellwood was active even before being officially appointed, organising a meeting with a potential new candidate along with the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Bylov and the WM, it being permissible to have coffee together by the dockside, and the gentleman, particularly impressed after a look at the Lodge Room, has joined our waiting list of people wishing to become new members, being proposed and seconded by W Bros John and Sergei at the Humber meeting where Eddie was proclaimed WM for the remainder of the year, and John officially appointed as LMO.
This has been the first month wherein the number of live meetings has outnumbered the virtual ones, and in this writer's opinion, marks the transition back to "normality". It will be a different normality, of course, and it is hoped that the use of Zoom and social media will not decline: indeed, next month our Chaplain, W Bro Richard Smedley, will be giving a Zoom presentation about the Second Degree Tracing Board - of particlualr significance to our brace of Fellow Crafts, in particular as the next few months will be taken up with Initiation ceremonies.
May I thank all the Brethren who have worked hard during the interim to maintain the interest and involvement of the Brethren? Without your splendid efforts, we should not be so well integrated as the Premiere Lodge in the Province. I'm looking forward to the removal of government restrictions when all of us can meet in safety.
Monday 28th June 2021:
For their second post lock-down meeting, Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 (Master W Bro Malcolm Forbes) enjoyed a convivial gathering with visitors from sister Lodges to hear the Daggards presentation Hansel and Gretel in the Freemasons Lodge by Eddie Wildman and Craig Maurier, with Fish and Chips afterwards. There was a real sense of returning to normality, and a positive feeling as a joining member was ballotted for and accepted, and another proposed. The Lodge kindly made a donation to the Daggards, which will of course be used towards supporting local charities. Eddie and Craig gave greetings on behalf of Humber 57, Premier Lodge in the Province, of which the Andrew Marvell WM is also a member.
Saturday 26th June 2021:
This evening saw the installation of W Bro Kevin Marshall at the Minerva Lodge 250 at Dagger Lane - the Lodge Room was as full as covid restrictions would allow and there was a palpable atmosphere of happiness, the Brethren enjoying companionship even though accompanied by the odour of sanitising gel. Smiles all round! Such was the keenness of the members to attend that visitors were not invited; it is testimony to the integration of the Brethren, many of them in the younger age bracket, who through WhatsApp and other social media has been in contact during the period of lockdown. Congratulations to this ancient but youthful Lodge, which has met in Hull from 1783.
Friday 11th June 2021:
De la Pole's first post-lockdown meeting at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull saw the proclamation of W Bro Mike Bastiman as WM until the Installation in October. The Lodge now has a new website: https://delapolelodge1605.org.uk/ and facebook and instagram accounts. Greetings from two sister Lodges were given: St Andrew 4683 and the Humber Lodge 57, premier Lodge in the Province. The meeting was well supported by the Brethren, though not all stayed for the meal afterwards. It was a lovely evening, and still light outside when the Brethren took their leave of each other, happy to meet again.
Thursday 10th June 2021:
W Bro Garry Millett was proclaimed WM of the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 the Covid-19 pandemic having extended his year in office, and he wished the Brethren well, remarking how good and pleasant it was for the Brethren to dwell together in unity once again. The convivial gathering in the Dagger Lane Lodge Room continued in the dining hall below.
Nonetheless, measures are in place to ensure social distancing at this and other Masonic Halls, and the Brethren are being cautious. Nonetheless, the meeting was a welcome intimation of the return of normality: it was good to meet.
Tuesday 8th June 2021:
Humber Lodge's first post-lockdown meeting at Dagger Lane saw the proclamation of the Current WM to continue in that role until the Installation of his successor in December. He spoke of change, strength in adversity and the future, telling the story of the restoration of the north wall of the building in 1957 (see the Nugget Cache) and appointed those Officers who had been severally elected and volunteered, including the new office of Lodge Membership Officer, held by W Bro John Ellwood, whose efforts alongside the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Sergei Byelov, bode well for the future. A fish and chip meal afterwards was a fitting end to the evening, which had been a happy occasion - hopefully, if the government "road plan" is not disrupted by Covid variants, our July meeting should increase our numbers even more. The WM thanked all those who had attended.
Wednesday 2nd June 2021:
Kingston Lodge 1010 had its first live meeting since the lockdown, and the WM, W Bro Michael Price faultlessly raised the Lodge to the Third degree and down again after he was officially proclaimed as continuing in the Chair until the next Installation. The Brethren wore masks throughout. W Bro Neil Armstrong gave an illustrated lecture on the Bright Morning Star, looking at the application of Venus in mythology and Masonry. It was pleasing to meet properly again, though I am sure that others, like me, will feel more comfortable without the masks!
Monday 31st May 2021:
The official feedback report on the Daggards' Aliens with Attitude following the Masonic Learning Circle presentation hosted by Bazza Longstaff was "World Class". Read about it on this website and the Daggards website.
Wednesday 26th May 2021:
It is always sad to lose a Brother, and the death of W Bro John Chew saddened many. But the funeral - a celebration of his life - saw the Chapel at Chanterlands Avenue as full as the Covid-19 restrictions would permit, while the driveway was lined by over fifty Freemasons and friends paying this last, sad mark of respect for departed worth. John was not a member of the Humber Lodge, but a good friend to many of the Humber Brethren, some of whom were there. The service was a fitting tribute to a man whose integrity, kindness and respect for others marked him as a great Freemason and a fine human being. John was a member of the Daggards, having sung in the Masonic Opera, in the Festival Extravaganza and at intallations and consecrations.
In the evening, the Daggards Quartet performed Aliens with Attitude for the Beverley Road Learning Circle. Read about it on the Daggards website.
Monday 24th May 2021:
Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 enjoyed its first meeting at Beverley Road, observing social
distancing and omiting the opening and closing odes, but we were happy to be back together again and to welcome a rejoining member. The Worshipful Master, Malcolm Forbes - who is also a member of the Humber Lodge, was proclaimed as WM until the end of this, his second year in office - which will be, I suspect, the norm thnroughout the country. It was pleasant to see the familiar faces again, and despite not shaking hands, there was a real sense of fraternity.
Considered one of the best metaphysical poets, Marvell, from Winestead, near Hull, was an important political figure in the seventeenth century. There is a statue of him outside Hull Minster.
Read about the Andrew Marvell Lodge on their website https://andrewmarvell5642.org.uk/.
Friday 30th April 2021:
Today the United Grand Lodge of England launched its first annual report in its 300 year history in its continued move towards transparency.
The annual report includes the new mission statement, which sits alongside the UGLE’s four key values of integrity, respect, friendship and charity. In addition, a recent study found that 75% of Freemasons take part in civic or charitable activities, compared to only 31% of non-Freemasons, in a matched geodemographic profile.
Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England states:
“Our first ever annual report is a major step ahead for the organisation in terms of the transparency and normalisation of Freemasonry, we want to tell the public who we are and what we do. This year, we have raised more than £42m for charity and given more than 18.5 million hours of our time in unpaid social and civic volunteering. I am enormously proud to serve an organisation with such a story to tell.”
The full report is too large to be reproduced here, but all Freemasons will have received a copy online.
Saturday 17th April 2021:
There has been much publicity following the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, 10th June 1921 - 9th April 2021 whose funeral took place today in St George's Chapel, Windsor. He was initiated into Navy Lodge 2612 in 1953 and took his second and third degrees the same year. He has remained a member ever since. We mourn his passing. A letter from the UGLE Chief Executive and Grand Secretary dated Tuesday 13th April speaks for us all: "Dear Brethren, Last Friday we were all deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and on behalf of the Craft our sincerest condolences have been extended to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family."
Wednesday 3rd March 2021:
It was heartening to see the line-up of Brethren lining the pathway to the Crematorium to show their respect for W Bro Malcolm Coates who died last month. The Provincial Grand Master was in attendance, and Brethren from other Provinces as well as a good number from Humber Lodge 57. Covid restrictions precluded all attending the service, but it was broadcast; fortunately I live close enough to the cemetery to be able to return home and watch. Appropriately, Alastair Devine, son of the late Brian Devine of the Humber Lodge, gave a moving tribute to Malcolm, recounting episodes from his working and social life, painting a picture of a loving husband, father, grandfather, man and Mason. "We remember Malcolm," said Alastair, "as a remarkable man."We mourn his passing. A eulogy can be found in "Celebrations and Regrets".
Friday 26th February 2021:
Ian Syddall, our Secretary, sent an email to all of us today asking if we remembered the last Lodge of Instruction we'd attended. He went on to pose the question "Why do we square the Lodge?" The question (and an answer - though there are indeed several explanations) is reproduced in the Nugget Cache. Thanks Ian!
While the covid-situation is looking considerably more hopeful than it was a year ago, it seems unlikely that there will a resumption of LoI until at least September. Watch this space!
Thursday 19th February 2021:
Thanks to W Bro Oxborough who has provided the eulogy on Malcolm Coates which may be found on the Celebrations and Regrets page. Stewart has also given details of the funeral which I duplicate below:
Malcolm’s funeral is to be held on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 11.00am. for private Cremation at Chanterlands Crematorium, Chanterlands Avenue, Hull. Contact Mike East & Family funeral directors 01482375214 for information. The service will be webcast, though with a 150 limit; the Brethren have been emailed with details. No flowers by family request, donations if desired to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, collection plate at service. R.I.P.
They are a strong, close knit, and supportive family who will prevail and have been truly heartened by the wonderful cards and messages of support they have received.
Catherine, after a short stay with son Michael, is living back at home in Hedon. The business is also to continue from there in Malcolm’s memory.
Our thoughts and prayers go to Malcolm’s wife, all family, and friends at this sad time.
Tuesday 9th February 2021:
Over twenty of our own Brethren and several visitors attended the Zoom meeting on our regular February Lodge Night. Given the state of the weather (the country was covered in snow) several of us reflected that it was nice to see familiar faces from the comfort of our warm homes. (Report on the presentation on https://humber57.org.uk/?Zoom)
W Bro Stewart Oxborough gave a moving eulogy on W bro Malcolm Coates, speaking of his many Masonic achievements on both sides of the Humber, his family tradition of Craft membership going back to the Grand Lodge of York, which is being promulgated now in his son Michael, also a member of Humber Lodge. Stewart drew us a verbal picture of Malcolm, his regalia business and his passion for Freemasonry evidenced in the good advice freely tendered to his customers. He spoke of the ill-health which had rendered Malcolm immobile in the later years, and his sudden death just over a week ago. He will publish some words on this website (see "Celebrations & Regrets") at a later date.
The WM thanked Stewart and proposed that the Charity Fund make a donation to Malcolm's much loved Masonic Charitable Foundation in lieu of supplying flowers for the funeral, in keeping with Malcolm's insistance on helping others.. Brethren can support this through our Almoner, who has organised a Raffle Draw for a Humber Chocolate Bouquet in April - an email has been sent out with details.
W Bro Terry thanked the Brethren in advance for their generosity and exhorted the Brethren to try to ring a Brother now and again during the Lockdown period, explaining that loneliness was a great trial to some of our elderly Brethren who are not able to access each other electronically. He then introduced the Zoom presentation The Night Soil Men (see the Zoom page.)
The WM thanked all who attended and invited them to join him in a toast to All Isolated Brethren.
Wednesday 3rd February 2021:
Sent to the Humber Brethren from the WM
It is sad to begin with regrets. We will miss W Bro Malcolm Coates, who died on 31st January after a long illness. He was a stalwart member of Humber Lodge and also Masonically involved on the south of the river. He was known to hundreds as the owner of Humber Masonic Supplies Ltd., and always had time for a chat should anyone call regarding regalia.
Our condolences go to his wife, Catherine, and of course to his son Michael, who is a member of our Lodge. His business partner, W Bro Stewart Oxborough will provide a eulogy which will be published on this website.
Now February is upon us, and the anti-covid vaccine is being distributed. Some of our Brethren have already “been done” and some have appointments booked.
I’m not sanguine that the crisis will be over soon: injecting over sixty-eight million people (twice) will take time, and we are dependent on supply. But I look ahead to us meeting safely again at Dagger Lane – hopefully while I’m still in the Chair. But don’t hold your breath.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you at our next Zoom. Warning: you are advised not to eat during this presentation as some of the subject matter is rather off-putting – but please have a drink handy for the final toast! We have a good programme of presentations planned, including items by W Bros Smedley, Syddall and Smith (sounds like a firm of solicitors.)
Please keep in touch – my router gave up the ghost and I was unable to access the Internet for a week. I suffered withdrawal symptoms – I couldn’t update the website, I couldn’t join Zoom meetings. I was lonely – and very grateful to those Brethren that rang me for a chat. Please do ring round some of your friends if you get the chance – especially those who are not so computer literate!
Thank you to those who have already sent in their contributions to the Charity Fund April Draw for the Humber Chocolate Bouquet. I’m sure our Charity Steward and Almoner will speak about this at our Zoom on Tuesday 9th – the date and time of our regular meeting.
Very Best wishes to you all.
Sunday 10th January 2021:
Sent to the Humber Brethren from the WM
The past year has radically changed the world. We have witnessed unprecedented times, good and bad. As Freemasons we don’t discuss politics in our meetings and refrain from controversial comments, but this is a time of change.
Two words have joined our vocabulary, Brexit and Covid, the former affecting Europe and our now sovereign nation, the latter affecting the entire world.
We are all following the increasing advances of the mutating virus; in an amazingly short time vaccines have been created to fight it – and I pay tribute to those scientists who have strived to produce them, along with all those, great and small, who have selflessly put themselves at risk to reduce the affliction of others, including our own Brethren.
I’m delighted that two of our more senior Brethren has now had the injection, along with their wives, and trust it won’t be long before we can all come together safely. There’s hope!
Once again, I thank you all, Brethren, for your continued support in these troubled times.
I look forward to seeing you on Zoom on Tuesday for our regular updates. There’s a presentation “Hand Over Back” about a duel where Grand Lodge became involved, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
Thursday 31st December2020: New Year's Eve
Sent to the Humber Brethren from the WM
Let me take the opportunity to thank you for your support through the crisis. I have been impressed – and humbled – by your generosity, kindness and helpfulness, not only in your contributions to the Almoners Fund but in the communications showing how you have kept an eye on each other and offered assistance where needed – even in doing shopping for those unable to leave their homes. Your support in our regular Zoom meetings is well appreciated; it is a pleasure to see your faces albeit on a screen and a way of keeping in touch, and it is good to know some Brethren frequently communicate by Facebook and Twitter. Our Secretary has worked tirelessly this year in keeping everyone informed and up to date, and you will all have read his inspirational Christmas message. I know our Almoner will soon be preparing a review on the health of our Brethren and widows in 2020: look out for his update.
Regarding our meetings at Dagger Lane – despite the ruthless spread of the pandemic we strive to suppress the virus until the vaccine makes us safe. There are some Brethren actively working in this ongoing battle, while others are taking the necessary precautions: isolating, masking, washing hands, keeping within our spaces and staying safe. But there is hope! Vaccines are now being administered. It will take time – but hopefully it will not be many months before we can meet again in person.
In the meantime, please continue to keep in touch. We are quietly thriving, despite the lock-down; there are at least two Candidates wanting to join as soon as all is safe. I’ll do my best to update you on the website (the diary page is understandably bleak at the moment, but there’s a Zoom presentation prepared for our regular meeting on January 12th – click on the dates for details, and check the WM’s blog. https://humber57.org.uk/?WM%27s-Diary – I’d like to say that I managed to revamp this page all by myself, but I couldn’t have managed without Craig Maurier’s help!)
