A marvellous evening was had by all who attended the 93rd Annual Festival of The General Lodge of Instruction, at which the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan was President.
He singled out the more junior brethren for special praise and in particular Bro A Hulme (Fellowcraft, Integrity 4563) for acting as Candidate and reciting his First Degree Obligation, Bro M Biggs (Integrity 4563) for the way he controlled and looked after the candidate, Bro N Johnson (Fellowcraft, Fire Service Lodge 8401) for his Working Tools and finally Bro J Herrick (Fire Service Lodge 8401) for a magnificent Tracing Board.
The President was lavish in his praise and said "if this were a meeting of Past Masters then the standard of the ritual was outstanding but the fact that all the Brethren performing were below the chair made it all the more remarkable"
The only disappointment for the evening was that there were only 32 Brethren to witness such a marvellous presentation, and the Preceptors of the General Lodge of Instruction were exhorted to bang the drum for next year’s Festival and encourage Junior Brethren from the Province to attend.
W Bro Michael Parkes, Provincial Grand Steward, recently celebrated his 60th birthday, a fact that he tried to keep quiet! However, at the April meeting of Lodge of Loyalty 4340, his mother Lodge, thanks to his wife Christine, the Brethren sang "Happy Birthday" and a cake was paraded into the Festive Board, together with champagne.
Michael was suitably embarrassed but nevertheless thanked the Brethren and said it was one of the best birthday celebrations he had had.
Sunday Lunch Aids Charity
Once again Salem and his staff at the Asian Grill, Town Gate, Sutton Coldfield recently gave up their Sunday to support Boldmere Lodge 4704 with a charity lunch in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Over forty guests attended and £546 was raised from the proceeds of the meal and raffle prizes, which had kindly been donated. W Bro Dennis Trent, Master of the Lodge, and his wife Jayne, thanked the Asian Grill and all the guests who supported this very worthwhile cause.
The King's Speech
The King's Speech has been a tremendously successful film winning four Oscars at the recent Film Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Well, Athol Lodge have their very own "King's Chair" which was sat upon by a King of England, Edward V11 when he was Prince of Wales before his accession to the throne in 1901 after the death of his mother Queen Victoria.
The carved oak Worshipful Master's Chair which proudly sits in the Lodge Room at Severn Street Masonic Hall bears two inscription plates which read "Presented to Athol Lodge No 88 by Bro John Vaughan PM AD 1863" and beneath it on a silver plate "This Chair was lent to the Birmingham and Midland Counties Agricultural Exhibition Society for the use of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales KG, Most Worshipful Grand Master, on the occasion of his visit to the Exhibition held at Bingley Hall on November 28, 1885"
The Worshipful Master's Chair is one of a suite of three carved oak chairs with the Junior and Senior Wardens Chairs both bearing inscribed plates which read "Presented to ATHOL LODGE No 74 by Bro Archer, Rawlings and Stableford in 1875"
If the Directors of the film are looking for a sequel perhaps they should look no further than the "King's Chair" at Athol Lodge?
New Happiness Website
The Lodge of Happiness 7952 has launched a new website. The site has been created with the simple aims of publicising the Lodge, explaining what Freemasonry is all about and encouraging new members to join.
Commenting on the launch, Derek White, the Worshipful Master, said: "We believe that our new website is both interesting and informative and sets new standards in terms ease of use. It will show the wider public what our values are and let them know about the good work Freemasons do to help those less fortunate than ourselves”
"In launching the site, we are also issuing an open invitation to men of all faiths, who would like to develop themselves in a supportive, friendly environment, and help society in the process, to find out more about our Lodge and about Freemasonry in general.”
He concluded by noting "Our Lodge certainly lives up to its name; you won't find a happier place to become a Mason."
The website includes information about the Lodge of Happiness and Freemasonry in general. In addition there is information about the charitable work Masons do to help those in need and why Freemasonry is so relevant in today’s society.
Anyone who would like to approach the Lodge with a view to joining is welcome to make contact via: www.lodgeofhappiness.org.uk, or by telephoning Alastair on 0845 474 7952.