ISSUE 15, October 2005
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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RNLI donations

My husband, Peter Cocks, has been a Freemason for many years and was Master of Ashley Hill Lodge No. 7861, Berkshire, in the 1980s and has recently completed his Mastership of Selsey Lodge No. 3571 in Sussex. Freemasons are great supporters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and I am making a £12,000 donation to the RNLI Selsey branch when I have sold the last copies of my book, Voices From The Sea ( or email:
    I am taking no money for myself from the sales and have already raised £4,000 for the Coastguard Association and £4,000 for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society from its sales.
    I am now raising money only for the RNLI Selsey branch, as they are having a replacement lifeboat, probably later this year or early next year, which could be a reconditioned one.
    Ruth Cocks, Selsey, Sussex

Missing Masonic jewels

A number of Masonic jewels have gone missing from display cabinets at the Masonic Hall, Saul Street, Preston, and this has been reported to the police and insurers. Those missing are as follows:
    Founders: Commercial Travellers 3493, Winckley 5438, Jubilee 5555, Shuttleworth 6098, Olympia 4461, North Meols 5828, Mwanza (Tanzania) 7485, Winckley Chapter 5438, St Anne’s Chapter 2457.
    Centenary: Silent Temple 126, Peace & Unity 314, Royal Preston 333, Candour 337, Unanimity 113, Concord 343, Plains of Tabor KT 110.
    Other jewels: Preston RAM 143, Lodge of Loyalty 86, Lodge Dalhousie 720 SC, Lodge of St George 333 SC 150th anniversary, Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle.
    A number of American Mark tokens are also missing.
    P J Walker, Preston Masonic Study Circle

Cruise trip generosity

As a result of the generosity of brethren and their ladies travelling on the P&O ship MV Oceana, a £250 donation has been made to the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
    This money was raised at an enjoyable drinks part held on 2 June. An equal contribution was made to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at the request of Captain Alistair Clark. The cash was presented to Mike Testoni, who gave a series of lectures on aboard about the work of the RNLI.
    The announcement of this donation received a spontaneous round of applause from the other cruisers in the lecture theatre, and a grateful acknowledgement has been received from the Aldeburgh branch of the RNLI.
    Rodney Burris, Newport, Monmouthshire

Hunt for gavel

I am interested in finding the present location and travel history of a Festive Board travelling gavel made by W Bro Ron Gibbs, treasurer of Goffs Oak Lodge No. 7169, Province of Hertfordshire.
    It left the festive board on our 50th anniversary in 2002 and made its first visits in travels with me to the Installation at Old Actonians Lodge No. 4094 in London in June that year, then was reported passed on after nine other visits and presented at the Installation at Coventrian Lodge No. 5982 and Old Vesegan Lodge No. 7924 in October 2003.
    It then travelled to Germany, and since then we have lost track of it. I would be interested in a copy of its visit log that was included in the wooden box with gavel. Its return home for our 75th anniversary would be a nice touch.
    Robert Landragin, Enfield, Middlesex

Head: Floating Masons

In June, 18 Masons aboard P&O’s Arcadia Top of the World cruise to Norway and the North Cape held a Masonic charity party. Their ladies, Masonic widows, guests and senior members of the ship’s crew attended.
    A total of £418.31 was raised and has been donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Masons frequently hold similar events within the P&O fleet, making charitable donations to the Captain’s nominated charity and/or marine charities.
    Malcolm MacDonald, Sidmouth, Devon

Fees and Study Lodges

With reference to the proposal to give special treatment to Past Masters Lodges, one can understand the reasoning, but wonder why it does not include subsidising the ‘Study’ Lodges such as Quatuor Coronati, whose need and value is surely greater.
    My understanding is that one joins the PM Lodges because one has the necessary financial backing to support them. It is a conscious desire to expand one’s Masonic knowledge and acquaintances.
    By subsidising them, it seems reasonable that those costs have to be born by ‘Degree’ Lodges that in my experience are already suffering to various degrees. I also wonder if younger/newer Master Masons would understand and appreciate the decision.
    I may be biased, not having joined a PM Lodge. I accept I may have missed the raison d’être for their existence, in which case I plead age, infirmity and the loss of vital functions from the cranium southerly, I can therefore, thankfully, leave it to more distinguished Masons to decide.
    Michael F. Robins, Aylesford, Kent

Reading RA Obligations

At a recent meeting I attended the subject was recruitment into the Royal Arch together with maintaining members’ interest and participation in their Chapters.
    I suggested that to make the Royal Arch more accessible and in line with the policy of splitting up ceremonies – as is now recommended – that the Obligations of the three principals should be read.
    Indeed, I suggested that most Obligations in Freemasonry should be read. A “read” Obligation gives a seamless and accurate delivery of one of the most important parts of the ritual, the very same reason why prayers are now read.
    These observations are made as a Royal Arch Preceptor, a task which I approach in the most traditional manner. These suggestions may be considered radical, but I look forward to any comments.
    J R Salisbury, Solihull

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