Brethren, thank you all. I’m so proud of you! I look forward to seeing you later and wish you all a safe and happy New Year.
Sincerely and Fraternally
Tuesday 8th December 2020
Today the Covid-19 vaccine began to be distributed in the UK, showing a glimmer of light from (hopefully) the end of the tunnel. While this is great news, our efforts must not relax.
Hull and the East Riding are still in Tier 3; what would have been the Installation/Proclamation Meeting at Dagger Lane has therefore not taken place; however, in a Zoom meeting W Bro Ian Syddall kindly explained that under the circumstances the current Worshipful Master (with the agreement and recommendation of the Lodge Committee) would remain in office for a further year. There are few changes to the team, details will be emailed to all Brethren.
Ian Syddall himself was then congratulated by the recycled WM for having been awarded the prestigious active senior office of Provincial Grand Charity Steward, a demanding role which requires both a sympathetic mind and a hard head for figures, which will commence in May. Ian is exceedingly familiar with charity work and the necessary administrative procedures involved: his quiet advice to the Humber Lodge and elsewhere has always proved invaluable. They say that if you want something doing, ask a busy man, and W Bro Syddall is always in demand.
The Zoom meeting continued with a few words from the Almoner, summarising the year, and thanking the Brethren for their very generous support for the Almoner's fund, which is used especially at Christmas time for our widows (sadly, another two this year) and for those in distress.
Our Technical Wizard, W Bro Craig Maurier then explained he was going to mute all on the Zoom except for Jack Whileblood and Eddie Wildman.
Craig managed the pictures during Jack's interview: for a brief account of Jack's life - including the test driving of Formula 1 cars - please see the Zoom Page.
W Bro David Terry announced that through the generosity of the Brethren, £775 had been raised for the Almoners Fund. He thanked the Charity Steward, W Bro Malcolm Forbes for his splendid initiative in suggesting the raffle for the Christmas Hamper. The Worshipful Master drew the tickets, and the winners were declared.
It only remained for the WM to thank the attendees - including potential candidates, Masonic visitors and wives - (over forty in all) for their support, to wish them a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year, and to share a final drink together:
To all isolated Brethren
Wishing them health and safety
And a happy return to their Lodges
When circumstance permits.
So mote it be.
Tuesday 18th November 2020
Brief November Message from the WM emailed to the Brethren of the premier Lodge:
It is very unlikely that the December meeting will take place, Hull is still the most badly affected city in the country and while the national lockdown may end at the beginning of December it is highly probable there will still be tier restrictions in place. If a Rule of Six meeting becomes possible, I’ll contact those senior Brethren who expressed an interest in a proclamation meeting with the possibility of a brief afternoon session, but don’t hold your breath!
However, please reserve Tuesday 8th December in your diary for a Zoom meeting at 6.30. There’ll be a raffle draw for a Christmas Hamper, proceeds to go to the Almoner’s Fund. Our Secretary has sent out a flyer with details but I’ll put them at the end of this message. Please dig deep, Brethren – some of our widows are going to have a very lonely Christmas this year! You can take part in this even if you don’t have Zoom – and our Charity Steward has kindly offered to deliver the hamper to the lucky winner.
Also at the Zoom meeting there’ll be an interview with our ex- Formula 1 driver, Jack Whileblood. Some aspects of his James Bond lifestyle are still secret, but Jack has a fascinating story to tell. Please try to attend – with a Christmas jersey or hat! Feel free to invite the wife along, there’ll be no Masonic secrets given away!
Looking forward to seeing you!
The above was deliberately brief, and the bank details are not published here, of course, but here is the "expansion" for those Brethren who have the time and inclination to listen to my ramblings.
It's anybody's guess what will happen next with the virus, which appears to be mutating - will the lockdown prevent it spreading? Will the vaccine provide a cure? Will we be able to walk the streets safely?
Perhaps you, like me, fluctuate between hope and depression, fed up with being at home, unable to visit family and friends, or simply go to the pub. I was pondering these gloomy thoughts earlier, when it suddenly occurred to me that waking up in the morning is the first thing we should be thankful for. Most of the things we take for granted are simply ignored. How dare I grumble? What effontery!
I wiped off the grumpy expression and essayed a grin. Yes, the happy muscles were still working. "Be positive," I told myself, "the possibility of an effective vaccine being available is high." Indeed, checking the news today, Pfizer and BioNTech said they were submitting their vaccine for US and EU emergency approval within days, and the 95% efficay rate matches the results from Modena. No doubt it will be a long time before we can all be innoculated. In the meantime, there are demonstrations from the anti-mask brigade.
Masonry is affected in the meantime; like many other Lodges, the Humber Lodge is likely simply to be recycled for next year. When I took my obligation as WM eleven months ago, it was "until a successor shall have been elected and installed in my stead." There's little to do, though happily there are Candidates keen to join us. I'm happy to continue to serve, particularly as this premier Lodge is blessed with a good eclectic membership: I congratulate you all - thanks for your support.
Wednesday 11th November 2020
According to the news, Hull is the worst area in the country for weekly coronavirus infections; the weekly infection rate climbing to 743.3 cases per 100,000 of the population, with 1,931 new cases in the week leading up to November 9. North East Lincolnshire is also dramatically above the national average which remains below 200. Over the UK new coronavirus cases have soared by 33,470 in the past 24 hours, and the death toll is higher than the other worst-affected countries in Europe. These are difficult times.
Tuesday 10th November 2020
In the light of the suspension of meetings noted below, the Second Degree Ceremony planned for Dagger Lane could not take place. The Brethren met virtually via Zoom to greet each other and hear W Bro Tom Lee's account of his career as a policeman: see this date on the Zoom page.
Monday 2nd November 2020
In view of the latest Government restrictions announced on 31st October 2020, the MW The Grand Master, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, KG, has directed that all Lodge meetings in England will be suspended with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Thursday 5th November until such time as those restrictions are lifted.
The ME The Grand Principals have given a similar direction in respect of Chapter meetings in England.
Saturday 31st October 2020
While tomorrow sees Hull rise to the Tier 2 level in battling the pandemic, on Thursday 5th November the entire country is going under lockdown until (at least) 2nd December, a severe measure as the virus is increasing rapidly and it is uncertain that without prompt action the country will be able to cope. (See this date on the Coronavirus page.) These are worrying times. While we as Freemasons are under an obligation to abide by the law, it amazes me that others cheerfully flout it. I was in a supermarket the other day when a father and his two sons were making a noisy fuss as they wandered down the aisles. They wore no masks and were vocal about the size of the queue at the till. Christmas goods were on display, and the older son picked up a bright red Santa sack and put it over his sibling's head, pinioning him by the arms and saying "How's this for a Christmas present!" as the youth struggled. A tiny store assistant bravely admonished them: "We have to sell that, please put it back!" They did, but I thought that now it was possibly crawling with germs. Unabashed, the trio laughed at the lady: "Only a bit of fun." To my shame, I didn't interfere, but like the other shoppers, pretended it wasn't happening.
I know how unpleasant it is to wear masks. After five minutes my moustache goes horribly limp, and breathing isn't easy. But I object to those folk - old enough to know better, who wave their pensioner's cards at the bus driver and totter, properly masked, to their seats. As soon as they're sat down, they push the masks under their chins. "I know," one driver told me, "but what can we do? There are no proper sanctions."
And don't get me started about partying. Princes Avenue is great for a social drink, but after a couple of them, social distancing disappears. The ten o' clock curfew hasn't helped much - the number of drunken imbibers who stagger into Sainsbury's for a couple of cans to enjoy on the way home has increased. Full marks to the security staff who do their best, even with inebriated wenches pushing themselves forward "Let us in, luv, I just want a bottle of vodka." Cough. wipe. Stagger. "Ooh, I fergot ter sterilise me 'ands."
It is not that these people are a danger to themselves, it is the thoughtless impact on others that concerns me. I abhor selfishness. We need to share responsibility.
Worryingly, there are a number of people nearby who live alone and have virtually no contact with the outside world. While under normal circumstances you and I would automatically give a helping hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so. "Hello Mrs Ellis, have you changed your clocks? I know its a bit of a stretch, would you like me to do it for you?" "Now then, Colin, do you want anything - I'm passing the supermarket." Fortunately, where I am the neighbours are friendly and we do tend to look out for the more vulnerable ones. But at restrictions become tighter, we shouldn't forget these lonely folk, some of whom are frankly frightened to venture out of doors. Sometimes just a friendly word helps - even at two metres distance.
Friday 30th October 2020
The loss of a loved one is hard to bear at any time. It is particularly difficult when the loved one is a son or daughter. We can only express our sympathies to our Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master on the death of his son, Philip, after a long illness.
Thursday 29th October 2020
Whoops! Not entirely unexpectedly, it has been announced that Kingston-upon Hull and East Humberside are now under Tier 2 restrictions from midnight on 31st October, for fourteen days (and possibly longer.) The second wave of the coronavirus has proved stronger and more ecumenical than the former not only in Britain but elsewhere. France has reverted to national lockdown. Looking at the global impact, our being unable to hold our regular meeting pales into insignificance. Commiserations to Jack, however, who was hoping to pass to the second degree on the 10th, and to two potential Candidates who were intending to meet a few of us socially - though we have spoken on Zoom. Watch this space . . .
Tuesday 27th October 2020
Newsletter from the WM
As we’re into autumn and the clocks have changed it seems we are not a great deal further in combating the deadly coronavirus. It’s not surprising that some of us are thoroughly fed up with the whole issue, the social isolation, the ubiquitous masks and the uncertainty about the future. Some of us have been furloughed, work demands have increased on others and it is no wonder that we’re struggling a little. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: there’s a distinct possibility a vaccine will be available in the not-too-distant future. It’s not entirely doom and gloom. We still have a distance to travel, however.
To Lodge matters: regrettably, we’ve had a resignation – the dangers of the pandemic impact on some of us more than others, and where there are serious issues of vulnerability, it is understandable. We’ve lost another Brother through exclusion; sadly, dues must be paid and the Lodge can ill afford to keep Brethren on the roll unless they pay their way.
Our most recent sad loss is Brother Alan Brown to the Grand Lodge Above. Earlier this month he felt unwell, and a visit to hospital found him to have terminal cancer. He returned home to set his affairs in order and died on the 16th October, two months short of his eighty-third birthday. Our sympathies go to his wife Jean and to his children and grandchildren. His son Adrian is a member of the Humber Lodge and will publish a tribute to Alan on this website in due course.
Meanwhile W Bro David Terry is continuing to monitor the health of the Brethren and widows, and his reports will of course be included either with the minutes of our meetings or in separate emails, and I take the opportunity here to thank him for his sterling work in what has not been an easy year for any of us, our Almoner included.
The Rule of Six continues to thwart our meetings, but at least Hull is not in lock-down at the moment, unlike the north of the Province. This month saw Brother Craig Morrison passed to the degree of a Fellow-Craft with a team of five Brethren (see the website for details) and in November Brother Jack Thundercliffe will pass to the Second Degree if all goes as planned. (Whoops! Thwarted! Hull and the East Riding have gone into Tier 2 Lockdown - sorry Jack!) In the meantime, I thank you all for your patience. I know many of you are itching to came back, but as Freemasons, we keep to the law.
Assuming that the Rule of Six will continue into December, the Installation meeting will be a Proclamation ceremony with myself and a handful of Senior Brethren. Our Secretary is under strict instructions not to call it the Codgers’ Bodge in the minutes. I am hopeful that 2021 will see our numbers increase, both in the Lodge Room, and in membership: there are a couple of potential Candidates keen to join us.
Let me bring to your attention Mark Lindsay’s enterprise for Christian Aid on behalf of St Alban’s Church. Despite his extreme arthritis (which precluded him from the London Marathon) – hard to believe someone so young looking could be smitten like this – Mark is going to attempt to jog over the Humber Bridge and back in memory of those who have lost their lives through Covid-19. Pictured here with his son Mason, Mark will be wearing a facemask which will add to the pressure! Any contributions will be well appreciated.
May I thank all those who have attended the Zoom get-togethers? At the last meeting the Brethren in the Lodge joined the Zoomers (with our new Fellow Craft) where David Terry had been entertaining everyone with a talk about Festive Boards in times past (it’s now on the Humber website https://humber57.org.uk/?Nugget-Cache) and on 10th November the Dagger Lane Brethren hope to catch you all at the end of Tom Lee’s account of his experiences in the Police Force – which promises to be very entertaining. We have had some very interesting Zooms, with a Daggards presentation, Winston Pannett’s dissertation on his life and Masonic career, Phil Watt’s tales of his life at sea, and of course, David’s reminiscences about his veterinary work linked to Masonic Creatures – which has been delivered since elsewhere. W Bros Sergei Byelov and David Terry produced quizzes to test the Brethren on their Masonic know-how; W Bros Terry Fisher and Ian Syddal were winners. There is more to come – and any offers will be welcome. A number of Brethren have remarked how much the Zoom meetings (through the kind technology of W Bro Craig Maurier) have brightened their times in isolation, and I thank you all for being there.
There will be a committee Zoom on Wednesday 4th November at 6.30 pm where the accounts and other business will be dealt with: it is not a closed session, and all Humber Brethren are welcome to attend, though “Committee Rules” will apply. There is no requirement to wear a tie for our Zoom meetings. As before, the link will be sent the day before by our super-efficient Secretary.
All in all, at a time when some Lodges are in covid-hibernation, I have to say that the Humber Brethren are doing well. You are working hard to keep the Lodge moving forward, and as WM I’m proud to have your willing support. Without such splendid assistance, we would not be able to boast that Humber 57 is indeed the premier Lodge in the Province.
As contact is still forbidden, please wash your hands carefully and give yourselves a pat on the back.
Wednesday 21st October 2020
What a pleasure to receive official notification of Provincial Honours received by our Brethren: W Bro Sergei Bylov given his first promotion to the Office of Past Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in the Craft and Excellent Companions Stephen Hastings and Ian Syddall to Active Rank as Provincial Grand Sword Bearer and Provincial Grand Steward. Well done all.
Tuesday 13th October 2020
Five Brethren of the Humber Lodge passed Bro Craig Morrison to the Degree of a Fellow Craft at Dagger Lane, while at the same time W Bro David Terry, PPSGW hosted a Zoom lecture, accounts of which may be found on the Zoom page and in the Nugget Cache.
Performing a Second-degree ceremony while observing social distancing and the Rule of Six currently in place as a precaution against the spiking coronavirus presented some difficulties.
Looking at the ritual, the first questions were "Who is essential, and who can we do without?" Some offices could be doubled, of course. Historically, the officer line-up has changed: the Deacons, for example, did not generally feature in English Freemasonry until after the Union in 1813. While the Almoner has been a regular office since 1884, the Charity Steward wasn't official until 1975. The Office of Mentor is a recent creation - many Humber Brethren will recall it being introduced.
The Humber Lodge ritual "flight check" at the beginning states there are three principal officers; the WM and his Wardens, plus three "Brethren in Waiting", i.e. the Inner Guard and the Deacons. There's also the Tyler - the implication is that because he's outside the door he doesn't count. This is of course historical, alluding to the days when the Tyler was a professional outer guard, with the responsibility of setting up and dismantling the Lodges by which he was employed.
Whoops - three principals, three in waiting, that's six already, not counting the Tyler, who is essential. And we need a Secretary.
