ISSUE 15, October 2005
Editorial
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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Above:
Bob Winder, aged 96, and Robert Blake, 19, the oldest and youngest Masons in Dorset who gave the two readings
    This year is special to Dorset Masons in that they celebrate 225 years of both the Craft and the Royal Arch. The credit for this unique Masonic milestone must principally be accorded to that charismatic and ingenious 18th century Mason, Thomas Dunckerley.
     Although Freemasonry in Dorset dates back to 1736 if not before, it was Thomas Dunckerley who brought order and regulation to local Freemasonry, both Craft and Chapter, in 1780.
     Brethren of the Lodge of Amity in Poole, itself dating back to 1765, also played a vital role in those early proceedings. A catalyst to the formal proceedings in those early years, its members also provided the first base of formal documentation and record-keeping, allowing Dorset to formally lay claim to this unique celebration.
     RW Bro K. Harry Barnes, Provincial Grand Master for Dorset, said at the celebrations at Sherborne Abbey to commemorate the 225 years: “Throughout the centuries, Dorset has been proud to name many great men amongst its members, principally amongst whom must be the Earl of Shaftsbury, Provincial Grand Master for no less than 50 years, and one of the greatest anthropologists who ever existed.
     “We are also proud of Dorset because we are celebrating 225 years of uncompromising charitable support within our local community, as well as nationally, from the needs of the sick, the young, the elderly, the infirmed, and those who have suffered at the hands of adversity and natural disaster”.
     Specially invited guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Capt. Michael Fulford-Dobson and Mrs Fulford-Dobson, the High Sheriff of Dorset, the Hon. Charlotte Townsend, the Mayor of Sherborne Cllr. Peter Rhodes as well as representatives from Rotary, Round Table and Lions organisations and the local press.
     The service was conducted by the Reverend Canon Eric Woods, vicar of Sherborne, and there was a specially prepared sermon given by the Reverend Canon Neil Collings PJGW. He said
     “Freemasonry emerged in these islands at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries when times were dangerous, the political situation always precarious, when moral standards were at an all-time low and where religious strife flourished.
     “Out of all that, a group of like-minded men assembled to dedicate themselves to the principles of the Bible, to live morally worthy lives and to render themselves more extensively serviceable to their fellow men.
     “It was the only place in 18th century England where men of different persuasions, religious and political, could sit down together. I maintain that this is one of the reasons why this country was saved from the type of revolution that was witnessed in France and elsewhere. “It was men of that quality who formed the Province of Dorset and made it what it became, having such an influence for the good of the county in general and its people in particular.”
     Following the service of rededication, prayers were led by the Provincial Grand Chaplain, Bro. the Reverend Alan Elwood. Among the most poignant of the readings were those taken from a lecture delivered by Thomas Dunckerley on 28 April 1757.
     The first of these were read by W Bro. Bob Winder aged 96 and a Freemason for 67 years representing the past, followed by 19-year-old Bro. Robert Blake, the youngest and representing the future.

Ken Howes is Information Officer for the Province of Dorset




Above:
RW Bro K Harry Barnes, Provincial Grand Master for Dorset with other leading Masons at the Sherborne Abbey anniversary meeting


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