ISSUE 19, October 2006
Historic: Rabbi and Mason
Travel: Morocco's exotic charm
Quarterly Communication: Address by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Working with Youngsters: The Grand Master goes fishing
Community Relations: Saying it with flowers
International: Spanish Freemasonry under the microscope
   Events: Grand Lodge Award; Royal Masonic Variety Show
Specialist Lodges: Masonry on the canal
Freemasonry and Society: A Churchman's view of Masonry
Education: Toast of the town and Events
Young Masons: The Universities Scheme
Library & Museum: The Freemasons's Tontine
Masonic Charities: The Grand Charity and NMSF and RMTGB and RMBI
Book reviews

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The pace of modern legislation is such that since the original draft of the amendment to Rule 179A was produced – a good many months ago – the Sex Offenders Act 1997 has been largely superseded by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. To reflect this, notice of an amendment in the name of the Grand Registrar to the Motion Pursuant to Notice, was approved.

Brethren under 25
At the June Quarterly Communication the Grand Lodge approved an amendment to the Book of Constitutions to reduce by one half the fees and dues payable in respect of candidates under the age of 25. In moving the amendment the President of the Board indicated that the Council of the Grand Charity had agreed to a similar reduction in the Grand Charity contribution and that it would be possible to bring forward an amendment to the new Rule 270B at the September Quarterly Communication. Notice of Motion to amend the Book of Constitutions appears accordingly at item 7 of the paper of business.

The Board has received reports that the following Lodges have resolved to surrender their Warrants:
(a) Oldham Lodge No. 6428, in order to amalgamate with Mitre Lodge
(b) Lodge No. 5633 (East Lancashire); Warrington Lodge No. 6987 and Good Companions Lodge No. 7531 in order to amalgamate with Winmarleigh Lodge No. 6101 (West Lancashire).
(c) A Resolution that the Lodges be removed from the register in order to effect the respective amalgamations was approved.

The Board has received a report that 18 Lodges have closed and have surrendered their Warrants. The Lodges are: Midland Lodge No. 882 (South Africa, Eastern Division); Leigh Lodge No. 957 (London); Grove Lodge No. 1957 (Cheshire); Alleyn Lodge No. 2647 (London); Royal Edward No. 2889 (West Lancashire); Claughton Lodge No. 3915 (Cheshire); Eccles Lodge No. 4422 (West Lancashire); Lodge of St Barnabas No. 5050 (Warwickshire). Hamilton Lodge of Installed Masters No. 5454 (Cheshire); Travellers Lodge No. 5820 (South Africa, North); Brook Green Lodge No. 6087 (London); Preston Portcullis Lodge No. 6316 (West Lancashire); Gothic Lodge No. 6749 (Durham); Lodge of Manna No. 7602 (London); Heathrow Lodge No. 7999 (Middlesex); Joseph Lister Lodge No. 8032 (London); Peace and Harmony Lodge No. 8182 (Surrey) and Woollaton Lodge No. 8201 (Nottinghamshire).
    The Board’s recommendation that they be erased was approved.

Panel for Clemency
The following members of the General Council have been elected to serve on the Panel for Clemency, in addition to the President and Deputy President of the Board of General Purposes: VW Bro D. E. Davinson PGSwdB, VW Bro K.E. Thomas PGSwdB, VW Bro Dr. M. R. Aish PGSwdB, VW Bro J. C. Edgcumbe GSuptWks, VW Bro K. R. Smith, TD, PGSuptWks and W Bro R. P. Rosswick PJGD.

As required by rule 277 (a) (i) (B) and (D), Book of Constitutions, eight Brethren have been expelled from the Craft (with effect from 6 August 2006).

Motion Pursuant to Notice
Amendments to the Book of Constitutions
    Amendments to Rules 75, 175 and 179(A) (MQ, Issue No. 18, July 2006, pages 22–23) were approved.

Notice of Motion
For the next Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge
    The President of the Board of General Purposes to move: Amendment to the Book of Constitution: That Rule 270B be amended by inserting “and the Annual Contributions payable to the Grand Charity under Rule 271” after the words “Rule 269”.

Diane Clements, Director of the Library & Museum, gave the following talk to Grand Lodge:
A continuing popular interest in history is reflected by the recent experience of the Library and Museum. Visitor numbers this year have risen by nearly 17% compared with 2005. Last year the Library and Museum website, which includes the online catalogue, received over 35,000 hits, more than 6% higher than in the previous year.
    Our current exhibition, The Hall in the Garden, about the history of this site in Great Queen Street, has been visited by over 1,000 people a month since it opened. Family history enquiries have increased by 75% in the last two years, an interest which was brought home to us when we organised a study day for family historians earlier this year, which was oversubscribed.
    At least some of this additional interest has been brought about through the greater access to our collections via the website and especially the catalogue. For many this will be where they obtain their initial information. We already receive a large number of enquiries which are triggered by an initial search of the online catalogue.
    We are currently cataloguing the music collection and preparing the photograph and print collection for cataloguing, but it will be some time before the online catalogue truly reflects the richness of the collections.
    There have been increasing opportunities to work with other museums, archives and libraries. Both the British Museum and the British Library lent material to our exhibition on the artist and engraver John Pine in 2004. We have worked with the National Archives on both our archives cataloguing projects for the Access to Archives scheme.
    Earlier this year we arranged a study day for archivists working in Historic Houses, many of whom have Masonic material in their collections. Firepower, the Museum of the Royal Artillery, based at Woolwich, made a temporary loan of three Victoria Crosses to help us launch our very popular exhibition Most Glorious of Them All about Masonic holders of the Victoria Cross earlier this year.
    The most visible example of partnership is the Masonic Hall at the Beamish Open Air Museum, opened in April this year. For an exhibition currently at Norwich Castle Museum, which moves to the Millennium Galleries at Sheffield later this month, we were approached by Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service to lend a marble tracing board and two ashlars for their exhibition called Art at the Rockface.
    We have also lent an important silver commemorative jug to Guernsey Museums Service as part of an exhibition marking the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Sir John Doyle. These two latter loans illustrate how Masonic pieces can be used in displays on subjects other than Freemasonry.

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