Grand Lodge News
Big splash across the country for community week of action
Major activity is now underway across England and Wales organising major events for Freemasonry in the Community week from 26 June to 2 July.
A number of events, both in London and the provinces, have already been organised. Freemasons in the Veteran Car Club are organising a rally to converge from all over the country to the Duke of York's Headquarters in Chelsea on Sunday, 30 June.
A group of young masons from East Lancashire are planning a triathlon - bicycling, running and swimming - from North to South, and Yorkshire has challenged London to a celebrity cricket match in London.
In London, it is planned that 200 runners - in masonic T-shirts - will join the Crisis fun run around the City's square mile, while at the Guildhall an exhibition will unveil Freemasonry's link with City life. A special service is to be held at St Paul's Cathedral on 18 June, attended by the Grand Master, H RH Duke of Kent.
At Freemasons' Hall, there is a concert organised on 26 June by the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, and an Open House on 29 June in the building and other London masonic centres.
On 1 July there is a presentation by the Grand Charity at Freemasons Hall and the following day the AGM of the London Topographical Society will be held on the premises.
It is being emphasised that it is important that younger masons are fully involved in the week's activities, as well as the families of masons.
If local church services are held, Provincial Grand Masters can approve the wearing of masonic regalia. The Masonic charities will provide speakers and early booking is recommended if a Province wants to invite one of the High Rulers to a special event. In addition, special literature is available and each Province has received a "Freemasonry in the Community" folder. This is aimed at including local information sheets and press packs to go out to civic, religious and other leaders invited to local events. This literature includes a reprint of the square booklets "Freemasonry - an approach to life" and "Freemasonry - your questions answered:'
The former blue leaflets "What is Freemasonry?" and "Freemasonry and Religion" etc have been redesigned as a set of five booklets in a slipcase. Three posters are available on "What is Freemasonry?", "History of Freemasonry" and "Masonic Charity".
The Grand Lodge Library and Museum is planning to take advantage of new technology wherever it can in order to make its collections more widely available.
The first pilot project has resulted in the scanning of all Grand Lodge proceedings from 1818 to 2001 onto CD-ROM. The process incorporates a facility that enables the series of more than 15,000 pages to be searched for key words. Diane Clements, director of the Library and Museum, commented: "The bound copies of the proceedings, which we already hold, have a basic index. "But this technology enables more detailed searches to be carried out, including looking for specific individual names who may have attended the meetings, or for subjects raised in a debate which were not included in the index, which tended to focus only on the main subject".
New York thanks Grand Lodge for gift
Grand Lodge has recieved, from the Grand Lodge of New York, a certificate marking the Grand Master's Award of Appreciation for the gift made by the Grand Charity to the Grand Lodge World Trade Centre Disaster Relief Fund.