Okay, we doubled up. The Inner Guard assured us that the place was secure, then continued as Senior Deacon. Our Candidate stood in briefly as Junior Deacon for the opening, but the actual duties of that office were absorbed by the Senior Deacon.
Those of you who were at the last Open Night will recall the WM reintroducing the practice of summoning the Tyler by two knocks - a useful procedure here as the Tyler was also the Secretary.
There were essential modifications to the ritual - there was no exchange of handshakes, for instance, but the Senior Deacon had thoughtfully printed pictures of the passgrips needed in the 2°, and another of how the apron is worn. These were shown to the Candidate at the appropriate junctures.
Unencumbered by the traditional staff of office (and there are interesting variations regarding that which I'll save for another day) the Senior Deacon led the Candidate round the Lodge "Follow me" maintaining a careful metre's distance. We were all masked, of course. The obligation was taken on the Candidate's own VSL, carefully sanitised.
Craig took a photograph before we started. His smartphone has a camera which has a ten-second delay, which was not enough time for the WM to put on his collar and apron, but the picture marks the event for posterity - we were, after all, making history here. The ceremony flowed, despite glasses steaming up behind masks and the absence of any rehearsal.
Pictured Left to Right are: W Bro Ian Syddall, Tyler, Secretary: Communication of the Secrets, Propositions, Notices of Motion, Apologies, AOB etc. and Greetings from the Past Masters; W Bro Craig Maurier, Inner Guard, Senior Deacon: leader of the Candidate, Charge after Passing, Greetings from Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge; W Bro Eddie Wildman, Worshipful Master, IPM, Chaplain: Prayers, Obligation, Working Tools, Greetings from United Grand Lodge; Bro Charles Alexander, Junior Warden: Address at the South East Corner; W Bro Sergei Byelov, Senior Warden, Mentor: Questions before Passing, Investiture, Greetings from the Humber Brethren; Bro Craig Morrison, Junior Deacon, Entered Apprentice passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft.
It was a unique ceremony. As WM I was proud of the Brethren who had all worked hard to make the evening a success. Time was pressing: there was a virtual meeting we wanted to join and I closed the Lodge in short form - we were in time, David Terry had just finished his lecture. I was buzzing afterwards, I admit, as we joined the Zoomsters. W Bro Craig Maurier, our Lodge Guru had already set up the screen, and the Brethren warmly congratulated Bro Morrison. There is more information on the Zoom page, and David's lecture can be found in the Nugget Cache.
As WM of the premier Lodge in the Province I have great pleasure in thanking the Brethren for their fantastic support. To W Bro David Terry for hosting the Zoom, to those attending the Zoom meeting - W Bro Terry Fisher logged in from France! To the Officers working behind the scenes to keep the Lodge moving forward, often with unseen acts of kindness and unannounced charitable donations, to those keeping our Brethren in the loop with Facebook and whatsApp, to those whose encouraging words and attendance at Zoom meetings brighten our lives, you all strengthen us with your support. The unanimous vote to carry on at a time when some other Lodges are closing down for the interim is a credit to us all. I congratulate you all on your positive attitude and thank you most sincerely.
On this occasion, of course, the final congratulations must go to Bro Craig Morrison, Fellow Craft Freemason amongst us!
Friday 2nd October 2020
As the Covid-19 virus is increasing in the Middlesborough area the RWPGM has suspended Masonic Lodge and Chapter meetings with immediate effect in the Middlesborough Council area. Currently issued summonses are to be withdrawn and no further summonses issued until advised. Province and UGLE are monitoring the situation.
Tuesday 29th September 2020
The Humber Lecture Master, W Bro Philip Arthur Watts, was interviewed on Zoom - and mariners from other Lodges attended to learn about our quiet eagle-eyed Captain. Read about it on the Zoom page for this date.
Thursday 17th September 2020
A number of the Humber Lodge Brethren are also members of the Knights Templars Preceptory 223 which meets in the same building, though in the "Red Room" which has been recently recarpeted. The "Rule of Six" has precluded any more than those pictured here attending, but the business meeting at which the Eminent Preceptor, Eminent Knight Ian Syddall proclaimed his successor for the next year was conducted with the decorum and dignity which dignify the Order. Pictured here properly garbed in tunics, mantles and masks (left to right) are Michael Potts, Eddie Wildman, Mark Richardson, Ian Syddall, Malcolm Forbes and Steve Longthorp.
[Photograph by Eminent Knight Mark Richardson VR, PProv Herald.]
Tuesday 15th September 2020
Lodge 9963 meets in a tavern - the Sailmakers Arms in the High Street, in Hull's Old Town. Taking its name from an early nineteenth century Hull Lodge, it goes back to some of the early Masonic "traditions" - the tavern venue, the use of a table round which much of the ceremony is conducted, the wearing of a tricorn by the WM. Aimed at the working Freemason, there is no festive board (though invariably convivial libation, given the setting) nor is morning dress mandatory; it is understood that some Brethren will arrive straight from work and not be expected to dally too long at the Lodge. However, the "Rule of Six" prevented the attendance of more than half a dozen, and the Lodge was opened and closed on this occasion expediting essential business. W Bro Antonio Ramirez who took the photograph remarked that the masks were a positive improvement before beating a hasty retreat down the stairs to the bar. The Brethren returned home to tune into a Zoom presentation by the Primus WM, W Bro James Steele who dilated upon the original Phoenix Lodge. See the Zoom page for details.
Monday 14th September 2020
Government legislation has reduced the number of people who can meet together to six; UGLE has sent a letter instructing Lodges to comply with the spirit of the ruling until further notice. See the WM's letter to the Brethren on the Coronavirus page. There was a Zoom meeting with the WM and Brethren of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 this evening to discuss the implications of this latest government decision and the annual installation meeting.
Subsequent advice from the Province has clarified that individual Lodges should canvas opinions from the Brethren how best to accommodate those wishing to attend - perhaps on a rota basis, so the Zoom discussion; this Lodge regularly discusses Masonic issues and was well ahead of the game.
Wednesday 9th September 2020
Minerva Lodge 250 enjoyed an excellent First Degree Ceremony in the Lodge room at Dagger Lane (negotiating with the Humber Lodge 57 who agreed not to use the room the previous night so that Covid restrictions could be observed - see below.) W Bro Richard Theaker not only proposed Mr Wayne Sutherby as a suitable candidate to join this ancient Lodge but on the evening acted as Junior Deacon and explained the secrets during the ceremony. As the Brethren had been unable to rehearse since the lock-down in March, it is a tribute to their dedication that the proceedings were managed so aptly, observing necessary caution, all participants masked or visored. The congratulations from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ian Johnson were well deserved. There was not, of course, a celebratory festive board, but I believe certain Brethren took the opportunity to drink Brother Sutherby's health afterwards in a nearby hostelry. A most pleasant evening, and the first post-Covid Initiation ceremony at Dagger Lane.
[Photograph by W Bro Christopher Brown]
Tuesday 8th September 2020
The Craft meeting took place in the dining room: the WM, Wardens, Inner Guard and Tyler used spoons for the exchange of knocks. This meeting broke new ground for the Humber Lodge in other ways too: it was the first time we connected to other Brethren without the Lodge using the Microsoft Team programme, and it was the first time our lecturer for the evening, Dr Robert Lomas was operating using this particular presentation technique. Between us, especially after the lecture, there were enough learning curves to build an arch. Arches, or bridges, are much needed at the present time, but I will come to that later.
We met in the dining room because the main Lodge Room was going to be used for an initiation ceremony the following day (see 9th September above) and the house rules of the Minerva Masonic Hall Association preclude the same room being used within forty-eight hours. Besides, there is a splendid screen and projector in the dining room so we were able to see Dr Lomas's presentation more comfortably than upstairs.
It had taken a little while to organise the tables and chairs, especially as there were kitchen items carefully stored on some of the tables as the kitchen rooms were being renovated. (See blog on 31st July for picture.) It was well worth the effort however.
The Brethren arrived early -there was time for the stand-in officers to glance over their words before the prompt 6.30 start and for the WM to improvise an introductory stanza:
"A Lodge is where the Brethren meet - Somewhere to gather off the street; It doesn't matter of it's small, Or some vast Masonic Hall. Tonight, with all this kitchen gear, what's most important is: you're here. 'Midst pots and pans on makeshift shelves, I trust we'll all enjoy ourselves."
We did enjoy ourselves. The Lodge business was rapidly concluded - a succesful ballot for a joining member - and we look forward to welcoming John Ellwood when circumstance permits. The Lodge was closed in due form, leaving time for our Charity Steward, W Bro Malcolm Forbes to organise a collection which realised a surprisingly handsome sum - thanks, Brethren!
Then followed the Team presentation.
I have a horror of using electronic devices - Craig Maurier. our Lodge guru, believes I radiate a malign influence on anything to do with electrical current - especially phones and computers. Inevitably, things went wrong - not only in Dagger Lane, but also over the Pennines. While I argued it could hardly be my fault that the Microsoft programme decided to choose that exact time to update, Craig shook his head darkly and muttered something about "Bad vibes, Worshipful Master - it could only happen with you in the Chair." Seriously, Craig's help is invaluable.
Blissfully unaware, the Brethren divested themselves of their aprons. Still masked (a definite improvement in some cases) we sat socially distanced and enjoyed Robert Lomas's deep and thought provoking explanation of the cultivation of one's inner spark while undergoing the mysteries of the third degree ceremony. It was an illuminating interpretation, as one might expect from this internationally acclaimed Masonic author.
Afterwards Robert confided to me that he had found it difficult without the live feedback he'd experienced when he had lectured at the Humber Lodge before, but I was happy to reassure him that his illustrated talk had been effective and meaningful, a daily advance in Masonic knowledge for us all. The Humber Brethren on screen had also gained a great deal: David Terry's eloquent vote of thanks was accompanied by sincere nods of agreement.
We took our leave of each other observing all caution and the WM was careful to wipe down all items which had been touched - tables, chairs, light switches, door handles and of course the spoons which had featured in the ceremony.
Many thanks to all those who attended, and to the stand-in Officers. Your support is well appreciated. You have been captured on camera by W Bro Richard Smedley, who magically appears on the picture through W Bro Craig Maurier's scary editing skills. Thanks, too, to those who attended via Microsoft Team from far and wide, and of course to Dr Robert Lomas, pictured elsewhere on this blog.
I spoke of building bridges. The virtual shaking of hands over the country is probably more important now than ever before. Within a few hours of locking up the Lodge, a directive from the Prime Minister has reduced the number of people who can gather together to six. So please keep in touch with each other - by phone or Facebook, Website or WhatsApp, text or telegram - let us continue to promote our fraternity through adversity and look forward to getting together again in health and safety.
I wish you all well.
[Photograph by W Bro Craig Maurier, Lodge Guru]
Eddie WIldman, WM
Thursday 3rd September 2020
Humber Chapter 57 held its belated installation at Dagger Lane: for details please see the Humber Chapter page.
Tuesday 18th August 2020
W Bro David Terry gave a lively presentation of Creatures in Freemasonry to the Wilberforce Lodge 2134 Zoom gathering. For more imformation, see the Zoom page.
Monday 17th August 2020
The Humber Lodge Committee zoom-met to discuss the way forward within the strictures of the Covid-19 regulations and the recommendation that the current WM continue in the Chair for the ensuing year was made, with the unanimous support of all present. The WM confesses to feeling humbled at the honour, but will continue to do his best to serve the Lodge. See the Zoom page.
Saturday 15th August 2020
Technical Lodge 5666 met for the first time after lockdown at Beverley Road with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Ian Johnson in attendance, it being a decision of the RWPGM that all post-lockdown first meetings should have the support of the Executive. The Brethren enjoyed being back at the Lodge and admired the new carpet; the Worshipful Master W Bro Allan McKay welcomed everyone and was pleased to receive reports. Singing being forbidden as it may spread spores, the Opening and Closing Odes were replaced by brief nuggets from Solomon; the redundant guest organist acting as Inner Guard for the evening. He was pleased to mentally acknowledge the authorship of the final nugget, however. Greetings were given of course from Humber Lodge 57.
[Photograph by Paul Hillary. James Steele says they look like chess pieces.]
Friday 14th August 2020
The Masonic Hall at Beverley Road is large and there was no problem accommodating those who attended De la Pole Lodge's first meeting after lockdown, but anti-Covid measures were enforced, the Marshals ensuring that everyone was properly masked and that social distancing took place. There was little need for an organist (singing being forbidden) other than to play a verse of "Abide with me" while the Brethren stood in respect for the departed W Bro Raymond Innes PPJGW. While this was essentially a business meeting discussing the way forward, it was, good to see familiar faces (or parts of them) and to learn that the current Worshipful Master, W Bro Michael Bastiman will continue in office for another year. It was a pleasure to see the Executive representation in the familiar form of W Bro Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith PGStdB, who spoke positively about the progress made and assured the Brethren that despite their worries to the contrary, de la Pole Lodge 1605 was doing very well.
Tuesday 11th August 2020
The first meeting back at Dagger Lane after lock-down and the first Masonic meeting was held by the Humber Lodge. I was delighted that we had sixteen Humber Brethren there, plus an Executive of the Provincial Team, W Bro Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith PGStdB. The screen linking us to the virtual contingent showed we had a pleasing number of visitors in addition to our own Brethren, bringing the total attendance to thirty-five.
Our Chaplain, W Bro David Terry PPSGW had kindly volunteered to stay at home and host the Zoom part of the proceedings. In the meantime, Bro Craig Morrison distributed masks to the Dagger Lane Brethren so we all conforming to the latest government guidelines. These stylish black and white chequered masks coordinated nicely with the smartly dressed Brethren and the Lodge Room carpet.
This is where I made a mistake. The masks were adjustable; a piece of elastic at each side has to be tied so as to fit round the ears. In the bustle of organising at the start, I made the loops too small. Consequently, when the meeting was under way I realised my ears were being pulled forward and the mask was stuffing my beard into my mouth. I looked like a wingnut. It is difficult to speak clearly with a mask on anyway, and my splutterings may have given the impression I'd had a drink beforehand. This was not the case. Towards the end I was panicking a little, I admit - I feel ashamed that I forgot some of my words. Mea culpa.
The Virtual Brethren could not see the opening as there should be no transmission of an actual Lodge meeting on social media, but the Brethren (including stand-ins Steve Lowthorpe and Segei Bylov as Senior Warden and Junior Deacon) performed admirably, the VSL was opened and the S&C placed by the WM alone. The Lodge was called off (for those unfamiliar with the term, this is a temporary shut-down) for the premier performance of Dennis and the Mentors Forum by Bros Mike Noble, David Terry and Craig Maurier. W Bro Malolm Coates proposed an eloquent vote of thanks, seconded by Bro Craig Morrison.
The next presentation was from W Bro Mark Richardson, whose Health and Safety recommendations have been useful to both UGLE and Province. The Senior and Junior Wardens respectively proposed and seconded a vote of thanks to Mark.
I made another mistake here. When talking on Zoom, the speech signal apparently bounces off various convenient satellites orbiting the globe before sounding through the speaker on the screen. Thus it is a fraction late as it has probably been to America and back. The Brethren in the Lodge had the strange effect of my voice being echoed as it came through my lips and then through the speaker. I should have spoken quietly into my phone. So I somewhat disconcertingly mentioned the next meeting at which Team viewers will be able to see international Masonic author Robert Lomas talk about the Third Degree; (he having spoken about Initiation and Passing to us in 2018 and 2019.) This ineractive presentation will be shown at Dagger Lane.
