ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    In February 1928, Malcolm and his wife Dorothy sailed for Daytona Beach in Florida, arriving there on the 12th and breaking a new speed record the same day! It was the first of several visits with the famed ‘Bluebird’. He was to return to Daytona annually in the early 1930s, each time achieving a new and faster record.
    There have been persistent reports of his joining various Masonic bodies in the United States during these periods, most persistently his supposed membership of the Zangi Grotto in Daytona Beach. The Grottoes of North America is a Masonically affiliated fraternal body founded by Leroy Fairchild in September 1889. Membership is restricted to Master Masons and it claims to be ‘primarily an organization for good wholesome fun and frolic’.
    There is no trace of Malcolm Campbell’s membership of the Grotto. In fact, there is no record in any of the various Masonic bodies, including the Grand Lodge of Florida, which would indicate any kind of Masonic activity by Malcolm Campbell in the US.
    He was, for a while, very active as a Freemason. His second wife Dorothy, Lady Campbell remembered that he was keen and eager when he was initiated into his old school Lodge. For several years he attended the meetings and felt that there was no institution to rival Freemasonry. He told Dorothy ‘Freemasonry is all the religion I need – if I can only live to the ideals of the Craft, I would want nothing more.’ Yet quite suddenly he completely lost interest and resigned from the Lodge on 10 January 1934.
    The Lodge records only show two other entries relevant to Malcolm Campbell. On his being knighted on 1931, a letter of congratulations was forwarded to him by the Lodge and recorded in the minutes. Similarly, on his resignation, a note in the minutes shows that he was approached with a view to his changing his mind. He did not do so.
    In 1929, when Campbell was still a member of the Lodge, a special presentation of a Masonic Gate was made to the school. It coincided with two important events at the time. The completion of the memorial building to the victims of the First World War as well as the School Lodges Festival held at the school in that year.
    There is only sparse information about the gates, which still stand proud at one of the two entrances to the school. The Lodge minutes do not mention the gates at all and the school records show a William Ellis, an old boy and a Governor of the school, who was involved in the reconstruction of the area around the gates and their installation on the site in 1929. There is little else, except for the pride that the school has in the very beautiful and prominent gateway to the grounds.
    In 1935, Sir Malcolm was the first to reach the 300 miles per hour mark in his celebrated Bluebird at Bonneville Flats, Utah. From here he chose to move to speedboat racing, and in 1939 set a new world record of 141 miles per hour. Sir Malcolm Campbell died after a long illness in 1949. His very special ‘speed’ legacy was taken up by his son Donald, who continued in his father’s tradition, soon to become world famous in his own right.


Sir Malcolm Campbell in a Bluebird before attempting the world land speed record on Daytona Beach, Florida
© Getty Images


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