ISSUE 11, October 2004
Editorial
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening


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Editorial
John Jackson

Daily Mirror reported to Press Complaints Commission
The Grand Secretary, Bob Morrow, has formally complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) about the Daily Mirror following comments by columnist Brian Reade in the paper on 15 July.
    The formal complaint is for a breach of Article . (Accuracy) of the PCC Code of Conduct. The north-west, and later national, editions of the Daily Mirror for that day carried an article by Reade headlined “Law shattered by Masonic boom”.
    The Grand Secretary, in his complaint to the PCC, described the article as “both inaccurate, misleading and an unwarranted attack on the integrity of the more than 350,000 Freemasons in the United Kingdom.”
    In answer to a question posed to himself, Mr Reade states categorically: “Because it is becoming increasingly clear to young adults that the people who make and interpret our laws belong to some distant Masonic club they’re not part of.”
    Bob Morrow told the PCC: “It is parliament that makes the law and the judiciary that interprets it. Of the current membership of Parliament (Lords and Commons) less than a dozen are Freemasons.
    The previous Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, published statistics showing that less than 5% of the judiciary and less than 10% of the magistracy were Freemasons.”
    Mr Reade refers to three high profile cases in his article, claiming that the defendants involved received much-reduced sentences because of this “distant Masonic club”. The PCC is informed that none of the three named individuals is a Freemason.
    Mr Reade then describes Lord Butler’s report on Iraq as “this latest Masonic coverup” and implies that Lord Hutton’s report was a similar Masonic cover-up. Neither Lord Butler nor Lord Hutton is a Freemason, nor are the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary.
    The Grand Secretary wrote to the editor of the Daily Mirror requesting a published apology. His response was less than satisfactory, and to date there has been no comment from Mr Reade.
    The Grand Secretary’s response to the editor has yet to receive the courtesy of a reply, and no apology or comment has appeared in the newspaper.
    The editor has described the piece as a “highly personal view on the world”. Bob Morrow comments: “We believe it to be a factually incorrect and gratuitously offensive piece of conspiracy theory, unworthy of a national newspaper.”
    The Grand Secretary, in a letter to the editor, described the article as “one of the nastiest and most dishonest anti-Masonic diatribes we have seen for some time.” He added: “Your newspaper has earned a reputation for investigative journalism and factual accuracy. Mr Reade’s piece shows evidence for neither of those qualities.
    None of the individuals referred to in his piece are Freemasons. How can there be ‘this latest cover-up’ if none of those involved are Freemasons?”

Grand Charity CD
The Grand Charity has produced a 30-minute CD based on road show presentations to provinces. There is a voice-over backed by a PowerPoint presentation outlining the work of the Grand Charity.
    The CD comes in a pack outlining the charitable, Masonic and hospice grants made in 2003, and would make an interesting item for a Lodge meeting.
    Five copies of the pack have been sent to Provincial Grand Secretaries and one to each Provincial Information Officer, but extra packs are available free from The Grand Charity.
    All that is required is a laptop and a projector and the Lodge will be able to see the outstanding work of what is, after all, your Grand Charity. Its contents will make you proud to be a Mason under the English Constitution.




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