I refer to the article on Lifeboats and Masonic connections. In his book, Lifeboatmen Never Turn Back, Andrew Hawkes has this connection between the Lodge of Amity No. 137 and Poole:
"In 1897 the Poole crew were asked to try one of the early Watson craft. which they liked and asked to keep her. Although bearing the name "City Masonic Club" since she was built, she was not ceremonially appropriated to the gift of the Freemasons until 26th August 1897.
"The day was marred by heavy rain, but the visiting Masons in full regalia held a public meeting in the Guildhall with Lord Wimborne, the Mayor of Poole, in the chair.
"They afterwards went to the boathouse, where Lady Wimborne formally named the boat "City Masonic Club".
The History of the Lodge of Amity No. 137 by Bro. H. E Smith, published in 1937, recalls under 1897 that Bro. John Henry Whadcoat was WM at Poole, and the presentation of the lifeboat was one of the marked Masonic activities for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The City Masonic Club was established in 1870 to improve its members in Masonic knowledge and provide funds for distribution among Masonic Institutions.
During her 16 years of service until she was replaced in 1913, the boat saved 26 lives. This was especially hard as at this time all lifeboats were rowed.
Brian J. Galpin, Poole
Hope Cove Memorial
As part of my work as a telemetry radio engineer I have had occasion to visit Hope Cove at various times. I noticed the dedication in this photograph some time ago.
I am not too sure why I kept it, but when I read the article (MQ Issue No. 7) showing the relationship between the RNLI and Freemasonry I thought that the picture may be of some interest.
Ted Williams, Exeter, Devon
In your Masons Ahoy! Feature (MQ, Issue No. 6) I note that Martin Freeborn refers to the minute books of the MV Victoria. I have been monitoring the minute books for Canberra, Oriana, Aurora, Adonia and Oceania and recently I had given to me the final book for Arcadia by the Cruise Director.
On the back of each of these books should be written the address of the Grand Librarian to whom the book should be taken when complete.
Trevor Wellings Alcester, Warwickshire
Further to the article 'Masons Ahoy!', Lodges held on HM Ships go back to 1760, when Thomas Dunckerley, Master Gunner RN, obtained permission to form a Lodge on HMS Vanguard. He later founded Lodges on HMS Prince and HMS Canceaux.
At the meeting of Grand Lodge on 19th May 1760, an entry appears in the Statement of Accounts, i.e., 'Constitution of a Lodge on HMS Vanguard - £2. 2s. 0d.'
The battleship HMS Vanguard which was commissioned in 1946, had the honour of holding Life Governorship in the Masonic Education Fund of South Africa. This was due to the contributions made by Brethren of the ship, and is recorded in the ship's log.
In 1951, Brother N St Clair, Ship's Masonic Secretary, indicated a connection HMS Vanguard had with London Lodge No. 108.
Malcolm Clerc, Knutsford, Cheshire
Masons at sea
With reference to the feature Masons Ahoy! (MQ, Issue No. 6) this photograph is from a souvenir programme of a Masonic meeting held on board the SY The Viking on a cruise organised by the Viking Cruising Company on 17 July, 1913.
The Acting Worshipful Master, W Bro Richard Guy, was a Past Master of Windsor Lodge No. 1754, South Wales Eastern Division. Windsor Lodge had very strong Norwegian and Swedish connections. The Norwegian and Swedish Consul and Vice-Consul in Cardiff at that time were both members.
The Nordic connection is still there with a jewel worn in memory of an unknown Norwegian seaman, washed ashore on Penarth Beach. The jewel, found on the body of the seaman, was altered to enable it to be fitted to the Master's collar, where it remains in perpetuity.
Arthur Nurse, Cardiff
My paternal grandfather, Alfred James Doyle, born in 1850, organised the first lifeboat collections in Leeds, and there is in the General Infirmary in that city a bed commemorating his name.
He was the north-eastern organiser for the lifeboat service, and was also headmaster of the National School in Barrow, a prominent Freemason.
R B Boyle, Brookmans Park, Herts
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