The WM thanked the Zoom Brethren, remarking that some were watching from as far afield as Worcester. I don't think that the Brethren were too confused by the vocal echo.
We bade farewell to our Zoom Brethren (who would conclude with a toast to isolated Brethren, though some had left by the time of the screen shot), the Lodge was called on, and reports were given, including an RAR nugget from Bro Mark Lindsay which will appear elsewhere on this website. He mentioned the first Chapter meeting after lock-down: W Bro Richard Smedley (in attendance at Dagger Lane) was now the MEZ of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter. W Bro Smith commended the Lodge for its splendid work in promoting the Craft in these difficult times. The Lodge was closed in due form (with some slips by the WM who is still kicking himself) and the Brethren replaced their regalia in their cases and retired in single file,
It was, all in all, a worthy and historic meeting, and the WM sincerely thanks all who attended.
Thursday 6th August 2020
Personal Disaster Day
On Tuesday I had several tasks planned which had nothing to do with Cid-19 strictures, sanctions and suggestions, and didn’t impact on the Lodge. It began as an ordinary day – or as ordinary as may be managed in these troubled times.
There was a birthday card to post, and I wanted to buy some past music theory exams from Gough and Davy in town, and to visit my bank in Jameson Street regarding a Pay-Pal account.
I laced up my stylish yellow pumps, (this is what we called canvas shoes when I was a lad) checked I had my face mask in my pocket (people have remarked it considerably improves my looks) and stepped outside, locking the door, which gave an ominous click as I did so. I realised it was starting to rain and decided to go back in to pick up an umbrella.
The lock had other ideas. The key turned nicely, but the internal mechanism refused to operate. I stood helplessly on the doorstep, locked out of my own house.
Okay. Change of plan. My mobile phone was in my pocket, but when I tried to text Alison to tell her she wouldn’t be able to get in to clean the house, the phone wouldn’t work. I’m afraid I said a few words I shouldn’t use, and decided that instead of going to town, I’d walk to Chanterlands Avenue where I knew there was a locksmith. Perhaps he’d be able to help.
Ouch! My toe was hurting. I realised that I’d not cut my toenails in a while, and in the rather tight pumps, my left little toenail was scratching the neighbouring toe. It was painful, but there was nothing I could do about it there and then, so I set off hobbling towards Chants (as the locals call it) as the heavens opened. I was not having a good day.
The Locksmith was helpful. He gave me a card. “Ring this number, he’ll sort you out,” he said.
Right. Phone not working. My only option, I reasoned, was to walk to Alison’s – only ten minutes, she lives on Ella Street. I loosened the laces in the vain hope my toe wouldn’t hurt so much. Wearing slippers during lock-down had made me lazy about cutting my toenails, I had only myself to blame.
Alison was in, happily, and let me use her phone to ring Drake Locksmith, who said he’d be at my home in Welbeck Street in half an hour. Alison obligingly lent me her nail clippers, and I removed my bloody sock and trimmed the sharp corner on the offending keratin. “For water on the knee, wear pumps,” I recalled from my childhood days, “and for water on the brain you need a tap on the head.” I’d thought it was funny when I was eight. Sixty years later it didn’t seem so amusing. Second childhood? No thanks.
The Drake Locksmith van arrived exactly on time and a personable young man with a bag of tools assessed the problem. “I’m going to have to break in,” he apologised, “and then we can look at the lock.”
I had expected no less. I watched from the comfort of a borrowed brolly, fascinated as he wielded a tool which looked like a cross between a chisel and a shovel, and carefully inserted it in just the right place to force the locking bolts open. It is not simply the bolt engaged by the key that secures the door, but others came into play automatically. Once he’d managed to move these, it wasn’t too difficult to gain entry, which was an enormous relief.
It transpired that a metal lever had snapped. Mr Drake had a replacement mechanism with him. Despite his expertise it didn’t go in easily, and the barrel lock, when returned to the door, still felt reluctant.
Alison, who had arrived while the locksmith was working, concurred. “I’ve always had trouble locking the door,” she said.
“Okay.” In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought – this was turning out to be an expensive day. I bought a new lock and keys. The young man must have felt a bit sorry for me, and told me he’d let me have them for the price he’d paid for them.
Eventually, the job was done, and lighter in heart as well as pocket, I bade him farewell.
I changed my footwear to go into town and caught the bus. I remembered to post the card, found what I wanted at Gough and Davy and waited in the bank while an attractive assistant in a mask found the information I needed. It was odd to sit and wait, but there was a no queueing policy inside the building. The air smelled of sanitising fluid.
I queued for half an hour outside the phone shop, and when eventually admitted, had to beg the assistant to look at my phone. “I’m a dinosaur,” I explained, in my distressed pensioner’s voice, “and I don’t know if it needs topping-up or what, or how to find out.” He put on some rubber gloves in case my phone was alive with malevolent bacteria and pushed buttons.
It transpired, however, that I was well in credit, but that the network was down in my area. “They’ve sent you a text about it,” the counter assistant explained. I didn’t point out that the text had been sent at three o’ clock in the afternoon and my phone hadn’t been working since ten that morning. “So what do I do?” I quavered.
He grinned. “Easy. Turn it to airplane mode, then back to normal,” he said. “I’ve done it for you.”
“Faster than the eye could follow,” I complimented him.
“No charge sir,” he said, and then seeing my puzzled expression, elucidated. “Not your phone, that’s fully charged. I mean this hasn’t cost you anything.”
I thanked him sincerely, reflecting that perhaps the day was turning out for the better.
And indeed it was. That evening I zoomwatched Craig, Mike and David rehearse the script for next week’s presentation, delighted that they put so much extra into the words than a simple cold text delivery. I admonished myself for getting so grumpy. I’m blessed with good friends, willing, able and talented, and seeing them had reduced the trials of the day into insignificance. “Thought for the day,” I told myself, grabbing a pencil to jot it down, “Without Freemasonry, I’d never have met any of them.”
Friday 31st July 2020
Visit to Dagger Lane
Parking wasn’t the problem we expected. Craig slid the hatchback into a convenient space in Zebedee’s Yard and we paid £1.00 for an hour. “We should be done by then,” I said hopefully.
Originally we’d intended to go to Dagger Lane on Monday morning, but Craig was picking up his son’s car from a Hull garage on the Friday and it made sense to use the time rather than journey especially over the Humber Bridge the following week. Craig picked me up in the speed machine, and we loaded up the screen we normally use for Daggards presentations before driving into Hull. The TV screen is quite light and we hoisted it to the Lodge along with Craig’s very heavy bag of electronic wizardry, lap-top, cables and extension lead.
There was nobody at Dagger Lane, surprisingly, but as WM I had keys. We took the gear inside and tapped the code into the alarm system after sanitising our hands at the dispenser conveniently on the wall by Victoria’s bust. It may have been my imagination, but her majesty seemed to nod in approval at this elementary precaution – or it may have been at the prominently displayed “Keep your distance” sign.
There were still tasks to do in the building, we noticed. We glanced at the dining room – the tables by the kitchen doors were stacked with culinary equipment, but we didn’t go further: Terry Fisher had warned us that the wet room opposite the kitchen was being rendered and re-plastered – the mystery of the unaccountable damp was now apparently solved and the problem was being addressed. While I would have liked to have lingered and taken photographs to show you all, we were on a time limit.
The stairway and landings were newly and beautifully carpeted. I have been given to understand that the carpet originally intended for the Red Room was found to have a fault in the design, which given the large area displayed, was unacceptable. The firm supplying the carpet had replaced it, of course, but had no use for the original, so the entrance, staircase, conference room, hall entrance and landing have now been enhanced.
There was no access to the downstairs loo – I’d been told the floor is being replaced. The corridor thereto showed evidence of work in progress – a lonely pedestal stood outside the door as if waiting its turn to go in.
Upstairs, judging by the equipment awaiting the return of the workmen, there were still tasks to be completed, but Craig and I entered the Lodge Room, happy to put down the screen and the accompanying gear.
It was a pleasure to see the Lodge Room again. Work had been done behind the WM’s chair – a striking improvement, I thought. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed the place until I stood on the chequered floor.
The next part of this narrative takes me out of my comfort zone, for what I do not know about computers, satellites, Internet, and other electronics would fill the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Craig maintains I have an inimical aura which interferes with electronic equipment: computer programmes crash, watches start to go backwards and mobile telephones die.
Fortunately Craig has the opposite effect; electrons dance to his instructions and his almost intuitive understanding of how electronic functions interface is matched only by his knowledge of the esoteric Orders in Freemasonry. He has, however, informed me that if I ever intend to visit a nuclear installation he wishes to be as far away as possible – the other side of the world for preference.
The reason for our visit was to rehearse the set up for the next meeting, so that the Lodge could be opened in the regular manner (observing social distancing, etc.) and then I would call off the Lodge, and Craig, having prepared everything in advance, would link us all in to the Humber Zoom meeting. That way we and our distant visitors would be able to see the presentation “Dennis at the Provincial Masters Forum” followed by the Masonic Health and Safety Expert, Mark Richardson speaking regarding Dagger Lane, Freemasonry and the coronavirus.
While writing this (2nd August) I am aware there have been changes in government instructions and restrictions; I am not yet sure what the outcome will be but am awaiting guidance from Province. Technically (UGLE rulings) a meeting must be called, and if necessary, abandoned, which I am loth to do. But your wellbeing, Brethren, is of paramount importance. Watch this space! Ian Syddall is in contact with the Province and will let us know as soon as he can what the situation is.
However, back to setting up the equipment – Craig in his element, me in my default state of bewilderment.
Craig showed me how to use my mobile phone to log in while he sorted the screen in front of the SW’s pedestal. We were a while finding the Wi-Fi password. Wi-Fi, Craig told me, is an abbreviation for Wireless Fidelity. This didn’t help much. When I was young a wireless was a big box with valves in it that had to be plugged into a socket on the wall. It was badly named, because it was full of wires. I’m sure it sounded superior, too, but am uncomfortably aware the real reason is that nowadays I’m becoming increasingly deaf. Back in the sixties I could follow the piccolo all the way up to the roof. Sic transit Gloria mundi.
Hopefully, when the Lodge is called off (i.e. temporarily closed) and we connect to Zoom, it should be possible to whizz a camera round the Lodge so that we can all wave to our watchers. While we’re in our own aprons and collars, the Office collars belonging to the Lodge won’t be used – it is going to take some time before we reach anything approaching normality, but I’m sure you are all as eager as I am to resume the fraternal fellowship we enjoy. I was talking to the PGM last week, and he is keen to promote Freemasonry as much as we can during the crisis and is encouraging us to meet when possible (and safe).
While the Brethren attending the Lodge (and do let us know if you’re coming, Brethren, don’t drop in unexpectedly) are opening the meeting, David Terry will be hosting the Humber Zoom. As soon as we call off, we’ll join the Zoom, which for the first part features Craig Maurier (Dennis) and the professorial mentors Skirrett and Tassell (Dave Terry and Mike Noble.) It’s a power point presentation in the usual light-hearted Daggards style. Mark Richardson (who knows Dagger Lane very well and has advised UGLE and Province during the current crisis) will then have a few well-chosen words of advice and encouragement before the Lodge calls on again, and Dagger Lane goes off-line (if that’s the correct expression.) David will close the Zoom while I close the Lodge: have your glasses ready for the final toast!
Fingers crossed, we’re ready to roll on the 11th – providing my phone doesn’t blow up or (as has happened at Dagger Lane) there’s a power cut. The rehearsal had gone well. Craig managed to get everything connected and working (and dismantled again) with five minutes to spare!
I’m looking forward to seeing you all, one way or another.
Monday 27th July 2020
In the light of the restrictions necessitated by precautions against the pandemic, the meeting of the Provincial Grand Stewards Chapter 9611 at Trinity Lane Beverley was surprisingly succesful. Although numbers were limited (sixteen attended) the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent Jeffrey Gillyon and the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Jonathan Mark Mitchell Smith were present for the truncated installation ceremony, in which the MEZ E Comp Bill Glanville installed his succesor, E Comp Richard Smedley of the Humber Chapter. Humber Brethren were well represented: see the more detailed report on the Humber Chapter page.
Tuesday 17th March 2020
All Lodges, Chapters etc. suspended for four months by command of the Grand Master.
Devastating news, but in the light of the global crisis confronting us, this decision by HRH the Duke of Kent is the only sensible solution: while there are young, fit and vibrant members, we also have a plethora of venerable and vulnerable Freemasons and attending meetings would put them (and those who look after them) at risk.
The following communique has appeared in a seperate email.
Message from the WM of Humber Lodge 57 (the premier Lodge)
Brethren, it’s with mixed feelings I’m sending this out because I know how well our meetings have been going. It’s been a delight to sit in the Master’s Chair and watch you all doing the ritual with such excellence and enthusiasm. It has been a pleasure to see the smiles on the faces of you all – and of the visitors both upstairs and at the Festive Board. I was looking forward to the next meeting, with Miss Eglin and the Ladies, and to our Founder’s Night with Jack passing to the degree of a Fellow Craft. I’ve been making plans for later in the year. I’ve enjoyed visiting on behalf of the Humber Lodge and given greetings on our behalf at twenty-six Lodges to date.
It’s with real regret that the plug has been pulled: no more meetings for four months. It feels like a punishment, and I know many of you feel the same way. You enjoy your Freemasonry, and you’re not being allowed to practise it.
I have expected something like this for a while. When the initial warnings were voiced about Brethren at risk, I began to take notice: some of our lads are quite elderly. Lincolnshire closed as a Province, so did Yorkshire West Riding. A meeting of the RWPGM with his senior Officers and administrators promoted advice to curtail or minimise meetings, with the injunction that only the Grand Master himself was authorised to suspend activities. I began to worry about what to do: with our long and colourful history it seemed ridiculous to interrupt the flow because of some insidious virus. And then common sense brought me up short. This morning’s radio was doom and gloom about far bigger issues than Freemasonry (I don’t have a TV, so you are probably much better informed) and many people’s lives and businesses will be ruined. The national – and global – economy is in crisis. The country is in trouble – and so is the rest of the world. (And here was I worrying about meeting at Dagger Lane.)
It occurred to me that HRH the Duke of Kent has made exactly the right move.
However healthy we may feel, at the moment, any of us could be carrying the virus (and possibly already infected and not yet aware of it.) Those of you who are young and fit may be relatively unaffected by it, or merely suffer a few days of distress while you get over it. You could have picked it up inadvertently on a door handle, or on some loose change passed by a shopkeeper. But in the same way, you could unconsciously pass it on to somebody else.
Our government is acting positively to contain it, and the advice about over seventies and vulnerable people staying at home is sensible, though being in shutdown mode is not great fun.
I’m not yet seventy but am trying to avoid physical contact with people – I would hate to be responsible for anybody becoming terminally ill because I stood too close to them – or shook their hand.
So while I’m regretting that for the next four months (at least) there will be no meetings of the premier Lodge, I confess that I’m glad the decision has been taken out of my hands.
I don’t want inaction to lead to loss of interest. Perhaps some of you technical experts could set up a Humber Whatsapp or suchlike so that we are still communicating? (I’m aware that some of you use Facebook, but that seems a bit too open outside FM, if you see what I mean.) I will continue to put things on the website from time to time (including this document) and would welcome any material to air on there. I have some comments by Phil Watts and Trevor Whitfield, but there’s room for plenty more. Any ideas?
Thank heaven for emails! How did we manage without them?
