From the heart
How refreshing to read the letters from
Tony Pearson and Harry Black (MQ Issue
No. 19). As Master of my Lodge I try to
make rehearsals enjoyable so that brethren
will want to be there.
By being there they take part and so
learn their trade, and the same applies at
the Festive Board. Let younger brethren be
gently eased into giving a toast or speech –
and remember – let it come from the heart.
As I was told on the night of my installation:
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
Regarding the travel article by Natasha Blair
(MQ, Issue No.17), Masonry is flourishing
in Kerala, with 23 Lodges working there.
Of these Lodges, four are English, one Irish,
one Scottish and 17 under the Grand Lodge
My mother Lodge, Kerala No. 2188
is the oldest in the state, having been
consecrated in 1886. There is one more
centenary Lodge – at Trivandrum –
Lodge Minchin No. 2710.
We have an Irish Lodge in Calicut,
Saxena No. 815, of which I am also a
member. Natasha Blair mentioned that
Samuel Koder started Cochin Lodge No.
4359, which is incorrect. Lodge Cochin
was consecrated in 1921, and Samuel
Koder was the second Initiate in 1923.
His son, S S Koder, was appointed
Deputy District Grand Master of the District
Grand Lodge of Madras in 1980, and he
celebrated 50 years in Masonry in 1985.
The Koder House Natasha Blair stayed
in has several Masons from Lodge Cochin
in the vicinity, and Viky Raj, who now owns
the Koder House, is a new Mason.
Ms Blair’s comment that the Scottish
Lodge at Munnar, Heather No.928 having
closed in 1983 is also incorrect. Lodge
Heather is flourishing, with even more
members than before.
One thing Ms Blair did not know is that
the Coconut Lagoon where she stayed on
Lake Vembanad, belongs to a Mason of
Cochin Lodge, along with more than half
a dozen such resorts and hotels which his
I respond to Harry Black’s comments on
enjoyment in Lodges (MQ, Issue No.19).
Tradition in many Lodges is difficult to
change. The best way forward is to form a
new Lodge like ours, Warwickshire RAF
Lodge No. 9456.
Whilst we have members who have
served in the RAF, this is not a requirement.
When the Lodge was formed in 1992, the 31
founders all had different ideas and wanted to
bring the traditions of their mother Lodges
We all agreed that this was not acceptable
and we would form our own traditions
from the mistakes we made – not others.
We work strictly to Emulation working,
as best as we can, and are all brothers and
friends – no ranks.
This is demonstrated at the Festive
Board. We do not have a top table – tables
are set out for eight or ten people in the
shape of a chevron or even a propeller.
Guests sit with their hosts regardless of
rank. It works. Indeed, the PGM, who is
a member, likes to steward on a table. All
members, guests and visitors are seated to
a table plan so that there is no writing of
names or tipping up of chairs.
Speakers do not talk for longer than three
minutes. The motto is ‘Be precise, humorous
and then sit down’.
I take issue with Ray Hollins who stated in
his articles in the last two editions of MQ,
that if a master is “so weak and needs constant
supervision and instruction from senior
members of the Lodge, this is a reflection
upon them, that they have not trained him
properly in preparation for his high office”.
This is an affront to many conscientious
DCs and Preceptors, who turn out week
after week in all weathers to attend LOI.
All too often we see a Master who has
reached that position (sometimes far too
rapidly) purely because it is ‘Buggins’ turn’,
but he is obviously out of his depth and
uncomfortable, and no amount of training
will ever cure that.
Perhaps he is just not cut out for it anyway
and has been pressured into it by the very
senior brethren Ray Hollins criticises due
to absence of other willing or suitable
It begs the question of whether it was
in the best interests of the Lodge to have
‘elected’ him in the first place.
Lack of training can sometimes be
confused with nerves or lack of selfconfidence.
All brethren bring different
qualities to Freemasonry and perhaps there
are other offices and opportunities, apart
from being Master, where a brother can
exert his talents with satisfaction to himself
and advantage to his Lodge.
A new Masonic centre was recently
completed in Guildford, Surrey, and I
became fascinated by the base reliefs
depicting the various stages of the
Traditional History (see photo).
I know of a set of eight in the Temple
at Wimborne, Dorset and a set of ten at the
Masonic centre at Caversham, Berkshire.
I believe there is a part-set in the Midlands.
Since the two sets I know of are identical
they must have been professionally made, but
I can find no information about their origin.
Even the Library & Museum at Grand
Lodge could not help.
I would be most grateful if any reader
could throw light on the subject. Anyone
with information can contact me at
email@example.com and I will
also pass any information to Grand Lodge.
M E Head
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