Both the Lodge and Chapter have been busy over the summer and early autumn, although at the time of writing I am beginning to wonder if it’s actually more like early winter!
The joint summer Ladies Lunch was yet again a sell out event being held at the Cock Inn at Sarratt. The success of this event is due in no small part to the considerable efforts put in by Neil Richards (staff 1987 2008). A total of £800 was raised for our joint charities which was augmented by a further £100 in gift aid tax credits after all the winners of Peter Cox’s “Open Golf Swindle” – oops sorry that should read sweepstake – very generously donated back their prize money. That generosity meant that £500 was added to the Chapter Centenary Fund.
At the end of August, Jeremy Gaskell (1957-59) represented the Public Schools Lodges Council at the Federation of School Lodges (come on chaps – keep up with all these prestigious units we are connected to!!). This was held in Preston under the banner of the Old Crosbeans Lodge (MTS Crosby for the uninitiated). There was a splendid lecture on the breakaway Grand Lodge of Wigan 1823-66, which was of particular interest to Jeremy as his Great Grandfather James Gaskell was WM of the Lodge of Antiquity in Wigan in 1866.
After that, all Masons joined the ladies/”accompanying persons” for pre-prandial drinks and nibbles followed by a “Lancashire Dinner” comprising local delicacies of potted Morecambe Bay shrimps, Black Pudding, Lancashire hot-pot and Manchester tart, with non-Lancashire alternatives for the squeamish! A few toasts and mercifully brief speeches rounded off the meal, with the hardier souls repairing to the bar for further libations.
At the September meeting of the Lodge held at Mark Masons Hall we had a brilliant lecture from John Short (1947-54) explaining and “de-mystifying” the entered apprentice initiation ceremony. This was all John’s work and will go a long way in the future to ensure that new candidates are quickly and fully absorbed into our fantastic Lodge.
Our Worshipful Master, Ian Crawford (1960-65) has been extremely busy visiting our Public Schools sister Lodges, particularly the Old Paulines, Old Wellingtonians (where the Society Treasurer Nigel Birch had the misfortune to have a birthday on the same day and thus was obliged to supply the after dinner Port – even better was that the venue was at the East India Club !) and finally the Old Tonbridgians. Jeremy Gaskell and Keith Griffiths (retired staff) represented our Lodge at the October installation meeting of the Old Wulfrunians – another MTS sister school.
On November 9th, Peter Cox will be taking part in the Lord Mayor’s Show Pageant as part of the Metropolitan Grand Lodge’s initiative to emphasise Freemasonry’s charity work. More about that in the next issue.
Masonic visitors are always very welcome at our meetings. Forthcoming dates are: Lodge – Thursday 19th December and Thursday 27th February 2020 (Installation), all at Mark Masons Hall. Chapter –Thursday 16th January 2020 (Installation) , at Freemasons Hall.
We also warmly welcome enquiries from any non-Freemasons wishing to know more about our work and the fun way we go about it.