Thanks for the memory
Waterloo Lodge No. 3472 has a list of widows and dependants of past members including a Miss Lois Lang-Sims, the only surviving daughter of Past Master Lt Col. Lang-Sims.
Lois recently lost her residence at a home for professional ladies, mainly through the house and land being sold for redevelopment. About 20 elderly ladies lost their homes.
Luckily, the RMBI came to the rescue, and through the sterling efforts of Rita Sparkes at Shannon Court, Hindhead, Lois was given another home, and is worth indicating the good work of the RMBI and the staff at the homes maintained by them.
But my letter is prompted by the article in MQ Issue No 5 on p52 about the apron made from a handkerchief at the siege of Ladysmith, as one of our senior members drew my attention to a chapter in our Lodge booklet entitled 'The First Hundred Meetings' of Waterloo Lodge. An item read:
In the following year (about 1922) Bro. Lt. Col. J.H. Lang-Sims was installed. After the ceremony a guest, W Bro. Dr. W. Hammond PGD, Grand
Librarian, rose and stated that he had some information that should be of interest to the Craft generally and the Waterloo Lodge in particular.
It concerned the newly installed Master who, during the Boer War 1899-1901, was an officer in the Manchester Regiment and was besieged in Ladysmith. He had been initiated into Masonry but owing to the exigency of Army service had not proceeded to his second and third degree.
During the siege a Masonic Lodge met in the principal hotel in Ladysmith and there Bro. Lang-Sims was passed and raised. Very little Masonic regalia was available, so the apron used was made from a cambric handkerchief.
It was the correct size and styling and together with a summons for the meeting has been lodged in the museum at Freemasons' Hall where it is treasured as the Historic Ladysmith Apron. This the Grand Librarian produced for the inspection of the brethren.
As can be seen, Lois Lang-Sims bridges the time span through her father back to the Boer War. She is the author of a number of books including one of her experiences travelling through Tibet.
We have shown Lois copies of MQ, the chapter in our booklet, together with photos, and one can only imagine the pleasure this brought to her. Roy Elsey, Wallington, Surrey
I am secretary of a university Lodge, and from one of our recent candidates for initiation I learned that his interest in the Craft had been prompted by his headmaster, who also attended the ceremony.
Present on that day, too, was the proud father of another candidate. I imagine there are many brethren out there whose sons are about to come up to university.
Most, if not all universities, have their own Lodges and now, by dispensation, initiation may take place under the age of 21 years. Might I suggest such fathers try to encourage their sons to make enquiries about university Lodges?
Geoffrey Bourne-Taylor, Oxford
Many thanks for publishing the invitation from the WM of Logia Ave Fenix No.73 in Tenerife.
On a recent visit to the island I attended a very enjoyable Lodge of Instruction evening with the brethren of the Lodge in their unique Temple in Los Cristianos.
Visiting other Lodges and receiving visitors into your own Lodge is one of the most important parts of Freemasonry. I will be returning later in the year, and look forward to paying Logia Ave Fenix another visit. I would recommend anyone holidaying in Tenerife to do the same.
Steve Burns, Thorpe Bay, Essex
A Kiwi's thanks
I recently visited London and Grand Lodge. I wish to express my thanks to the brethren and staff of the Grand Lodge Museum and Library, and especially to the Worshipful Master, officers and brethren of La Belle Sauvage Lodge No. 3095.
Should any brethren visit New Zealand, I can assure them of similar hospitality at Alexandra Lodge No. 1188.
William Newton, Hamilton 2001, New Zealand
Thank you to readers
I would like to thank all those who responded to my letter in the January issue of MQ regarding information about Masonic halls. The response to my letter has been truly Masonic.
Not only have I received many photographs but also summonses, magazines, small booklets on the history of a Lodge or Lodges, and a beautiful hardback book with some fantastic pictures.
Can I say a big 'thank you' to all the Brethren who responded to my letter, and wish them all well.
Kenneth Garner, Warrington, Cheshire
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