The first meeting of the Association since the resumption of masonic activity, took place at at Rochdale Masonic Hall on Wednesday 15th December.
Professor George Boys – Stones had been invited to give an ‘unofficial’ presentation of his Prestonian Lecture: ‘Veiled in Allegory. He had travelled from Toronto, Canada where he is currently Professor of Philosophy at Toronto University and a rare breed of Prestonian Lecturers invited to continue into a second year.
This was to be the only time that this year’s lecture would be aired in Lancashire so the Association felt it was a great privilege to welcome him to Rochdale.
George started the talk by introducing some back ground to his studies and interest in how English ritual had developed, his lecture showed how English ritual uses the construction of King Solomon’s Temple as a representative of the teaching of Aristotelian virtue.
Following a most interesting presentation our President Roger Pemberton thanked George and congratulated him on his research into the matter.
The members then retired for some supper in the lounge during which the conversations and questions continued along with a chance to catch up following months apart.
Top Hat and No Tails!
The January meeting of The Lodge of Silent Temple saw a change of master and president for 2020. Allan Shields was vacating the chair and presidency at the end of what had been a sad year following the passing of stalwart member , John Acaster.
Allan opened the lodge and a eulogy for John was read by Robert Mitchell after which the brethren stood in peace for a moment or two.
He then handed the next part of the proceedings to Peter Robinson, a very good friend of the incoming master and President Right Worshipful Brother Roger Pemberton, Provincial Grand Master of the province of Shropshire.
Peter installed Roger in fine style,following which the lodge officers for the year were invested. It’s a busy night for the incoming master and Roger then presented his paper ‘Angelo Soliman, Noble Moor and Mason’
Sold as a slave in Marseille, Angelo became a friend of Mozart, master of the most prestigious lodge in Vienna. This proved a most interesting tale of how a humble slave sold during one of the most controversial parts of African history became a freemason. It was well received with Roger receiving a warm round of applause from his audience.
John Acaster was very much missed at this meeting, but he always advocated that the master of such an old lodge should, in keeping with how things were done at the time Silent Temple was consecrated, wear a top hat.
Lodge treasurer, Peter Nicholson had discovered that John had indeed purchased a top hat for this very purpose and had great joy in presenting it to Roger.
Now a Provincial Grand Master would of course wear his ‘tails’ at an installation meeting. However the lodge tends to go for a less formal approach but he did look very much the part with the top hat on!
Roger finally closed the lodge and the brethren retired to dine during which he was installed as the President of the association.
The November meeting had a very French feeling to it as the brethren and visitors to MAMR were joined by Daniel Paccoud and brethren from one of the French Masonic organisations: GLNF.
This meeting was in the ‘tyled’ environment of The Lodge of Silent Temple No 126 held in a lodge room at Manchester Halls. The Master, Allan Shields opened the lodge and welcomed the brethren who had travelled from Paris as well as all the other visitors and members.
Part of the lodge business was to elect the head of the Shropshire Freemasons, Right Worshipful Brother, Roger Pemberton as the Lodge Master and President of MAMR for 2020.
The lodge was then closed and the stage set for Daniel to deliver his presentation. He gave a general overview of the different Rites and side degrees practiced by the Grande Loge National Francaise (GLNF). Daniel is the Grand Inspector of the GLNF and provided a fascinating insight into French freemasonry from its origins in the early 1700’s to the present day. His presentation was illustrated with some very interesting and fascinating pictures and was very well presented and well received by all those present.
Following the presentation, Daniel and his colleagues from GLNF took questions from the audience and received a warm round of applause.
Festive board followed the meeting in the Library room; good food was enjoyed by the members in a relaxed and friendly environment. This gave Allan the opportunity to thank Daniel for coming along and providing MAMR with a most comprehensive insight into all aspect of French Freemasonry.
Six of the association members met up at Shrewsbury, on a warm and sunny June evening to attend an ‘out of town’ meeting of the world’s premier research lodge – Quatuor Coronati No 2076. Also in attendance was the head of the Shropshire masons and Vice – President of MAMR, Roger Pemberton.
QC meetings are normally held in Freemasons’ Hall, London but the refurbished church at Crewe Street was the venue to receive the 2019 Prestonian Lecture from Mike Karn.Shropshire acquired the building in 1970 and it has been turned into a splendid masonic venue.
Some MAMR members are also members of QC, Past Masters John Acaster and Dr John Wade were in attendance both taking office. John Wade was a Prestionan Lecturer.The current MAMR President Allan Shields was delighted to act as Inner Guard for the evening.
