ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening


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Tenets of the Craft
The Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, made a strong appeal to the three basic tenets of Freemasonry at the Annual Investiture of Grand Lodge (page 19). It moved a number of brethren, as the Pro Grand Master, Lord Northampton, told the recent Quarterly Communication.
    There was more to charity than money, the Grand Master made clear. He added: “We should try to involve ourselves to a greater extent in activities which bring joy and happiness into the lives of disadvantaged people, and not just assume that a cash donation discharges our obligations.”
    In particular, the Grand Master said the other tenets of the Craft should not be overlooked. More and more, individual Lodges, and Lodges jointly, as well as Provinces, were making a bigger impact in their local communities.
    His views were echoed by Lord Northampton in a speech to the Grand Lodge of New York (page 30). The Pro Grand Master said that in promoting openness, Masons stressed their charitable work and the effect it had on local communities.
    In this, Masons have been almost too successful “and Freemasonry has been perceived as simply another major charitable organisation, with even our members at times forgetting the other two Great Principles of Brotherly Love and Truth.”
    Lord Northampton said that explaining Charity was easy – it had tangible results. Explaining philosophical concepts such as Brotherly Love and Truth was much more difficult because they could be understood on many different levels.
    So the message for the Craft is clear – charity is vitally important, but always remember that there are three basic tenets of Freemasonry – not one.

Judge backs Masons
A High Court judge has backed the principals underlying Freemasonry in a judgment involving a local authority planning application, dismissing allegations that the Craft was secretive and had an unhealthy influence on officials.
    Mr Justice Newman said that Freemasonry was not a religion although it gave “succour” to “brother Masons”, but they were subject to the “uncompromising and clear” principle that they must pay “due obedience” to the laws of the land.
    The judge said there was still a perception that Freemasonry could give rise to apparent bias in decision-making, but concluded that Masons in public office did not need to remove themselves from decisions involving other Masons.
    He upheld a decision by North Dorset District Council to give planning consent to an application for change of use of farming land to a showground in Motcombe, Dorset by the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society.
    Mr Justice Newman dismissed arguments that there was an “appearance of bias” because two of the members who voted in favour of the scheme were Masons.

Catching a few more smiles
At the Quarterly Communication in June, the Pro Grand Master referred to the work of the Masonic Trout & Salmon Fishing Club in taking disadvantaged and disabled children for fishing days (page 20). A full report of their work and the special event that was held in Lord Northampton’s ‘back garden’ at Castle Ashby will appear in the next issue.
    Interest in MTSFC is growing fast and this year this registered charity, organised by Freemasons, will, as their logo says, be ‘Catching a few more Smiles’ at no less than 22 different fishing days and entertaining about 430 young people across 10 different Provinces.
    If you would like to be a part of this Masonic initiative that demonstrates how Freemasons can be active in the community, you can find full information on their website at www.mtsfc.co.uk.
    Alternatively, contact Ken Haslar on 01923 231606 (mob 07939 144910) or email ken.haslar@ntlworld.com.


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