Communication is important for those of us unable to get out and about much – as our Almoner is currently shutdown in Malaga, I took the liberty of ringing some of our less mobile chaps, and they all said how pleased they were to be able to chat – and if you can spare a few minutes to ring someone you’ve not seen for a bit, please do!
From the WM
Friday 13th March 2020
As this was a third degree ceremony and there was nobody to accompany the 2nd degree Brother during the time he was not in the Lodge Room, the guest organist (currently WM of the premier Lodge) absented himself at an appropriate juncture and acted as Mentor. Stimulating conversation ensued, the questions leading to the third degree giving rise to a discussion of one of the two books in the Bible with a female name and its connection with Freemasonry. De la Pole Lodge 1605 is rich in Mentors, but many were involved with the ceremony, and some were absent. It is likely that the absences will increase; a recommendation from Grand Lodge that in the light of the imminent coronavirus pandemic the more elderly and less hale Brethren refrain from risking infection through visiting Lodges is being taken seriously. Indeed, a number of Active Provincial Officers who were supposed to be attending the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Ian Paul Johnson on his first official visit, had sent apologies. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable meeting: Bro Robert Borkowski responded magnificently to the test questions and enjoyed an excellent ceremony of Raising. Your intrepid blogger discovered at the Festive Board that tomorrow's meeting (Lord Bolton 3263) was unable to field a quorum in the evening, but would open and close in the morning with a minimum number of Brethren to ensure continuity: this may have to continue during the crisis. Similarly, the Holderness 3563 meeting on Monday would no longer be a ceremony: yours truly was not required! The APGM spoke of the difficult times ahead, noting that the annual convocation ceremonies of two other Provinces had already been cancelled.
Thursday 12th March 2020
W Bro Garry Edward Millett was installed into the Chair of King Solomon by W Bro Ian Johnson, who during his year in office had been elevated to the rank of APGM. For the former, this was not an unfamiliar role, he having been Master four times previously, but he carefully invested younger Brethren in significant offices with a view to the steady development of the Lodge over the next few years. For the latter, who had steered the Lodge through its centenary with aplomb, it was with some satisfaction that he relinquished to role to so experienced a successor, considering the heavy Provincial responsibilities impinging upon him. Not least of these is the maintaining of Freemasonry during the impending challenge of the coronavirus. Some countries have closed schools and forbidden meetings of large numbers of people; while the UK is keeping calm and not panicking (except for the pandemic purchase of toilet rolls, supermarket shelves being emptied as soon as fresh supplies arrive) there is naturally some doubt as to whether the larger Masonic events may have to be postponed until later in the year. The representative of the RWPGM W Bro Peter Mawer PAGDC alluded to this in his response to the fifth toast at the Festive Board. It is so much a part of our culture in the Craft that it is almost automatic to shake hands: a number of Brethren were nonplussed when I stood back and returned a court bow. No offence is intended. The growing practice of bumping elbows lacks dignity, I feel. Despite this, it was a happy evening, enhanced with Peter Spencer's singing of the Masonic Anthem in the Lodge Room and the Masters Song downstairs. All joined him in the chorus of "Happy to meet again" at the conclusion of the meeting.
Wednesday 11th March 2020
Minerva Lodge 250 was disappointingly low in numbers, and the Brethren could not fail to speculate whether the current concerns about the corona virus were discouraging attendance. Certainly last minute adjustments had to be made and some ritual had to be delivered by some of the Brethren without the benefit of rehearsal beforehand, though every effort was made to give the Candidate a Raising Ceremony to remember. He was well prepared, answering the questions leading to the third degree without hesitation, and obviously had been impressed by the experience of being raised to the degree of a Master Mason; he mentioned it at the Festive Board, highlighting points which often escape the attention of those undergoing the ceremony. The stand-in Secretary had announced during the opening that the Brethren should get into the habit of refraining from handshakes for the duration of the pandemic, but those who are familiar with the third degree ritual will appreciate that for some of the Brethren, brief contact was essential for part of the ceremony. But there was not the slightest hint of a cough, sniffle or sneeze from anyone. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Mark Hartley reminded the Brethren afterwards that the Lodge of Instruction Final Night would be on Monday March 30th, and W Bro Danny Betts, Lecture Master, exhorted the Brethren to concentrate on learning their lines. W Bro Eddie Wildman gave greetings from the Humber Lodge, having been organist during the evening.
Tuesday 10th March 2020
In light of the guidance from Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge, the Worshipful Master made an announcement before opening Humber Lodge's regular meeting that until the increasing issues of the corona virus are resolved, the customary handshake shared between Brethren would be replaced by a court bow, an inclination of the head in acknowlement which precludes physical contact. The Brethren nodded in agreement (or perhaps they were giving court bows) taking these comments very seriously. The WM went on to advise that the virus can be spread through money, and suggested that if the Brethren had any money at home, they should put on their gloves, place the notes and coins in plastic bags and leave them outside their front doors that night. The Master would collect all the plastic bags for safety, thinking of the health of the Brethren. This suggestion was not taken seriously.
The meeting was well supported. Not all the Brethren were able to to stay for the Festive Board afterwards, but the Lodge Room was very well attended. This included W Bro Malcolm Coates and his son Michael, who had come especially to hear W Bro Wheeldon's presentation on Hull General Cemetery and the Grand Lodge Above. John R Wheeldon PPGStwd had worked assiduously researching his material and taking photographs: he began with an exposition about the building of the Cemetery (one of the first garden cemeteries in the country) to supply the demands of the increasing population, and its developments following the two nineteenth century cholera epidemics in Hull. A monument still stands to recognise the 700 victims buried there. Moving from the general to the particular, he spoke of the significant Victorian figures who had been interred in the Spring Bank site (with a map showing how the surrounding area has developed over time) and dilated on their contribution to society in general and to the city in particular. "It's a who's who of Victorian and early 20th Century Hull; a time capsule of the period that can take you back through forgotten streets to lost industries and occupations. Stories of ordinary people and remarkable people; heroic tales of daring and sacrifice, of success and failure; desperately sad tales of diease, poverty and child mortality." He spoke of the trials of the sea-faring community and the grave of Captain John Gravill of the Steam Whaler Diana. In the arctic winter of 1866 the ship was stranded in the frozen sea. Gavill's body returned with the few remaining crew fourteen months later and the funeral was attended by thousands. Illustrated slides of eminent Masonic figures (the busts and portraits of whom adorn the building at Dagger Lane) now entombed in the general cemetery were shown He mentioned, among many others, Keyworth, whose sculptures of contemporary figures can be seen around the city along with those of Thomas Earle (the Earles went on later to found what became Blue Circle Cement and the Earle Shipping Company.) W Bro Wheeldon spoke of John Pearson Bell, nodding to the bust of that character in the Lodge Room) and likewise of Zachariah Pearson and Frank Appleyard. The memorial to the latter was commisioned by Appleyard's daughter and Earle's wife, Mary. A close-up photograph showed details of Masonic symbols on the monument. Thomas Flint and Henry Blundell were also buried in the Hull General Cemetery.
Rarely has this writer heard such attention afforded to a speaker: this lecture was outstanding. W Bro Wheeldon concluded by saying he had only scratched the surface of what HGC has to offer, but that it is a much neglected historical resource, and that the Brethren might consider having a look round next time they pass.
W Bro Tony Randle from the Sykes Lodge 1040 spoke of the Provincial Response to the Members Pathway before the WM closed the Lodge in due form, and the Brethren retired downstairs for a meal. It was not a long evening, but a pleasant one, and this writer, doubtless like many others, went home reflecting on what he'd learned and resolving to pay a visit to Hull General Cemetery very soon. The proceeds of the raffle were donated to the Friends of Hull General Cemetery, of which W Bro Wheeldon is a member. The Friends are constantly in need of help to assist in providing tools and materials to improve this laudable enterprise.
Today has seen an advance in Masonic knowledge by many Brethren. On behalf of the Humber Lodge 57, I thank you all, Brethren and visitors alike, for being there.
[Photograph of J R Wheeldon by ERW. Photograph of J P Bell (portrait by Benjamin Hudson) by J R Wheeldon.]
Saturday 7th March 2020 pm
Having given greetings as WM Master of the Humber Lodge earlier in the day at the seaside town of Scarborough, Eddie Wildman again gave greetings in the evening at the Antient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Beverlonian Lodge 9084, which meets in the historic town of Beverley. This was once the tenth largest trading town in England, and as a wool-trading centre, one of the richest. It was also a significent venue for pilgrims. Beverley Minster, close to the Lodge building, is one of the largest parish churches in the UK.
Though the attendance at the Lodge was a little disappointing (it is possible that the current scares of the coronavirus are discouraging people from meeting in large numbers) those who were present enjoyed a brilliant illustrated lecture about The Naming and Numbering of Lodges by W Bro Dr Rod Taylor PAGDC PPSGW. His delivery made what could have been a dry, dusty monologue a vibrant, engaging explanation of the amalgamation of the Ancients and the Moderns, and the circumstances and reasons for the subsequent renumbering of the Lodges. This was of particular interest to the Humber contingent, as their number has been changed three times. This entertaining advance in Masonic knowledge was followed by Masonic Meat Pie, and the festive board finished in good time. This author, for one, was grateful for the opportunity to enjoy an early night!
Saturday 7th March 2020 am
Denison Lodge 1248 of Antient Free and Accepted Masons (the summons retaining the old spelling) used to meet in the evenings, but is now a "Daylight Lodge" which has made it popular with the more elderly Brethren who do not like to eat at night; this idea has also proved succesful in other parts of the Province. Consequently, it was an early set-off to travel from Hull to Scarborough to arrive in time for the 10:30 start. John Wheeldon, is a good driver, however, and we arrived in plenty of time. As an Officer of Provincial Grand Lodge Stewards Lodge 9611 and as the DC for the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Wheeldon considers it only good manners to arrive at a venue before the Representative, and this was the case; W Bro Andrew Popely arrived as John was checking the Lodge Room to ensure the correct seats were marked with reserved notices for the Installation ceremony. A notable absence was the the Installing WM, however. A family crisis prevented his attendance, and earlier that morning the Past Masters had rallied round to find a substitute at short notice. W Bro Michael (Tom) Tomlinson rose magnificently to the occasion, and conducted the Installation of W Bro Christopher R Harland PPSGD with remarkable élan.
Friday 6th March 2020
It was an unusual night at Brough Lodge 5464: a double initiation ceremony where the two candidates were the son and the son-in-law of the Immediate Past Master, W Bro Tony Calvert. The Lodge was opened in due form by the Worshipful Master, W Bro Anthony Schofield, who then ceded the chair to the IPM for the main business of the evening. The ritual was superb, the younger Brough members in particular impressing the visitors with their able floorwork and confident movement round the Lodge Room. The visitors were there in force: several Lodges were represented, but none so well as the Humber Lodge 57, which had fourteen members standing to order as the Worshipful Master, Eddie Wildman, gave greetings on behalf of the premier Lodge in the Province. Many thanks to Charles Alexander, Tim Brown, Carl Cross, Ian Douglas, David Field, Craig Fish, Terry Fisher, Mark Lindsay, Craig Morrison, Andrew Paulls, Stanley Smith, Ian Syddall and Antony Weeks for helping to make the evening special by being there! Well done all.
[L to R: Lee Meadows, EA; Anthony Schofield, WM; Christopher Calvert, AE; Tony Calvert IPM. Photograph by ERW]
Thursday 5th March 2020
St Cuthbert's Lodge 630 at Howden raised the Inner Guard, Bro Tony Clark, to the degree af a Master Mason in a Lodge well attended by representatives of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 (and the writer of this article thanks Bro Stokes for kindly driving him along with other members of the Lodge to and from the meeting,) Holderness Lodge 3563 and of course Humber Lodge 57. As the Lodge Mentor was heavily involved in the ceremony, W Bro Wildman offered to retire with the Holderness Initiate and the St Cuthbert's Fellow Craft during the third degree to study the Master Mason's certificate and the Masonic elements thereof. (He returned to play the organ for the Closing.) The Festive Board was excellent, and the caricature of one of St Cuthbert's younger Master Masons, Bro Tom Wade, was scribbled on the paper tablecloth: this Lodge has a fine collection of such portraits collected over the years. Tom wins the prize for the most exciting haircut in the Province. Well done, St Cuthbert's!
[Photograph by Bro Glen Wade]
Wednesday 4th March 2020
Kingston Lodge 1010 was understanding when the Worshipful Master did not attend: his wife, who has been ill for some time had taken a turn for the worse and W Bro Michael Price quite correctly elected to stay with her. Consequently the IPM, W Bro Louis Morgan took the Chair for the 2nd degree demonstration. It is possible that the unusually low attendance was because of the coronavirus worries; at least one Brother was consciously self-isolating after a trip abroad, but the ceremonial was untypically patchy, with Brethren stepping in at the last minute to perform ritual. Bro Chris Fuller again agreed to act as the Candidate for the evening, and remarked afterwards on the differences between the Emulation working and the somewhat streamlined ritual of his mother Lodge, Phoenix 9963. W Bro Paul Hillary gave a presentation about the way forward, promoting the importance of social media in today's society, and W Bro Eddie Wildman (representing Humber 57 along with W Bro Malcolm Forbes) presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to Kingston's newest Brother.
Tuesday 3rd March 2020
Eight members of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 attended the installation of W Bro Barry Reginald Jeffrey as WM of the Lodge of Established Order 9822 in the Masonic Province of Lincolnshire. Barry is a member of the RTL and was pleased to invite Brethren from north of the Humber to see how differently the Brethren do things in Barton. W Bros Terry Fisher (WM of 9586) and Eddie Wildman (organist) being members of the Humber Lodge 57 represented the lowest numbered Lodge from the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings as well as one of the latest - the Ridings Tablers' Lodge was consecrated in 1995. LEO's warrant is dated 2006: it is still a teenager, and full of energy. It was a fun evening. W Bro Andrew Green (a member of both RTL and LEO) sang the Worshipful Masters Song with panache, ably accompanied by W Bro G P Steen - and everyone present joined in the choruses with great enthusiasm. Congratulations to Barry - and to the Brethren of the Lodge of Established Order for the welcome accorded to all the visitors on this splendid occasion.
[Photograph by ERW]
Friday 28th February 2020
The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 saw a performance of Festive Board Entertainment by W Bros Eddie Wildman and Terry Lynn, and the Brethren enthusiastically joined in the singing: W Bro Lynn was in fine form, especially with his rendition of Burns' "Adieu to the Brethren", and the Worshipful Master, W Bro Terence Ward Fisher PPJGW never missed a beat in the final song, "Happy to Meet Again", seamlessly and melodiously inserting his line in the last verse. (Not surprising - W Bro Fisher is a member of the Humber Lodge in addition to being WM of the Ridings Tablers' Lodge.) RTL has some fine singers, notably W Bro Andrew M Green PPGStB, and the actual Festive Board downstairs continued the musical experience. Indeed, the Lincolnshire Brother responding to the toast to the visitors remarked that the performance of "Brethren from the East and West" had the power of a hundred voices. The RTL made a kind donation to the Daggards, which, as W Bro Terry Lynn explained, will be put to good charitable use.
[Photograph by the JW]
Friday 28th February 2020
Humber Lodge 57 is blessed with a superb Almoner, who works quietly behind the scenes checking the well-being of the Brethren and their widows. Occasionally this can be pleasurable, and W Bro David Terry invited the Worshipful Master to accompany him to the care home where the late Tom Pinchbeck's widow, Vera, was in residence. It was Vera's 100th birthday, and David had bought a lovely bouquet for her to accompany the card Eddie had designed (which had been signed by the Humber Brethren at the previous Lodge meeting.) Vera was delighted with the gifts, and very charmed by David. She thanked the Lodge for thinking of her.