Following a very quick lodge meeting Ric introduced Mike Karn who delivered his lecture ‘English Freemasonry during the Great War’ in fine style. Many of the visitors were accompanied by their wife’s and partners who were invited into the lodge room to hear this most interesting lecture. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914 Freemasons had to adapt and deal with the impact of global war.
Mike hails from Middlesex and had spent a great deal of time collecting information from the minute books of many of the London and Southern based lodges, many of which despite the risk of air raids continued to meet. However some lodges found it was impossible to meet as their members were fighting in the trenches.
Mike delivered a shortened version of his lecture, the full transaction has been published and a great deal of money has been raised by Mike who has kindly donated the proceeds from the sale of the publication to charities. He received thanks from Ric and a warm round of applause from the audience.
Lodge members, distinguished guests and visitors then retired to the warm surroundings of the dinning room for a delicious meal and a drink at the bar. Shrewsbury offered great hospitality which every one attending enjoyed. Ric thanked the province of Shropshire for being such a great host.
A most enjoyable and interesting evening enjoyed by all!
The March meeting of MAMR took place at Brookfield Hall in Westhoughton on the outskirts of Bolton. WBro Chris Powell spoke about the early origins of the Royal Order of Scotland,and the members were joined by 12 brethren of the order who were keen to learn more about its origins.
Prior to the meeting the brethren enjoyed refreshments and a superb buffet before Allan opened the meeting and invited Chris to speak. He had discovered that despite the reference to ‘Scotland’ in the name of the order it did in fact have its origins in London in the mid 18th century.
The fruits of Chris’s research will be available in the Transactions for 2019 when published. All the brethren in attendance found the talk both interesting and most informative.
In a joint meeting between The Lodge of Silent Temple and MAMR held at Manchester on a very wet November evening, the members were joined by VWBro Helge Horrisland from the Grand Lodge of Norway.
Helge had flown in from a conference already under way on the continent, to deliver his fascinating paper ‘Hjalmar Schacht – The Only Freemason in Hitler’s Government.
The proceedings began with the lodge of Silent Temple No 126 being opened in due form by master and MAMR President, WBro Peter Robinson. The first business was a poignant eulogy for Brian Clark who had been a member of MAMR for many years, delivered by WBro Ivan Eastwood.
The lodge business was conducted and concluded ready for the next part of the proceedings and Helge was introduced and commenced his paper which was illustrated with photographs and quotes.
Hjalmar Schacht was one of the most unusual, masonic characters from the 20th century: it has been well documented that Hitler’s Nazi party had done its best to remove freemasonry from Germany, which involved the imprisonment and persecution of many Freemasons during world war two. Yet Helge told us that Hjalmar had worked very closely with Adolf Hitler in rebuilding Germany’s economy following the first world war to ‘re arm’ and be ready to fight for a second time. He had emerged from good masonic stock and did not keep his membership a secret. Hitler appreciated his financial wizardry and appeared to tolerate his masonic beliefs at a time when he was actively rounding up masons and destroying their lodge rooms.
Eventually the relationship soured and following a bit of a show down Hitler had Hjalmar arrested and like many other of his brethren condemned, to imprisonment in a concentration camp. Despite all this we learned that he lived to the age of 93 only to die in an accident.
The paper was both fascinating and very interesting and MAMR were fortunate enough to host the first airing of the paper by Helge in the UK. The full transaction along with all the wonderful illustrations will appear in next year’s copy of the transactions.
At the festive board, the brethren enjoyed a tasty meal served in the wonderful surroundings of the study room at Manchester Hall.
MAMR’s John Belton gave a short talk based on an account of an American soldier who found himself in world war one England and was a stark contrast to the paper heard earlier in the evening.
Lodge master Peter Robinson brought this memorable meeting to a close with the Tyler’s toast and wished everyone an enjoyable Christmas.
Rev Henry Duncan – Founder of the first savings bank and Freemason and some more treasures of interest in Dumfriesshire………
One of the most interesting characters researched by one of the MAMR members could possibly be Henry Duncan, who was a Scottish Minister who had met Robert Burns when he was a child. He was also a Chapter Mason who later became the Minister of Rothwell church in Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland. John Belton researched the life of Henry Duncan and had the paper published in the September 2009 copy of The Square magazine.
