St Mary Strikes Gold
The Family Treasure Hunt around the streets of historic Warwick town centre organised by the Master of St Mary's Lodge 7244 W Bro Graham Earle, was highly successful and also raised £67 for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, at the same time raising the profile of the Trust.
It was held on a Sunday afternoon with the base point at Alderson House Masonic rooms. Participants included Lodge members together with their families and friends who all assembled for tea and games following their adventure.
Graham will organise a larger event next year, and hopes this will become an annual occasion. Photos from the Treasure Hunt can be seen on the St Mary's Lodge website here.
We know where it is! (l-r) Andy, John and Stacey Nelson from Coventry.
Stivichall helps TCAA Lift Off
W Bro Peter Roberts, Master of Stivichall Lodge 5799, presented a cheque for £500 to The Children’s Air Ambulance charity at the Lodge's Summer Sunday Lunch, held at Guys Cliffe Masonic rooms in Warwick in August.
Natasha Hannon received the donation on behalf of the charity explaining their work and the difference donations like this makes to children’s lives (see www.thechildrensairambulance.org.uk . The money was raised by brethren at W Bro Peter Wright's annual summer pig roast held earlier in the summer.
Natasha Hannon and Peter Roberts in the restored Chapel at Guys Cliffe
The Sunday Lunch, expertly organised by the Lodge Almoner, W Bro Colin Sallis was well attended by lodge members, their families, friends and widows of former members, proving to be a particularly enjoyable event. It was followed by a most fascinating tour of Guys Cliffe from its historic past through to its present Masonic use (see www.guyscliffehouse.co.uk .)
The ruins of Guys Cliffe House
Stivichall visits Romania
Maestre Venerabil, fraţi supraveghetori, fraţi. .... Many freemasons have become accustomed to giving greetings, but how many have given those greetings in a foreign language?
Pax Mundi Lodge 119 of the Grand National Lodge of Romania (MLNR) hosted a delegation from Stivichall Lodge 5799 including its Senior Warden Bro Graham Barnetson, W Bro Kevin Taylor, Bro Adam Scrivens and W Bro Hosey Davoudian of St. Johns Lodge 2811, accompanied by their wives.
During the visit Graham presented fraternal greetings and in Romanian thanked the Worshipful Master of RL Pax Mundi Lodge 119 of Brasov for his hospitality. He then presented the Worshipful Master with gifts from Stivichall Lodge; copies of “Stivichall Lodge – the First 50 Years”, “Stivichall Lodge 5799 Members’ Handbook” and “Freemasonry in Warwickshire 1728 -1978”. Kevin assisted by presenting, on behalf of the ladies, an ornament commemorating Lady Godiva.
Grahan Barnetson presenting gifts to Octavian Serb with Virgil Niţulescu
and other senior Romanian brethren looking on.
Pax Mundi has a very strong ethos of “docendo discimus” (we learn by teaching) and the development of their brethren through a structured program is central to the Lodge's activities. The experience of visiting lodges while travelling abroad convinced Worshipful Master Octavian Serb that exposure to international visitors and the opportunity of reciprocal visits is a valuable addition to any lodge's programme. Following visits to Stivichall Lodge by Bro Bogdan Prodea, recently a student at Coventry University and his father Bro Mihai Prodea, Octavian extended the invitation to Stivichall Lodge in the hope that the visiting brethren would be inspired to develop a long standing relationship between the Lodges that would lead to frequent interactions and a mutually beneficial sharing of knowledge and experiences.
The keystone of the five day visit was Pax Mundi's meeting to celebrate their Tenth Anniversary. Even on visits to lodges meeting in the same rooms guests are often delighted to see the variations that exist between the ceremonies. Visiting in another constitution extends that to new levels, such as announcing all brethren as they entered the temple in sequence, ritually cleansing the room with burning herbs in a sensor and ritually lighting the candles on the columns in the centre of the room and those placed on the pedestals – one for the Junior Warden, two for the Senior Warden and three for the Worshipful Master - and forming a chain before closing the lodge. Each of these set-pieces is designed to release brethren from the cares of the external world, to focus on the labours of the evening and remind them of the harmony achieved in the lodge before closing.