While this blog is a tribute to Vera Pinchbeck, it is also a tribute to the Almoner, who spends much of his time visiting the elderly and unwell. This is much appreciated not only by the people he visits, but by the Worshipful Master and the Brethren of Humber Lodge 57 - thank you, David, for your tremendous work!
[Photograph by Brenda, Vera's daughter.]
Thursday 27th February 2020
Fitzwilliam Lodge 3023 in Rotherham celebrated its 1000th meeting by inviting The Daggards to present The Medieval Engineers to an audience including interested friends and ladies. W Bros David Terry and Eddie Wildman were well impressed by the superb Lodge in The Masonic Rooms at Rotherham Golf Club, and set up their equipment before the meeting; which the Master, W Bro George Haigh PPGReg conducted swiftly and apparently effortlessly before the Lodge closed and the guests were invited in.
The presentation was well received with everyone joining in the choruses; the part of Cedric was well played by "volunteer" Bro Tony Richardson, and the thanks afterwards were effusive and sincere. The generous proceeds of the raffle presented at the Festive Board, W Bro Terry explained, would go towards the Hull Visual Choir and the Hull Deaf Centre, who are putting on a Handsong Festival in July, with participants from all over the country. The Daggards have supported them on previous occasions, knowing that contributions are well applied and very much appreciated.
Many thanks to the Fitzwilliam Lodge for its kindness and generosity.
[Photograph by W Bro D Unwin, DC]
Tuesday 25th February 20202
It was a pleasure not to have anything to do other than observe; while I visited in the capacity of an Excellent Companion, I was conscious that Companion Malcolm Forbes, who was also present, was the reigning Master of the Andrew Marvell Lodge while I was WM of the Humber Lodge - in which Malcolm is the Charity Steward. However, we were visiting Wilberforce Chapter 2134 at the Masonic Hall, Trinity Lane, Beverley, and setting aside our respective responsibilities of Mastership for the time being, we enjoyed sitting on the sidelines watching Bro Maurice Thorpe's exaltation. The Chapter ceremony has an elevated vocabulary and syntax in comparison with the Craft, but it was evident that the main players in the drama of the Sojourners' discovery had not merely learnt the words, but were enacting the story with understanding and conviction. The depth and warmth of the ritual - all too often garbled and misunderstood, cannot have failed to impress Companion Thorpe. Congratulations to him and to the Chapter.
Monday 24th February 2020
Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 enjoyed a white table evening: the Lodge called off after the minutes of the previous meeting had been confirmed and signed and reports received from various Brethren; and Barry Kensett's nugget demonstration of the size of the pillars at the entrance to King Solomon's Temple in cubits which was a valuable advance in Masonic education. The Lodge being called off, the visitors were invited in to hear W Bro Barry Kensett being interviewed prior to his receiving a certificate celebrating his fifty years' service to Freemasonry. W Bro Eddie Wildman (interviewing) and all present were fascinated to learn of Barry's childhood during World War 2, his grammar school education and teenage years at De Havilland Aeronautical Training School, which led to a career designing and building aeroplanes including the Airbus. Barry's wife and daughter, both present, smiled as he recounted his meeting Pat as a pupil when he was a Highland Dance Instructor, and the Brethren were surprised to learn of his many and varied hobbies. Barry became WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge in 2005, and held different Provincial Offices, culminating in PPGSwdB. After Barry was presented with his 50 years service certificate, the guests retired and the Lodge was called on and closed. The festive board afterwards was equally delightful.
[Photograph by Ian Montgomery]
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Thesaurus Lodge 3891 held its Ladies Evening at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road; a sumpteous spread which was very well attended, followed by the toast to the ladies proposed by Bro Steve Burns, and the Ladies Song beautifully performed by Peter Spencer. The WM's lady, Mrs Maggie Johnson, responded to the toast with scintillating wit. The generous raffles (whereat the East Brothers demonstrated their organisational skills) followed, after which Hutch, a one-man band with a wide selection of music including Ratpack and Queen, performed superbly. The ladies, of course, looked magnificent.
A memorable evening, full of smiles.
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Phoenix Lodge 9963 celebrated its first Installation with a new Master. While previous meetings have been held in an upper room at the Sailmakers Arms on the High Street in Hull, for this event Dagger Lane was used to accommodate the diners after this 11 am ceremony, in which Ian Parkinson was installed as Worshipful Master, and the tricorn hat previously worn by James Steele was passed on. This "Lodge for busy working blokes" continues with its innovatory slimmed-down ritual; the festive board is only brought into play at Installations, though bar meals are available at the Sailmakers for those Brethren who wish to eat before the ceremony. Congratulations to the new team!
Friday 21st February 2020
It was a pleasant ride to the coast with the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro David Johnstone PPSGW (it is always better to travel in company), and to be greeted with tea and cakes on arrival was an added bonus. The Installation of W Bro Peter Michael Mawer PAGDC as Worshipful Master of Burlington Lodge 3975 in Bridlington was a happy occasion. W Bro Martyn D Hennessy placed him in the figurative Chair of King Solomon with style. Nine Officers of the United Grand Lodge of England supported this event: several of the nonet were accomplished singers and the rendition of the opening and closing odes from the north-east corner of the Lodge Room in three part harmony was impressive. There were a number of visitors from Dorset, and their introduction of the sung choruses after the festive board toasts was an amusing initiative for the northern Brethren. A good evening, particularly for this writer, who was not called upon to play on this occasion. Burlington Lodge has recently celebrated its centenary, and despite rumours to the contrary, none of the founding members were present.
Thursday 20th February 2020
The Chapter of St Michael 7833 saw the Installation of E Comp Peter Wright PPGScN as MEZ, with E Comp Peter Henry Barnes PPGReg as H and E Comp John Irving ("Bless his little cotton socks") Burton as J. While the former two have been through the Chapter Chairs previously, it was a pleasure to see John Burton newly Installed. An enthusiastic ritualist, John has distinguished himself with impressive performances of the Tracing Boards in the Craft and has been Principal Sojourner in the Royal Arch degree for some time. E Comp John Frederick Watkins, now IPZ, deserves his well-earned rest. The Chapter Organist was taken by surprise when asked to play the Song to the Principals following the toast to the same, but not as surprised as E Comp Terry Lynn on being asked to sing. However despite the two of them never having rehearsed the music together, and Eddie working entirely from memory (an increasingly difficult task nowadays) they gave a good performance and the Companions joined in the chorus with melodic enthusiasm.
Wednesday 19th February 2020
The Humber Lodge WM was flattered to be invited to play the organ during a Yorkshire West Riding meeting, and enjoyed a convivial evening in the Willow Royd Masonic Hall in West Vale, Halifax, surrounded by Yorkshire accents with possibly one or two exceptions. The occasion was at the prestigious Mexborough Lodge 6117, where the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, W Bro David S Pratt installed W Bro Robert Ian Gawain Cole as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. It was an opportunity for celebration, fanfares and stirring march music. For this writer it was also a time for a pleasant chat in the company of the well-known Masonic author, Robert Lomas, who will be delivering a lecture to the Humber Lodge in September. An excellent ceremony, followed by a superb meal in scintillating company.
[Photograph by Eddie Wildman]
Tuesday 18th February 2020
Some rehearsals go smoothly, the Brethren are on top of the words, the moves are elegant and there is a sense of achievement while the Preceptor pats himself modestly on the back because the team has worked well. Today's rehearsal was not one of these.
Monday 17th February 2020
The Holderness Lodge 3563, which came into being before the First World War and has seen many subsequent changes including a move from the East Coast from whence its name derives, now meets at Beverley Road in Hull. Tonight saw the passing of Bro Paul Foster to the Second Degree: a well performed ceremony of which the WM, W Bro Danny Betts may be justly proud. Bro Paul Foster was well in command of the answers to the questions leading to the degree of a Fellow Craft Freemason, and the Brethren delivering the ritual cannot fail to have been impressed by the close attention he gave to their renditions. The guest Organist was pleased to be able to explain the Second Degree working tools as the Brother who had intended doing them was unfortunately absent. There being few visitors staying for the Festive Board after the ceremony, the WM decided two toasts would be ample, and the Brethren vacated the tables before ten o' clock; an added bonus for those who would be going to work the following morning (and the Holderness Lodge is rich in younger Brethren.)
Saturday 15th February 20202
Once again, Technical Lodge 5666 passed a Brother to the Second Degree; it is encouraging to see the younger members increase in numbers and take Office within this flourishing Lodge. Visitors were few in number, but the ceremony was well supported nonetheless. The Organist was privileged to deliver the explanation of the Second Degree Working Tools to Bro Tunnicliffe and to point out their importance as they were the emblems of the Principal Officers of the Lodge. W Bro John Chapman sang "Happy to meet again" at the end of the meeting, the Worshipful Master contributing the line "This toast must be the last" in a surprisingly melodious baritone. Congratulations to all who took part.
Friday 14th February 2020
The main item of the evening at De la Pole Lodge 1605 was the presentation of a certificate for fifty years service in Feemasonry to Bro Peter Dickson, who spoke captivatingly of his schooldays in the 1940s, his apprenticeship at Blackburn Aircraft after training in the ATC, his involvement with the Firebrand and other significant aeroplanes both at home and in Singapore, where he worked on Mosquitos and other flying machines. He became an inspector for Blackburn Aircraft, and transferred to Armstrong Patents as a Test Engineer. Following his admirable results with the IBM aptitude tests he moved into computing and eventually became a Computing Manager at BP Chemicals, after which he turned to education and taught at Hull College. A heart attack at 61 slowed him down a little; expecting the operation to give him only ten more years to live, he is still going strong twenty-seven years later. He spoke of changes in Freemasonry, and several of the older Brethren nodded nostalgically at the stories of the Steward's Room and the gas fires in the entrance and dining room. With typical modesty at his elevation by the then PGM, Judge Gerald Coles, he said he'd simply been lucky to have been awarded the Provincial rank of PPGStB without having gone thnrough the Chair, a rare honour. The Officer of Grand Lodge, W Bro Eddie Wildman, presented Peter with his certificate signed by the RWPGM, RW Bro Jeffrey Gillyon while the Brethren applauded.
[Photograph by Jimmy2kilts]
Thursday 13th February 2020 p.m.
The Old Hymerians Lodge 6885 was established in 1949, and some of the old traditions remain - such as the serving of partridge at installations. This installation was no exception, and the festive board following the placing of Bro Christopher Shuttleworth into the figurative Chair of King Solomon as Worshipful Master was a very pleasant occasion. The venue was Beverley Road, Hull, which boasts a first-class chef and an accommodating bar. The ceremony upstairs was under the surprised direction of David Dodgson, who discovered he was required to stand in the for the Installing DC who was unwell: he executed the task it with his customary flair. Anthony Cadle, a schoolmaster at Hymers College, delivered the installion obligations and the approach to the Master's Chair on behalf of the retiring WM, W Bro D Roy Holborn. An excellent evening, with the formality of the ceremonial nicely balanced by the laughter and good humour afterwards. May the traditions long continue!
Thursday 13th February 2020 a.m.
The Chapel at the Haltemprice Crematorium was full; people were standing at the back and the sides, for the funeral of Mrs Janet Weatherall on this bright but cold morning as every seat was taken. Peter and his family obviously had no idea how many folk would come to pay their last respects to this wonderful lady; there were Freemasons from Humber Lodge and elsewhere, along with many staff and helpers from Dove House, which Peter and Janet have supported for many years, and a huge number of friends. The minister spoke of the good times Janet and Peter had enjoyed: the word "happy" was often used; the service was a great tribute to departed merit. The collection was, of course, for Dove House.
Wednesday 12th February 2020
Again at Dagger Lane, Eddie Wildman played the organ for Minerva Lodge 250, which was raising a Brother to the Third Degree. As the Lodge Mentor, W Bro Mike Cheeseman was standing in as DC for the occasion, W Bro Wildman retired with the Fellow Craft Freemason to enjoy an instructive session dealing with aspects of the Second Degree and the Communication of the signs, tokens and words in the First Degree. It was a pleasure to hear the ritual so well delivered, at a pace designed to capture the magic of the words and the nuances of meaning implicit in them. Congratulations to Bro Hunter for becoming a Master Mason, and to Bro Fear for his readiness to take the next regular step.
Tuesday 11th February 2020
Before the Lodge meeting, W Bros Malcolm Forbes, Charity Steward and Eddie Wildman, WM were please to present cheques from the Humber Lodge and the Daggards to seventeen-year-old Tom Sutcliffe who is assiduously raising funds to attend the Domenican Republic to experience work experience and medical training leading towards university and further medical studies. During his visit to the Lodge Room, Tom tried out the Master's Chair for size. Malcolm (the silver-haired one) opined that Tom was so well suited to the role perhaps it wouldn't be long before he became Brother Doctor Sutcliffe. We wish Tom well in his enterprise.
[Photograph by Mike Noble]
The Humber Lodge was well attended for the Daggards' presentation Blow up the DC at the Festive Board performed on this occasion by Mike Noble and John Wheeldon with Humber Daggards Craig Maurier, David Terry and Eddie Wildman. Eddie called off the Lodge, and relinquished his Chair to W Bro Stanley Smith, the IPM, and the Brethren responded well in spotting the deliberate mistakes made by the Daggards enacting Festive Board scenarios. It was interesting to discover that even some of the senior members remarked on novel points of interest: "I never knew that," one said, referring to a historical statement regarding one of the toasts. Back in the Chair, the WM called on and closed the Lodge in due form.
Many thanks to W Bro David Terry whose moving eulogy to the late W Bro Mike Phillips was well appreciated.
Saturday 8th February 2020
W Bro David Burnett PJGD was the Installing Master at the Old Bridlingtonian Lodge 6843 because the WM's wife was in hospital so W Bro Michael Dodgson was unable to attend the ceremony. David installed W Bro Roy George Hurley as Master with his customary panache. The resident organist, seizing the opportunity to replace recorded music with live performance, prevailed upon Eddie Wildman (visiting as WM of the Humber Lodge 57) to play for the ceremony, which he happily undertook as the Old Bridlingtonians are a bunch of cheerful chaps, despite a tendancy to speak in execrable Latin at the Festive Board. Continuing in top form, David sang the Master's Song following the toast to the same. All Brethren present signed a get-well card for the Immediate Past Master's Lady.
Friday 7th February 20202
W Bro Anthony Calvert, IPM of the Brough Lodge 5464, found himself back in the Master's Chair at short notice as the WM, W Bro Anthony Schofield was in hospital for emergency tests following heart problems. Nonetheless, the initiation of Christopher Walklet proceeded very succesfully; four visitors from Staffordshire arrived to support him. Although there in his capacity as WM of the Humber Lodge, Eddie Wildman (supported by Andrew Paulls, Craig Morrison and Tim Brown) played piano at the Festive Board and agreed to return the following month to play both upstairs and down as Tony Calvert's son and son-in-law were booked to be initiated together. It was a good ceremony and a light-hearted festive board: visitor John Chew sang the song to the visitors and "Happy to meet again" in which all present joined in the chorus.
