ISSUE 17, April 2006
Editorial
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening


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Irregulars fall out! There has been a split in the so-called Regular Grand Lodge of England. Two of its members have broken away and now claim to be the Grand Lodge of All England, adding that they, and not the United Grand Lodge of England, are the oldest and legitimate authority over the Craft in England, Wales and Districts overseas.
    Setting aside the question of how a Grand Lodge can consist of only two people, how can a body which uses myth and twisted history as its authority to meet, claim any sort of legitimacy?
    They say they are meeting by authority of the original Constitutions granted by Prince Edwin at the General Assembly of Masons in York in AD 926. Sorry, neither the Constitutions nor Prince Edwin existed and the Assembly never took place.
    They further claim to be a revival of the Grand Lodge of All England formed in York in 1705, and therefore older than the premier Grand Lodge, formed in London in 1717.
    That an independent Lodge met in York, and there are records for it dating from 1705, is true. It was not, however, a Grand Lodge at that stage. Its records are still preserved in the Masonic Hall at Duncombe Place in York
    These clearly show that it had no pretensions to being a Grand Lodge until 1725 when, because of the success of the premier Grand Lodge in London, it decided to call itself a Grand Lodge and adopted 19 Articles to govern the Craft. It went dormant in 1740, was revived in 1761 and petered out in 1791, never to meet again.

In the fashion At first glance, the cover for this issue may have led some readers to wonder what was going on. However, a read through the article on Public Relations on pages 22-23 explains.
    Freemasonsí Hall is now a much sought-after venue for major events by top organisations, bringing into the art deco building a wide variety of people who see it as the ideal spot for entertainment.
    The most recent to hire the hall are the people behind the successful film King Kong and Julien McDonald with his spectacular fashion show, in which the Grand Temple became a catwalk.
    Television dramas such as the MI5 series Spooks and the Agatha Christie episodes of Poirot have used the building, and Freemasonsí Hall is not only an integral part of the local Covent Garden scene, but a national venue, bringing in useful revenue.
    It is all part of the policy of openness which has transformed Freemasonry from having nothing to say to the media to a Communications Department at Grand Lodge and Information Officers in every Province and London, pushing the positive side of what the Craft is doing.

Rulersí Forum The Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, in his address to Grand Lodge last month, referred to the proposal to set up a Rulersí Forum (Pages 16 and 18) in another move to modernise the Craft.
    Significantly, two-thirds of the membership of the Forum will be elected to represent the Provinces and London, while one-third will be appointed by the Grand Master.
    Its role will be to debate some of the issues facing us at this time, and to encourage brethren with good ideas to air them in a spirit of fraternal co-operation. There is much to talk about in Freemasonry today, but what is needed are positive ideas. As the Pro Grand Master told Grand Lodge, in his visits to London, the Provinces and Districts over the past year, he has found a new mood of optimism. As such, the Rulersí Forum comes at just the right time.


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