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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MW Grand Master, ladies and brethren. Firstly, may I, on behalf of my wife Pamela and myself, thank you for your kind invitation to be with you today and offer my congratulations on your 225th anniversary – you make your mother Grand Lodge very proud.
    Secondly, may I thank you and your brethren for the great honour you have conferred on me. It is something I shall always treasure and which I regard as a tangible proof of the very cordial relations which have always existed between our two Grand Lodges.
    It will also remind me of the advice, love and support I receive from Pamela, who shares with me a passion for the Craft as well as some of the highs and all of the lows associated with my role as Pro Grand Master of English Freemasonry!
    Your Grand Lodge had its origins in a group of Lodges under the Antients Grand Lodge of England and, I am reliably informed, your ritual still contains many elements of the working of that Grand Lodge, possibly more than our current workings in England do!
    This evening is not an occasion to dwell on our respective histories, but we have recently discovered a fascinating link between your City and our headquarters.
    The present Freemasons’ Hall in London was built as a memorial to our brethren who died in the First World War. A problem for the architects was that they had to erect a very heavy building, covering over two acres, on London clay which, even in the 1920s, was beginning to dry out.
    The architects spent two months in New York in 1926 studying how your architects were able to build such magnificent structures. As a result, Freemasons’ Hall became the first building in England to be raised on a massive steel frame. The New York lessons learned by our architects certainly paid off, as the building has hardly moved in the ensuing 80 years, whilst many of the neighbouring buildings have had severe problems!
    History is important, but we live in the present and must plan for the future, which in recent years in many Grand Lodges has looked somewhat bleak. English-speaking Freemasonry, whilst it is widely spread over the globe, has common roots and also common problems.
    We all went through a very large expansion in the period after the Second World War, an expansion it would have been impossible to sustain indefinitely. Since the 1970s we have all suffered from a decrease in our members.


Lord Northampton receives the Medal of Honor from Edward Trosin, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York



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