The Anniversary was well attended by brethren of the lodge, of other Brasov Lodges, their Mother Lodge in Sinaia, and Grand Officers of MLNR including The Pro Grand Master MW Bro Virgil Niţulescu, who led greetings to the Lodge with some reflections on their history and achievements.
The evening was completed with a gala dinner at the Brasov Citadel including performances by “Castelanii” an eleven piece orchestra, opera singers and dancers.
Although the trip was primarily to visit the Pax Mundi Lodge and celebrate their tenth anniversary, the rest of the five days were made up of cultural and social events that were entirely pleasurable. These included visits to Peles Castle, Bran Castle, the fortified church at Harman, a traditional Dacian dinner with folkloric music and a visit to the incredibly large Peoples Palace in Bucharest.
Brethren of Stivichall Lodge and Pax Mundi are sure that this is the beginning of a long relationship between their Lodges.
Pax Mundi Lodge, the Stivichall Lodge delegation, ladies and guests ready for the celebration dinner at Brasov Citadel
Thanksgiving touched with Sadness
At its 235th Regular meeting at Knowle Masonic Centre, Oaks of Arden Lodge 7601 surrendered its Warrant to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Alan Wellan.
There was inevitably an element of sorrow about the evening’s proceedings. However, the brethren were determined that the event should not be one for lamentation or regret. Rather, the opportunity was taken to make the evening one of remembering the positive aspects of the 54 years of the Lodge’s existence.
Present on the evening was Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Trevor Sturt, on his first and last attendance at his Mother Lodge since his well deserved promotion.
A number of the brethren presented their memories of the Lodge, commencing with the surviving Founder W Bro Ted Drake who recalled fellow Founders and some of the reasons for establishing the Lodge. W Bro FJ Wunderley recounted a number of anecdotes about events in the Lodge, reminding Brethren that Oaks of Arden had always surpassed any targets for raising money for charity, not least on the occasion of the 2012 Festival for which the Lodge received a Festival Maul. Among Oaks of Arden members over the years there have been two Assistant Provincial Grand Masters as well as two Inspectors General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, Rose Croix. W Bro Sturt, a Lewis, recounted details of the Classes of Instruction where the Preceptors had managed to bring the Brethren to its highly renowned level of ritual. W Bro RA Hinton introduced himself as the youngest initiate into the Lodge, having been proposed by his stepson. The Master, W Bro BJ Ashton recounted the factors which led him to become a joining member, having had the Oaks of Arden recommended to him as a very friendly Lodge. Virtually all the Brethren of Oaks of Arden had joined other lodges in Warwickshire and looked forward to meeting each other from time to time at Masonic meetings.
W Bro Drake occupied the SW chair to close the Lodge for the last time, after which the WM handed over the warrant to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, who reminded Brethren that the Warrant always remained the property of the Grand Master, to whom it would be promptly despatched. The Warrant was then paraded round the Lodge Room for a final time by the Provincial Grand Secretary, W Bro Chris Rogers.
The brethren then enjoyed a convivial Festive Board. In a particularly poignant moment, following the
Thornhill Presentation follows Initiation
At the regular meeting of Thornhill Lodge 7137 in October the main agenda item was the initiation of Mr Christopher Peter Craske, son in law of the Worshipful Master Bro Stephen Martin who conducted the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, a cheque for £500 payable to Macmillan Cancer Support was presented to long standing member of the Lodge Bro Dr Christopher Stockdale, MBE, who was honoured by the Queen in the Birthday Honours List last year for his charitable work having raised over £300,000 for various charities.
After the presentation Chris gave a short address to the Lodge in which he described some of his activities including swimming the Channel, across the Gulf of Naples, Lakes Windemere, Coniston, Zurich and Como among many others. He has completed a triathlon of swimming the Channel, cycling from Folkestone to Birmingham followed by running a full marathon. He has cycled from London to Athens and in 2009 cycled 3,600 miles around the coastline of England, Wales and Scotland. While cycling around Wales he was seriously injured when hit by a speeding car.
A detailed account of his extraordinary life can be seen at www.openwaterswimming.com/the-remarkable-life-of-dr-chris-stockdale/
Stephen Martin (l) with Dr Chris Stockdale