Toast survey needed|
I very much appreciated the Star Letter,
“Shorten those toasts” (MQ, Issue No. 17)
by Jim Prior of Maidstone, Kent. I suspect
that many other Masons share his opinion
and agree that an official survey could well
clarify the matter.
Fred Trowern, Andover, Hampshire
Regarding too many toasts (Letters, MQ
Issue No. 17), I especially noticed long toast
lists on returning to England after some 40
years in Masonry overseas where, in general,
we have much shorter lists.
Sydney Litherland, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex
Regarding shortened toasts, my Lodge
uses the full list at Installations, but at other
meetings restrict them as follows:
The Queen and the Craft;
Our Rulers Supreme and Subordinate
(covers the Grand Master down to
the IPM and requires no response);
The Initiate (if applicable);
Colin Pascoe, Biggin Hill, Kent
Keep the toasts
It is encouraging to demonstrate to new
Masons a little decorum, respect and
acknowledgement of senior rank, so that
they appreciate promotions are not
The festive board must be enjoyed
and this includes all the appropriate
toasts according to Lodge etiquette
and Masonic tradition.
This is something a Mason should be
proud to do and work hard to aspire to.
The wearers of those aprons have no doubt
been very dedicated to the Craft and have
worked hard to achieve such acclaim.
Ken Connolly, Gilston, Hertfordshire
Fees and older brethren
In issue 17 of MQ I note that rule 270b
Book of Constitutions has been added
to encourage the recruitment of younger
people to the craft with a reduction in
Grand Lodge fees and registration of 50%.
This action is to be applauded.
However, Grand Lodge has ignored the
plight of the older brethren who are on fixed
incomes, and in many cases are struggling
to maintain membership of the Lodge or
Lodges to which they are committed.
This is especially so since the recent
excessive increases in Grand Lodge fees, and
has meant a large number of these brethren are
considering their commitments to Lodges of
which they have been long-term supporters.
Resignations are and will be forthcoming
on an increasing number as older brethren
realise they cannot maintain membership
of multiple Lodges due to the financial
constraints they are under.
Grand Lodge should consider the total
picture, not just plug gaps as they arise, and
give anyone over 70 a similar reduction in
fees. At least it would be some reward for the
commitment they have shown over many
years of service.
Bill Wood, Solihull
The Scout Association owns two of
London’s most unique conference centres,
which are open to all such as Masons.
Gilwell Park, on the edge of Epping
Forest, is a 108-acre woodland estate and
includes a purpose-built conference suite
and overnight accommodation in a fully
restored Grade 2 Listed building. It is five
minutes from J26 of the M25 and 25 minutes
from central London by train.
Baden-Powell House overlooks the
Natural History Museum and is five minutes
from South Kensington and Gloucester
Road Tube stations and includes a rooftop
garden with magnificent views.
Masons can contact us at
and take a ‘virtual tour’ of our rooms at
us listed under the location ‘Chingford’
and ‘Kensington’ respectively.
Lyndsey Nassim, The Scout Association
Watt and the steam engine
In your very interesting Library and
Museum acquisitions article (MQ, Issue
No. 17) you perpetuate the fallacy that James
Watt invented the steam engine. He did not.
He made an enormous improvement
to the efficiency of the Newcomen engine,
partly by adopting an external condenser,
but also by taking advantage of other
engineering developments, notably the
invention of the boring bar by John
Wilkinson. This made possible truly circular
cylinders with close-fitting pistons.
The Watt engine, however, remained a
slow and cumbersome piece of machinery,
fit for little other than pumping water.
The development of the steam engine in the
19th century had to await its adaptation to
high pressure steam by Richard Trevithick.
The fore-edge painting on the
Proceedings Book in the article appears
to have been added during the early 1840s.
There were no passenger trains in 1824,
and neither did the primitive colliery
locomotives which then existed look
anything like that in the picture.
B J Wagg, Halesworth, Suffolk
Openness in New Zealand
My wife and I were on a holiday in
New Zealand. We saw:
– street signs showing where the
– named Lodges in the main high street
also advertising the premises for weddings,
parties and general social events;
– notices outside Lodges showing dates
and times of meetings;
– the Square and Compasses in the obituary
column of local papers when a brother
Also, we came up behind a car at traffic
lights and my wife spotted the Square and
Compasses on the equivalent of a fridge
magnet attached to the rear of the car!
It was refreshing to see such openness,
something I am sure we could make use of as
we attempt to portray a more public image.
Ritual not for reading
I totally agree with Hugh O’Neill and Keith
Tallon (MQ, Issue No. 16) about reading
the ritual. It certainly distracts from the
sincerity and dignity of any ceremony and it
should be actively discouraged by Provinces,
Lodges and possibly DCs.
Let’s cease this practice as soon as possible!
G J Morrow, Isle of Man
I am very much opposed to the reading
of ritual, but the Obligations, it could be
argued, are not part of the ritual, but
something the candidate is instructed to say.
Being told to say something is not very
different from being instructed to read it.
John Salisbury, Solihull
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