Encouraging younger Masons
With regard to the wearing of morning
suits or dark suits (MQ, Issue No. 20), this
is entirely a matter of personal taste. Brother
Connolly, in his letter, states that there is
no UGLE ruling on the subject.
This is probably because it is far too
trivial. It is far more important that the
Brother within the suit is not criticised for
his chosen apparel. Some newly admitted
Masons are easily put off Masonry by this
type of behaviour from more senior Lodge
members. The aim should be to encourage,
not deflate their enthusiasm.
J B Geach
Herne Bay, Kent
I refer to the letter of Ken Connolly (MQ,
Issue No. 20) regarding dress at Masonic
Lodges – a subject of such high importance,
that there is nothing said about it in the
Book of Constitutions (apart from aprons,
chains, & collars).
Since UGLE has nothing to say on this
subject, it is up to each Lodge to decide
for themselves what dress code to adopt.
Certainly every Lodge has the right so to
do; and the decisions will vary. If the Lodge
members should become uncomfortable
with their dress code, then they should feel
free to vote to gradually change it.
Visitors should generally respect the
dress code of the Lodge being visited, but
others, who want to dictate what a Lodge
shall wear, should keep quiet. There are
far more important matters for Masonry
to contemplate – morality being one.
Spread harmony, not discord. Dress code
is a trivial matter.
I have been a member of Lodges where
DJ is virtually a requirement (my Mother
Lodge), or where Morning Dress is
expected, and where dark suit is the rule.
Feeling at home
I share Bro Water’s misgivings (MQ, Issue
No. 20) regarding the wearing of morning
dress. He is correct in that it is no longer the
dress of city workers, but it lives on as staff
uniform in a number of up-market West
The maitre d’hotel in at least one wears
a tail coat, so giving the impression that one
is being served by a complete line-up of
Whatever the dress, Freemasonry works
for me. But I was initiated at age 25 in a
more deferential and sartorially more
conformist age. Most young men of my
age had a suit and the wearing of such
apparel was by no means unusual.
Today, as anyone who has recently
attended weddings or funerals will know,
wearing a suit or owning one, by the
younger element is oft times viewed as
I do wonder therefore whether a young
man today, confronted by a room full of
elderly gentlemen dressed as funeral
directors or waiters, will feel as at home as I
did four and a half decades ago. I suspect not.
Past Grand Masters of UGLE Lodges
In MQ (Issue No. 20) the interesting article
on Internet Lodge No. 9659 contains the
observation that the election of a Past Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of North
Carolina as Master-Elect ‘may be the first
time a Past Grand Master of any overseas
Grand Lodge has occupied the Chair of
King Solomon in an ordinary Lodge of the
W Bro W D J Heath-Smith, a Past Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of British
Freemasons (GLBFG) in Germany, served
as Master of Wiltshire-based Forget-Me-Not Lodge No. 9035 in 1985.
The Lodge also counts another Past
Grand Master and a number of Past Grand
Officers of the GLBFG amongst its
I refer to Bro. Head’s letter (MQ, Issue No.
20) regarding base relief depicting various
stages of the Traditional History. The partset
is indeed in the Midlands – at the Solihull
Masonic Temple, Knowle, Solihull. The
two panels depict the assailants with the level
and plumb rule.
We have been in these premises since
they were built and completed in 1994.
We were previously in a purpose-built
temple in the George Hotel in Solihull town
centre until 1992, when the owner decided
he no longer wanted Freemasons on his
Solihull Freemasons had been there for
well over 100 years, the oldest Solihull
Lodge having been consecrated there in
1873. The premises in Knowle are owned
by the Solihull Masonic Temple Limited.
The population has grown both in terms of
the number of Masons who meet there and
the number of Orders.
We carefully removed the panels from
the George Hotel temple walls when we
knew we had to leave and they now occupy
the east wall of our new temple. I never saw
a third panel.
The walls at our previous temple had all
the signs of the Zodiac on them, and these,
too, were also carefully removed and are
now on the north and south walls of our
Provincial Information Officer for Warwickshire
Value of Masonic charity
Last November, when I was in need of a heart transplant, and facing an extended wait on the NHS, I turned to Masonic charity for help. That help - which was so generously given - is probably the reason I have been able to write this letter now.
So, when the charity bowl comes round, please give generously in the happy knowledge that this fund is not only for the big or small organizations but also for the "poor and distressed Mason wherever he may be."
G R Pointer
One of the failings in recruitment and retention is the continued 'inclusiveness' forced upon us by dress restrictions. If I am on holiday and find myself with a free evening, I cannot attend a local Lodge because I have not conveniently packed a lounge suit, white shirt, appropriate tie, regalia and Grand Lodge Certificate.
Is it not possible to devise a system of recognition such as a tie pin along with a credit-card size certificate4 containing Masonic details? This could well increase the 'bond of friendship' that is Freemasonry.
I was disappointed with the letter "Let's enjoy ourselves" in MQ, Issue No. 19, and the writer's despair over Raymond Hollins' article "Planning Ahead for the Chair" (MQ, Issue No. 18).
I thought it an excellent paper, professional and informative, offering sound, practical advice on the necessary skills needed to manage a Lodge, particularly the Festive Board.
A poor performance in Lodge is embarrassing to watch, and purgatory to listen to, and compounded when the usual human frailty card is trotted out afterwards. Perhaps this is an area Visiting Grand Officers could address by including Lodges of Instruction on their rounds.
J W Smith
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