ISSUE 20, January 2007
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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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!

Ron Emery
Cosham, Portsmouth

Kerala Masonry

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 of India.
    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 chain owns.

Chandra Mohan.
Calicut, Kerala

Enjoying Masonry

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 with them.
    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’.

Colin Hill

Poor Masters

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 candidates.
    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.

Terence Lockhart
Brentwood, Essex

Traditional History

    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 and I will also pass any information to Grand Lodge.

M E Head
Woking, Surrey

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