ISSUE 16, January 2006
Editorial
Historic: Sherlock Holmes incarnate
Travel: In the Footsteps of the Incas
Sport: Batting for England
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Supreme Grand Chapter: First Grand Principal's speech and Committee of General Purposes
Royal Masonic Girls' School: Stories in windows
Specialist Lodges: Brotherhood of the Angle
    Napoleonic Wars: A Mason's Word
International: Macedonia: New Grand Lodge consecrated and Enthusiasm unbound
Grand Lodge: Development of Freemasons' Hall
Masonic Rebels: Rise and fall
Bristol Museum: A Phoenix from the Ashes
Freemasonry and Religion: United in diversity
Library and Museum: Most glorious of them all
First Aid: Masons learn to shock
Education: The Third Degree and Forthcoming events
Masonic Charities, Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening


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Masonry universal

That Freemasonry is an international fraternity cannot be denied, and it is encouraging that nations emerging from decades of totalitarian rule in Eastern Europe are embracing the Craft and particularly the Royal Arch with boundless enthusiasm. As we show in this issue, developments for the Craft in Macedonia and the Royal Arch in various Eastern European countries, backed by both the United Grand Lodge and Supreme Grand Chapter of England, are bearing fruit.
    Moreover, it is heartening that these regions are turning to the English Constitution for their inspiration and help. It further underlines our pre-eminence in the Masonic world.
    At a time when concern is being expressed about the falling numbers joining Freemasonry at home, it is encouraging that such good news is coming from other parts of the world. And there is more such good news to come.
    The revival of Masonry in these former communist states is an inspiration to us all to “lift our game” and be more positive about our future.

Royal Arch recruitment

In his address to Supreme Grand Chapter, Lord Northampton, Pro First Grand Principal, revealed that barely 37% of Craft members are in the Order. Put another way, some 63% are not Royal Arch Masons.
    This is an unacceptable state of affairs. New Masons are too often left in blissful ignorance about the Royal Arch and are encouraged to join other Lodges far too early in their Masonic careers, leaving a large void in their knowledge through not being a Royal Arch member.
    Anybody who aspires to being a “full” Mason should be in the Royal Arch. Unfortunately, there is often no “joined-up” Masonry in some areas, where the Craft and Royal Arch are not working in unison. This is despite Chapters being associated with Lodges, with the same name and number.
    As Lord Northampton points out, the revised ritual is being taken up with enthusiasm and this should encourage Royal Arch members to renew their vigour in recruiting new members to the Order.

Under-21 Masons

The article in the last issue of MQ about Dorset’s 250th anniversary, stating that the Province’s youngest member was only 19, has led to a number of readers writing in to query this fact.
    Not possible, they say – you must be 21. “Who changed the rules?” another reader asked. It is true that the ritual books mention 21 as the age of entry, but when in doubt, turn to the fount of all knowledge – the Book of Constitutions.
    Rule 157 explains all under “Qualifications for Initiation” as follows: “No person shall be made a Mason while under the age of twenty-one years, unless by dispensation of the Grand Master or Provincial or District Grand Master. Every candidate must be a free man, and in reputable circumstances.”

International conference

In 2007, an International Conference on the History of Freemasonry (ICHF) will be held at Freemasons’ Hall, Edinburgh, 25-27 May, under the patronage of Lord Northampton, Pro Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England; Eric N Waller, Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and Sir Archibald Orr Ewing, Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
    The conference will present research on all aspects of Freemasonry. For more information regarding conference arrangements, the call for papers and to register your interest, please visit www.northernnetworking.co.uk or email to ICHF@glasconf.demon.co.uk. Further details will be published in the next issue of MQ.

Lord Swansea OSM

In our last issue we carried an obituary of Lord Swansea OSM, but inadvertently left out his 18 years as a member of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. We apologise for the omission.


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