Thursday 6th February 2020
Constitutional Lodge 294, founded in 1793, meets in Beverley. This evening introduced a new Candidate, Bro Hedley Stewart Wilson, and the initiation ceremony was performed by the new Constitutional team, under the directorship of the newly installed Worshipful Master, W Bro Daniel Paul Longley. It was a lively evening, with some excellent ritual: the stunning rendition of the Ancient Charge by W Bro Martin John Rowland PPJGD was particularly noteworthy. W Bro Eddie Wildman, visiting from Humber Lodge 57 (and playing the organ) was well upstaged by a Brother from Constitutional Lodge 55 in London. Especially welcome was the lift to and from the Lodge by the Junior Warden, Bro Noel Marshall, which enabled W Bro Wildman to enjoy a glass of port after the ceremony: thanks, Noel, and thanks, Dan.
Thursday 6th February 2020
St Mary's Church, Broomfleet was full; every seat, including those in the choir stalls, was occupied, as well-wishers came from far and wide to pay their last respects to Michael Jan Phillips, who died on 15th January. The bright morning sun blazed through the nineteenth century stained glass windows as if insympathy with those celebrating the life of Mike; it was an upbeat service, in happy remembrance of a life well spent in acts of piety and virtue.
There was a strong Masonic contingent present, with Humber Lodge 57 particularly well represented; Mike had been a well-respected member of the Lodge though ill health had precluded his regular attendance in recent years. In addition to excellent tributes by family and friends, W Bro David Terry, the Humber Lodge Almoner, gave a brief outline of Mike's Masonic contributions.
For his eulogy, see the Celebrations and Regrets page. W. Bro Wildman, not surprisingly, played the organ for the service, and felt, doubtless like many people there, privileged to have known this excellent man and Mason.
Wednesday 5th February 2020
For his first working night, the Worshipful Master of the Kingston Lodge 1010, W Bro Michael G Price PPSGD (Worcs) decided not only to put on a first degree enactment, but to open and close the Lodge in all three degrees. The Candidate for the enactment was Bro Christopher James Fuller, the first Brother who can claim the Phoenix Lodge 9963 as his mother Lodge. In addition to the Organist, W Bro Eddie Wildman, a number of Brethren from Humber 57 also attended. These included W Bro Malcolm Forbes (in his capacity as WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642), Bros Mark Lindsay, Andrew Paulls and the newest Humber member, Craig Morrison. Bro Paulls made his debut as responder to the toast to the visitors, and remarked on the differences between the Emulation working and the Humber ritual while thanking the Kingston Brethren for the good time enjoyed by all. Bro Morrison demonstrated a surprising appetite for sponge pudding and custard - but then, who can resist Dave Eastburn's cooking?
Monday 3rd February 2020
The Lodge of Humber Installed Masters 2494, consecrated in 1893, enjoys an antiquity envied by other Installed Master Lodges: it, too, is a premier Lodge. The Installation of the new WM, W Bro Tim Dillon PPSGD, was a grand event, attended by the RWPGM in his role as leader of the Province, while W Bro Ian Johnson, the APGM (also a member) was the Installing Director of Ceremonies. While the previous WM, W Bro Adrian Hayward was in the Chair, three of his Officers were also members of Humber 57: W Bro Terry Fisher PPJGW as Secretary, W Bro Craig Maurier, PGStwd (Lincs) as Junior Warden and W Bro Eddie Wildman PGOrg as Organist. Terry and Eddie continued in their roles after the installation of the new WM, but the Office of JW was now proudly taken by W Bro Ian Syddall, Secretary of the Humber Lodge 57. The Anthem and Master's Song were sung by W Bro David Terry, PPSGW, another member of the premier Lodge. W Bro Malcolm Forbes (the Humber Charity Steward) was also present in his capacity as Worshipful Master of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642. A splendid evening, with impressive ritual and a happy atmosphere.
Sunday 2nd February 2020
As W Bro Richard (Buble) Smedley, the Daggard's pyrotechnics advisor discovered he would be detained in London on the day of Blow up the DC for Humber Lodge's next meeting, a cast revision was initiated, with W Bros John Wheeldon and Craig Maurier (Daggards' Electronic Wizard) joining the regular team for this presentation. W Bro Eddie Wildman was now taking the parts previously occupied by Richard, while Bro Mike Noble and W Bro David Terry continued in their previous roles (changing appearance, accent and personality for the different characters portrayed. Rehearsal was essential, of course, but the team were all ready for the prompt nine o' clock start, and the rehearsal took place without disaster. The performance is set for Tuesday 11th February. All welcome: open to every degree!
Saturday 1st February 2020
The Worshipful Master of the Beverlonian Lodge 9084, W Bro Mark Francis Taylor, being a specialist in occupational health issues, had been summoned to Australia to give of his expertise regarding the growing global health emergency of the coronovirus, and was therefore unable to preside over the meeting whereat Bro Keiran Rose-Taylor was passed to the Second Degree. However, Keiran's father, W Bro Ben Rose PPSGW, was delighted to be able to take the Chair and obligate his son in what turned out to be an excellent and enjoyable ceremony, followed by a convivial Festive Board at the Masonic Hall, Trinity Lane, Beverley. The organist, currently WM of the premier Lodge in the Province, was pleased to extend greetings from the Humber Lodge on this occasion. He was also privileged to deliver a small part of the ritual to Kieran.
Thursday 30th January 2020
Humber Knights Templar 223 had a Malta installation at which E Kt Ian Syddall was proclaimed Eminent Prior for the ensuing year, and a recent KT member was brought into the Malta Order with due ceremonial. The Provincial Sub Prior, E Kt Tim Dillon was in attendance with a bodyguard, some of whom had travelled a considerable distance to reach Dagger Lane, though that evening the City of Hull was enjoying a Light Festival, and the traffic was therefore somewhat delayed, but the meeting nonetheless started on time. Knights Eddie Wildman, Mike Potts and Ian Syddall are also members of the Humber Lodge.
Tuesday 28th January 2020
The Phoenix Lodge 9963, having undergone a full year with the Primus Master, W Bro James Steele in the Chair, is soon to celebrate the installation of Bro Ian Parkinson. The Lodge meets in a room above the Sailmaker's arms, but for the installation ceremony is moving to Dagger Lane. The ritual is different, and unfamiliar to those who are steeped in Humber Working or Emulation: this evening saw the first rehearsal, which proved a steep learning curve for everyone, particularly the current Phoenix Preceptor. Fortunately the DC, W Bro Craig Maurier (who, like the Preceptor is a member of the premier Lodge,) applied his wisdom and experience and brought order out of chaos with great style. The memory of the initial attempts at the "heart, badge and hand" salution will warm this writer's heart for some time to come, however. The Installation will take place on Saturday 22nd February at 11:00 am.
Monday 27th January 2020
As Malcolm John Forbes is a frequent visitor to (and a member of) many Craft Lodges and other Orders within the Province, there was a large turn-out to witness his installation as Worshipful Master of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 at Beverley Road, Hull, including a sizable contingent from Humber Lodge 57, in which Malcolm is the Charity Steward. The ceremony was unabridged as Malcolm has not taken the Craft Chair before, with W Bro Colin Shields as Installing Master and W Bro Neil Chapman as Installing DC. W Bro Forbes then invested his Officers with professorial eloquence, and after the addresses, W Bro Kensett gave a fine baritone rendition of the Masonic Anthem, accompanied by the WM of the Humber Lodge on the organ.
At the Festive Board the Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Philip H Daniels, spoke of the successes of this small but perfectly formed Lodge, and congratulated W Bros Neil Chapman and Hayward on their impending promotions in May, while commenting on the superb Charity work and Almoner's duties carried out by W Bro Andrew Peach. In the toast to the new Worshipful Master and his Officers, W Bro Eddie Wildman remarked that Malcolm had gone for a long overdue haircut the previous day, during which process the barber found his schoolcap. It was a long evening, but highly enjoyable.
[Unflattering photograph by ERW]
Sunday 26th January 2020
Michael Bastiman, Worshipful Master of the de la Pole Lodge 1605 has organised a number of social events for Lodge members, wives and friends, partly for the fun of being together, and partly to support his chosen charities for the year. Two of his Brethren, Michael Forbes and Eddie Wildman, are also members of Hull 57 and they showed the support of the premier Lodge by attending the Chinese New Year Night at Woksoever in Cottingham, in addition to enjoying the food. Malcolm remarked that this would be his last evening as a Brother. "I'm going into the Chair of Andrew Marvell Lodge 4683 tomorrow," he told me. "So I'll be a Worshipful Brother after that." It was a convivial evening and a tidy sum was raised for W Bro Bastiman's charities. (See above for unflattering picture of Malcolm in the Master's Chair.)
Saturday 25th January 2020
Technical Lodge's traditional Burns Night at Beverley Road was again a full capacity sell-out. Humber musicians Richard (Buble) Smedley and Eddie (fingers) Wildman were part of the Daggards entertainment - the former with a romantic rendition of My Love is Like a Red Red Rose during which he presented his wife Isabel with a flower as a token of his love, while all the ladies in the audience sighed. Congratulations to the Technical Chieftain, W Bro Allan Mckay, for hosting this splendid event, haggis, piper, an' a' that.
Friday 24th January 2020
One of the joys of visiting in Freemasonry is that of meeting new faces, or reacquainting with people not seen for some time. This was the case at the Ridings Tablers' Chapter 9586. Consecrated in 2017, the Installation of a new Z, H & J (the triumvirate rulers of the Chapter) in the persons of Chris Harland, Howard Newton and Don Ferguson, and the retirement of Barrie Jeffery as the Most Excellent Zerrubabbel was conducted with the dignity and good humour which also characterises the Ridings Tablers' Craft Lodge. The formation of a new Chapter necessarily calls upon Brethren from various Lodges, and the RTC is no exception (one cannot be a member of a Chapter unless one is also a member of the Craft) but the reappointed organist was the only member also belonging to Humber 57.
Friday 24th January 2020
Humber Lodge's Assistant Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Mike Phillips was proclaimed Immediate Past Master of the Myton Lodge 9808, which meets during the day. The installation ceremony was followed by a talk, to which the wives of the Brethren were invited. The RWPGM attended the ceremony and afterproceedings with a team of active Provincial Officers.
Unfortunately the Humber WM was unable to stay for this one, but on his own behalf, and that of the Humber Brethren, congratulates W Bro Potts and wishes W Bro Richard Heaton well on his elevation to the Master's Chair.
Thursday 23rd January 2020
The Lodge of St Michael 7833 began the year well by initiating a new Candidate: welcome Brother Bill! This Lodge practises Emulation ritual (most Lodges in the area use the Humber working) and the visitors were keen to point out there there are a number of first degree ceremonies anticipated locally, which he was welcome to attend, where he could see the ceremony from the sidelines, as it were.
The WM, W Bro Shaun Rennison once again put out several raffle prizes at the Festive Board, and on this occasion, the roll-over prize was won by the Charity Steward. Indeed, he also won a second prize of a bottle of wine which he magnaminously insisted should go to Brother Bill.
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
At the Haltemprice Crematorium, W Bro Bill Burnett invited Bob's grieving widow, Margaret and her children to turn around to see the crowded hall. "This," he remarked, "is a tribute to the esteem in which Bob Clarkson was held. Everyone here today has come because they knew and respected him." The service was indeed uplifting, a celebration of the life of Robert Edwin Clarkson, who died on Boxing Day following a long illness. The vicar, Revd Martyn Westby, remarked on the high quality of the singing: the music to Eternal Father, he said, was composed by a Hull man, which emphasised Bob's connection to the sea. Indeed, the Masonic Closing Hymn, which was sung in addition to the former, was to music again by John Bacchus Dykes. Bob's maritime, police and Masonic connections were illustrated anecdotally, and band members from his Drum Major Days, and the pipe escort which had led the coffin to the crematorium shared stories afterwards at the Willerby Manor.
Tuesday 21st January 2020
Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129 began 2020 with an initiation ceremony. Their last ceremony of 2019 (see below) was also a first degree: it is encouraging to see the numbers increase. The Candidate, now Brother David Stockton, enjoyed a well coordinated initiation, with the younger members performing key roles with fluency and panache. Pictured here at the Festive Board is Bro Stockton [left] being presented with the summons for that evening's meeting (signed by every Mason present) by the Master of the Lodge, W Bro Mantas Montvydas. W Bro Eddie Wildman, who had played the organ for the ceremony and accompanied the Entered Apprentice Song downstairs, attended as a guest of the Worshipful Master and thoroughly appreciated the hard work that had gone into welcoming another Brother into the Craft.
[Photograph by W Bro Nigel Collier]
Saturday 18th January 2020
Technical Lodge 5666 enjoyed a comfortable 2nd degree ceremony, well rehearsed and performed by the Brethren. Of particular interest was the delivery of the Second Degree Working Tools by a student friend of the Candidate, who had travelled from Wigan for this purpose. Interestingly, the version he already knew was in Emulation ritual, but he learned the longer Humber working especially for the event.
The organist selected Film Music as his theme for the evening and some of the Brethren were able to name a number of the films afterwards. (Casablanca, Gold Diggers of Broadway, The Wizard of Oz. )This says something about the age of some of the Brethren. It also says something about the age of the organist.
Thursday 16th January 2020
The WM attended Dagger Lane for the non-Masonic occasion of a wedding, playing suitable music on the organ for the civil ceremony, and concluding with the Mendelssohn Wedding March.
The Lodge Room is ideal for such occasions, and the wedding guests were suitably impressed with the venue both upstairs and down. The pipe organ is a fine Forster & Andrews dated 1882, a beautiful instrument, recently restored.
It was a pleasure to be able to play for the ceremony and to congratulate the happy couple.
Wednesday 15th January 2020
The Worshipful Master of Humber Lodge 57 travelled with the WM of the Lodge of St Michael 7833 and other St Michael Brethren to the easternmost Lodge in the Province, Alexandra Lodge 1511 in Hornsea. Other Humber Brethren were already there: the IPM and the Secretary, plus visitors from the Phoenix Lodge 9963 and others to witness W Bro Silvan Rust install his successor, W Bro Malcolm John Pearson into the Chair.
Eddie was privileged to act as Mentor for the Lodge's Entered Apprentice and to a number of young Master Masons while the ceremony took place; he and they advancing in Masonic knowledge before re-entering for the investiture of the Officers and the Closing of the Lodge.
Tuesday 14th January 2020
Welcome, Brother Craig Morrison! The Lodge Room at Dagger Lane was full for the first meeting of Humber Lodge in 2020. After the opening of the Lodge, W Bro William Eric Burnett gave a moving eulogy on W Bro Bob Clarkson, recalling his prowess as an instructor especially in swimming, going on to mention his Masonic career, his warmth and sense of humour as a Freemason.
The Tyler announced that his Candidate, Mr Craig Morrison was at the door, and the WM and Humber Brethren proceeded to initiate him according to ancient custom. Brother Morrison proved an excellent Candidate and after retiring to restore himself to his personal comforts, rejoined the Brethren for the closing of the Lodge. This was not without its surprises, for three of the Brethren were about to celebrate birthdays in January and were awarded badges. W Bro Burnett celebrated his twenty-fourth year in the Craft, and was presented with a much sought after Humber pen to mark the event.
The good humour continued to the Festive Board below, and W Bro David Terry was in fine voice for the final toast, everybody joining in the chorus with enthusiasm.
[Photograph of Brother Morrison and W Bro Eddie Wildman by W Bro Craig Maurier.]
