ISSUE 12, January 2005

Editorial
Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Looking to the future


At an historic gathering, research Lodges and Associations under the English Constitution met under the umbrella of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the premier Lodge of Masonic research.
     The meeting was jointly chaired by former Grand Secretary Jim Daniel, Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and John Hamill, UGLE Director of Communications.
     Professor Andrew Prescott of the Centre for Research into Freemasonry at the University of Sheffield, and Diane Clements, Director of the Library & Museum of Freemasonry, presented updates and future plans.
     Jim Daniel, referring to the research papers published in the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, commented: "It is difficult to find papers for publication. There are fewer members of the Craft interested in genuine original research or are willing or able to undertake it. We are concerned that our Transactions are not recognised in the academic world, and we want to explore ways of raising the standard actual and perceived of our Transactions.
     "We therefore thought it would be useful to get a snapshot of the research situation, warts and all, and then to consider whether and how things should and can be improved."
     Both Jim Daniel and John Hamill underlined the importance of Masonic research not just as an academic or quasi-academic activity, but to educate members of the Craft, and provide factual information about Freemasonry to the wider public.
     Jim Daniel said: "We know that other research Lodges and Associations exist within the English Constitution, but suspect that the current state of communication among them and with such resources as the Library & Museum of Freemasonry and the Centre for Research into Freemasonry may not be working to everyone's advantage."
     He urged more people to undertake research, producing valuable results which could be published.
     More than 30 research Lodges and Associations were at the meeting, including representatives from Jamaica and South Africa, with Bob Cooper, Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library also in attendance.
     John Hamill said: "Grand Lodge sees Masonic research as an important aspect of the ongoing policy on better informing the outside world about Freemasonry.
     "It is also seen as an important part of Masonic education, particularly as new members are keen to know what they have joined, how it has evolved and how it fits into society in general. Working with academics is a key part of the policy of restoring the public reputation of Freemasonry."
     He added that the support of Grand Lodge was not only in words but in hard cash. Together with the Province of Yorkshire West Riding and the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, Grand Lodge had provided the first three years funding for the Centre for Masonic Research at Sheffield and Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter would continue to provide the main funding for Sheffield until at least 2009.
     John Hamill said: "Grand Lodge has introduced MQ magazine as a means of direct communication with all members. Each issue contains the results of research, news on Masonic education as well as from the Library and Museum and the other research organisations."
     He added that his last major project as Librarian and Curator at Grand Lodge had been to establish charitable status for the Library and Museum, enabling it to be properly funded in a tax-efficient way to enable it to attract monies from other sources.
     He paid tribute to his successor, Diane Clements, and her staff for the significant amount of work they had undertaken in the last five years to make more of the collections more readily available to researchers.
     Diane had also succeeded in gaining two major National Lottery Heritage grants to enable two major tranches of archive material to be properly catalogued and conserved.
     He went on: "Masonic research has a great champion in the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton. He has founded and funded the Canonbury Research Centre, with its concentration on the more esoteric aspects of Freemasonry and its relationship to other initiatic rites. He has given great support to the Cornerstone Society, Sheffield and to Freemasonry Today."
     Representatives of research Lodges and Associations presented briefs on their work, which was varied, but showed considerable activity.
     Diane Clements pointed out that objects were also important for research as well as text, including Masonic music. The Library & Museum collection was now more accessible via the Internet, and there was a digital version of the membership records and Grand Lodge proceedings 1813-2001.
     The Library & Museum had received funding for 450 documents on the history of the two Freemasons' Halls and it was planned to extend Lane's Masonic Records 1717-1894 into the 20th century, adding those of the Royal Arch.


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