Saturday 11th January 2020
The Invictus Lodge 9960 is flourishing. It has gained members steadily since its concecration in
2018, and tonight was no exception as another military trained Entered Apprentice was made. Eddie Wildman travelled to St Saviourgate, York, with members of the Technical Lodge 5666, and played the organ for the ceremony and the piano at the Festive Board. It was his privilege to give greetings as Master of the premier Lodge in the Province, as well as standing when the WM and Brethren of the Technical Lodge greeted the military Lodge Master. The military camaraderie, the toasts and the firing afterwards after the meal, which followed the excellent ritual in the Lodge Room upstairs, provide a unique flavour to this Lodge, and the author would like to thank the WM, W Bro Graham Kaye BEM for the kind invitation to attend.
[Photograph of EA Bro J White and WBro Graham Kaye BEM WM by W Bro Nick Mitchell]
Friday 10th January 2020
De la Pole Lodge 1605 passed another Entered Apprentice to the the Second Degree in the Large Lodge Room at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull. Brother Malcolm Forbes, the Charity Steward for the Humber Lodge, was in attendance and stood with the Humber WM when greetings from Lodge 57 were given. (Eddie Wildman, an honorary member of the De la Pole Lodge, played the organ on this occasion and delivered an explanation of the Second Degree Working Tools.) Malcom Forbes will be taking Office at the end of the month as WM of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642.
Thursday 9th January 2020
A centenary celebration is, of course, a once in a century event. To be combined not only with a banner dedication, but with the Investiture of the Assistant Provincial Grand Master by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master made the auspicious occasion unique. The Worshipful Master of the Thesaurus Lodge 3891, W Bro Ian Paul Johnson, proudly wore the both the official chain of the APGM and the prestigious Thesaurus Master's Collar to close the Lodge. The Lodge Room at Dagger Lane was full to capacity (the organist had to share his bench with two other Brethren) including members of the Active Provincial team, visiting dignitaries, Worshipful Brethren and Brethren, many of whom had travelled considerable distances for the event. The Festive Board was equally magnificent, and W Bro Eddie Wildman (who had given greetings as WM of the premier Lodge upstairs) proposed the Centenary Toast.
[Photograph of the RWPGM and the Thesaurus Brethren by W Bro Chris Thomas, also acting as Provincial Chaplain that evening.]
Wednesday 8th January 2020
Minerva Lodge 250, which like Humber, meets at Dagger Lane in Hull, passed one of its Candidates to the Second Degree on this occasion, and W Bro Eddie Wildman, who plays the organ there retired with the newly-made Entered Apprentice as Mentor, his keyboard skills not being required during the Passing Ceremony. Afterwards at the Festive Board, a non-Masonic visitor (and potential Candidate: he had been proposed as such that evening) joined the Brethren, so only the first two toasts were given. This Minerva initiative has been practised for some time by the Lodge and it has done much to encourage membership.
Tuesday 7th January 2020
It was a pleasure to represent the RWPGM at Londesborough Lodge 734 in Bridlington for an Installation ceremony, and of course, as WM of the premier Lodge in the Province to invite the Bridlington Brethren and visitors to come and visit the Humber Lodge on the second Tuesday of the month for a change of scenery and ritual.
Londesborough Lodge is one of the oldest Lodges in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Ridings, dating back to 1858. The Humber warrant, however, dates back to 1775, when George III was on the throne.
Friday 3rd January 2020
The Worshipful Master joined the Brethren of the Thesaurus Lodge 3891 in a rehearsal for the Centenary Celebration of this Lodge and at which the Thesaurus WM will be officially elevated to the rank of APGM by the RWPGM. (See 9th Jan.)
Friday 20th December 2019
The Worshipful Master enjoyed a holiday abroad over Christmas.
Thursday 19th December 2019
The Lodge of St Michael held its brief Christmas meeting upstairs and then the Brethren joined their ladies and non-masonic friends at the seasonal festive board. The Daggards entertained in the persons of Terry Lynn (high baritone, raconteur and DC), Peter Stokes (baritone and guitar) John Watkins (bass baritone and flute) and Eddie Wildman (bass and keyboards) using a power point presentation with the words to the carols and Christmas songs so that everyone could join in. The dining room was full of happy people, perhaps none more so than the Worshipful Master, W Bro Shaun Rennison, who delivered the famous Five Gold Rings with such authority and enthusiasm the Daggards in particular were well impressed.
[Pictured L to R: Shaun Rennison, Eddie Wildman, John Watkins, Peter Stokes, Terry Lynn. Photograph by Jackie Chapman.]
Wednesday 18th December 2019
The Minerva Chapter at Dagger Lane was low in numbers but high in quality; there were other Masonic events elsewhere to which some Companions and Brethren were specifically summoned, but the Minerva gathering was friendly. After the opening of the Chapter E Comp. Mark Richardson gave an interesting lecture; after the delicious meal there were Christmas carols and songs, melodiously and enthusiastically rendered round the festive board. In The Twelve Days of Christmas Richard Theaker (one of the Daggards) intoned the Five Gold Rings with great aplomb, and Malcolm Sharman's passionate performance of O Come all ye Faithful was a joy to behold. Everyone left with smiles on their faces and full of Christmas spirit and Eddie again won a raffle prize. Wow! Twice in a month!
Tuesday 17th December 2019
The WM called in to Hull infirmary to visit W Bro Bob Clarkson and to pass on to him the best wishes of the Lodge. He is in a weak condition at the moment; with various problems requiring treatment, and the different treatments exacerbating other health issues, but Bob had a ready smile and wished the Lodge well for the Festive season.
Learning ritual is difficult for many of us (though we all improve with practise) but to learn it in a foreign language makes the task much more daunting. Mantas Montevedas, newly installed Worshipful Master and first Lithuanian member of the Hull Old Grammarians' Lodge 5129 triumphed tonight by initiating a Candidate in a well paced ceremony. His team of officers also performed well and the newly initiated Brother declared himself well impressed. Three Humber Brethren attended: Bro Jack Thundercliffe gave greetings on behalf of the premier Lodge, number 57, while Malcolm Forbes, who will soon be taking the Chair of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642 gave greetings as a member there; Eddie Wildman gave greetings from Phoenix 9963, the newest Lodge in the Province. The Hull Old Grammarians are intending turning up in force at the next Humber meeting in January.
Monday 16th December 2019
It was the first time in a year that Eddie Wildman was able to return to the Holderness Lodge 3563 as the third Monday of the month had been taken up by Humber Lodge of Instruction, and as Master Elect, he had attended the latter as part of the team-building process. Now, however, he was able to return to the Beverley Road Lodge to play the organ. On this occasion the brief Lodge meeting was followed by the visitors and ladies joining the Brethren in the Lodge Room for a rendition of beautiful Christmas music by a ladies choir. The meal followed - another David Eastburn triumph - after which the well-fed company raised their own voices in Christmas carols, and, of course, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with Eddie at the keyboard. A most convivial evening, and Eddie won a raffle prize, to his great delight.
Sunday 15th December 2019
The annual Christmas concert was very well attended: for details see the Events & Social Functions page. The Worshipful Master played the organ for the carols and Christmas songs upstairs, and the keyboard downstairs for the singing following the festive board. Enormous thanks to the many people who assisted in making this afternoon and evening such a success: W Bros Smedley, Fisher, Syddall, Cross, Bro Mark Lindsey (and Tina - what a superb spread!), Bros Forbes and Montgomery, and Bro Douglas, whose rotund build and flowing white beard made him the ideal candidate to stand in for a particular Christmas character (there were twenty children under twelve at Dagger Lane, delighted at their presents.) The Smedley family won the prize for sheer volume in their singing of "Five Gold Rings" in "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Saturday 14th December 2019
Lord Bolton Lodge 3263 followed their brief meeting and certificate presentation (by Eddie Wildman in his capacity as an Officer of Grand Lodge) with a social board with the ladies and invited non-Masonic guests. Following the traditional turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies, the happy diners sang along with Eddie, with carols and Christmas songs culminating as ever with The Twelve Days of Christmas, where tables vied for the most powerful rendition of five gold rings, four calling birds etc. etc. The Worshipful Master, Chris Lefevre gave a generous donation on behalf of the Lodge to the Daggards, knowing that it would be well applied in helping the homeless this Christmas.
Thursday 12th December 2019
On this occasion Eddie Wildman played the organ for the Court of Beoforlic (in the Order of Athelstan) - he is also the Provincial Organist and Grand Organist, and several members of Humber Lodge are also members of this Court, including the Humber Secretary who for once was not taking minutes! The meeting was attended by the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Lindsey (the Order names the Provinces according to the divisions of the first King of all England) R W Bro Anthony Burke. Four new members were instructed into the mysteries of the Order, which is expanding rapidly.
Wednesday 11th December 2019
Minerva Lodge 250 held an initiation ceremony the following evening at Dagger Lane. This too was well attended, including a visit from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Doctor David Chambers and a team of active Provincial Officers. Eddie Wildman was again at the organ seat, adding a Christmas element to the music from time to time. The festive board was a traditional turkey meal and the evening joyous. As the most recently appointed WM, Eddie Wildman responded to the toast to the visitors, inviting the new candidate, and the candidate from a previous meeting, to come to the next Humber meeting as his guests: an initiation ceremony is to be performed.
Tuesday 10th December 2019
Extra chairs had to be brought into the Lodge Room for the Installation ceremony; it was wonderful to see the place full. W Bro Stanley James Smith opened the Lodge, and in due time W Bro Eddie Wildman recited his obligation. Under the able instruction of the Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Terry Fisher, Eddie was conducted through the Installation ceremony, and smoothly placed into the figurative Chair of King Solomon to take up the gavel. A particularly moving moment was the singing of "Bless this Lodge" by W Bros David Terry, Richard Smedley and Jimmy Kerr, distinguished by the spontaneous applause of all the Brethren. The new Worshipful Master, proud to be wearing the distinctive Barney Harris apron, thanked everyone for being there, and presented W Bro Stanley Smith with the jewel of the Immediate Past Master on behalf of the Humber Brethren. W Bro Richard Smedley delivered the Masonic Anthem with aplomb.
The Festive Board was a delight, thanks to the organisational skills of the many Brethren who managed to get everything set up in jig time; the dining room had been occupied by a private let until four o' clock, but by five every place setting was clearly marked in accordance with the table plan, the floral arrangements and candelabra were in position, and the WM elect was able to relax for a few minutes before the ceremony in the Lodge Room.
The Representative of the RWPGM, W Bro Ben Rose was in fine form and informed everyone that the Provincial Convocation in May was now open to all Masons: Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts were to be invited. Though it was his first visit to the Humber Lodge, he was impressed by the friendliness and the ambience, and congratulated the Brethren.
There was singing following some of the toasts, accompanied by W Bro Dave Nicoll at the keyboard, and the performance of the Master's Song by W Bros Byelov, Terry and Smedley was memorable. All the Brethren joined in the chorus and the room was filled with music.
The Worshipful Master thanked everybody, of course, but wishes to record those thanks in this collective statement of sincere gratitude. The Installation and subsequent festivities were happy and uplifting: congratulations to everybody there.
Seventy pounds was collected at the door of the Lodge for the Almoner's fund, while the Charity Steward's raffle realised over £250. Both Officers are actively supplying relief where needed.
Monday 9th December 2019
At the short business meeting of the Andrew Marvell Lodge 5642, the Senior Warden, Bro Malcolm John Forbes, was proclaimed as Master Elect; he is to go into the Chair in January 2020 (watch this space). He is also currently Junior Deacon in the Humber Lodge, though this will change tomorrow when he will become the Humber Lodge Charity Steward. Malcolm stood to salute as Eddie Wildman (Andrew Marvell's honorary organist) gave greetings from the premier Lodge in the Province. The Brethren retired soon after to join guests and ladies at the traditional Christmas festive board. Malcolm won a raffle prize. Eddie didn't.
Saturday 7th December 2019
W Bro Roger Lewis, who held the office of Junior Deacon during a splendid Initiation ceremony at Beverlonian Lodge 9084, formally informed the Brethren that in a few days the Beverlonian guest organist would be taking the Chair of Humber Lodge 57. W Bro Eddie Wildman responded appropriately, remarking that the rumour that all the drinks and the meals were free was entirely without foundation, but he would be delighted to see any Beverlonian Brethren at the event. Beverlonian Lodge is an "Old Boys" Lodge, but, as with the other "School" Lodges (Hull Old Grammarians, Technical, Old Peterite, Old Bridlingtonians, Old Hymerian and Old Pocklontonian) previous attendance at the school is not mandatory.
Thursday 5th December 2019
W Bro Wildman was invited to play the organ for the Constitutional 294 Lodge meeting in Beverley. Eddie gave greetings from Humber 57, and said he hoped some of the Brethren might attend his Installation, and was delighted to find that some of the Brethren had booked in already. The brief business meeting was followed by a talk to the ladies and invited guests in the Lodge Room, expertly delivered by W Bro Gavin Peter Collinson along with a stirring rendition of the Ancient Charge by Bro Mike Noble. The Brethren and visitors returned downstairs to a white table gathering.
Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Kingston Lodge 1010 generally meets on Wednesdays, but the Installation always takes place on a Tuesday. On this occasion, W Bro Louis Morgan left the Master's Chair to become the Imediate Past Master, and W Bro Michael George Price PPSGD (Worcs) was installed. (To those unfamiliar with the terminology, a Brother becomes "Worshipful" - a term denoting increased respect - only when he becomes the Master of a Lodge. W Bro Price also carries the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, from the Province of Worcester.) W Bro Eddie Wildman, Humber's Master Elect, organist to and honorary member of Kingston Lodge, was pleased to discover that W Bro Morgan would be responding on behalf of the visitors at the Humber Installation the following week.
Tuesday 26th November 2019
Humber Brethren W Bros David Terry and Eddie Wildman, members of the Daggards visited the Vigilantes Lodge 7264 to perform The Medieval Engineers to a Lodge Room packed with Lincolnshire Brethren and their wives. The Vigilantes do not meet in December, so started their Christmas festivities early, and the Festive Board was traditional Christmas fare. David treated the diners to Brethren from the East and West and Happy to Meet again, which are regularly sung at the Humber festive board, and everyone joined in the carols. The Vigilantes Lodge meets in Cleethorpes.
Friday 22nd November 2019
The Ridings Tablers' Lodge 9586 installation was a happy event: W Bro Terry Fisher taking the Master's Chair. Currently the Director of Ceremonies at the Humber Lodge, the WM was pleased to acknowledge greetings from his mother Lodge along with the Ridings' Organist, W Bro Eddie Wildman. The RTL was consecrated in 1995 and meets in Trinity Lane, Beverley. Both Terry and Eddie are founder members.
Monday 18th November 2019
The Lodge of Instruction Open Night was a fun event, well supported by Humber Brethren and Visitors. Eddie Wildman was in the WM's Chair, and the actual Master, Stanley Smith enacted the part of the Candidate in an initiation ceremony well performed by the Lodge of Instruction team. The afterproceedings were merry, and Stanley has promised to get his revenge after the toast to him at the Festive Board. As ever, grateful thanks to the Lecture Master, Phil Watts for training the lads up during the preceding year, and to all the Brethren who generously supported the raffle. The prize for the zaniest tie was won by Bro John Burton of the Lodge of St Michael.
Eddie Wildman here records his thanks to the Lodge of Instruction Team for the sterling work over the year which led to a first-class ceremony. Other Lodges are doubtless envious of Humber 57's reputation as the premier Lodge. And rightly so.
[Photograph of prize winner John Burton by Peter Stokes.]