Read the full article by clicking :Rev Duncan Innovative Banker
Following the visit to Lanholm by some of the MAMR members, John Belton took fellow association members John Acaster along with Peter Nicholson to visit Rothwell church to take a look at the Rothwell Cross and the savings bank museum. It seems they were not alone in their curiosity as on the previous day the museum had received a visit from the Chairman of one of the worlds biggest merchant banks based in China.
In addition to the visit to see the cross (erected by Henry Duncan in the church at Ruthwell), the brethren also took the opportunity to visit nearby Caerlaverlock Castle.
The place is managed by Historic Scotland. There was no known masonic connection, although the standard of workmanship of medieval operative masons is always amazing. A search for mason marks proved fruitless, but they will be there to be found by some future visitor with more time than we had.
The figures in the above photographs from Caerlaverock are John Belton & John Acaster. Firstly looking into the moat, where on occasions protected species natterjack toads might be spotted. The toads however remained unseen, knowing better than to put on any kind of display for our intrepid researchers.
The final visit was to Lincluden Priory on the edge of Dumfries. No obvious sign of mason marks was found there either however.
John Acaster decided to visit in order to decipher what remains visible of the Latin inscription above the principal tomb. The outcome being, that John insists the occupant of the grave is in a fact a prioress (& therefore a woman).
MAMR visit Provincial Grand Lodge of Shropshire
Brethren of MAMR were in attendance to see once of the Associations’ Vice Presidents, VW Bro Roger Pemberton, installed as The Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent in the Province of Shropshire.
Taking place in a rural setting in the heart of the county, Provincial Grand Lodge had some distinguished guests including MW Bro Peter Geoffrey Lowndes, Pro Grand Master, with a full team of acting officers of United Grand Lodge to assist him.
MAMR’s visitors included the current President and Master of Lodge of Silent Temple No126, WBro Peter Robinson, Program Secretary WBro John Acaster, Treasurer, WBro Peter Nicholson and Webmaster and Publicity Officer WBro Allan Shields.
The day started with a special Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter during which Peter Lowndes, Pro First Grand Principal opened the convocation and then proceeded to Roger as Grand Superintendent in and over Shropshire.
The brethren then dined at a festive board lunch, during which the brethren of the Province along with its many visitors enjoyed a fine meal and the opportunity to raise their glasses to both Peter Lowndes and Roger.Who then entertained the brethren with their responses. Roger presented The Pro Grand Master with a bottle of Welsh whiskey. Many of the brethren had the unique and pleasurable experience of meeting the Pro Grand Master as he mingled among them in the bar before lunch.
The brethren then reassembled in the lodge room and Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in due form by Past Provincial Grand Master RWBro James McAllister Hodgson. The Pro Grand Master was then admitted in fine style along with a procession of Grand Officers from London and other Provincial Grand Masters from around the country. The Pro Grand Master welcomed all the brethren, many had travelled from far and wide to share the day with Roger including a Brother who had journeyed from Cape Town, South Africa to be there.
Roger was installed in a wonderful ceremony; the day was a real treat for any brother who enjoys the spectacle of high quality ritual and ceremonial displays.
Roger then appointed his deputy WBro Jeremy Lund along with the rest of his team for the year.
He then thanked all those who had made the day a special occasion and attended the meeting and following a rapturous singing of the National Anthem, closed Provincial Grand Lodge in his new capacity as RW Brother, the Provincial Grand Master.
MAMR are planning visit to The Shropshire Lodge of Installed Masters on Saturday November 3rd. Look out on mamr.co.uk for further details.
Roger is to bring Quatuor Coronati Lodge No 2076 to the province for one of its future meetings details of which will be issued in due course.
For information about Freemasonry and The Royal Arch in Shropshire visit: shropshiremasons.org.uk
Service of praise with Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning No 107
Members of MAMR recently headed to the town of Langholm in the Scottish Borders to take part in an event as part of the ‘Common Riding’ week end.
Two Hundred and forty-four years ago the three owners of the Ten Merk Lands of Langholm were parties in an action in the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the delimitation of certain areas of ground in and around the town. This ground was marked out by beacons, pits and the erection of cairns to indicate the boundary of these communal lands.Each year a man would go out on horseback to ensure that the boundary was intact and that no one had crossed them: a later day security guard and this ‘riding out’ is celebrated each year in the town with a festival, horse riding-lead by a ‘cornet’ rider and parades in the town’s streets lead by a pipe band.
The brethren from MAMR had been invited by Lodge Eskdale kilwinning and Robert Bruce Chapter, whom some are also members of, to join a parade through the town and attend a special service in the church. There was a total of 47 visiting brethren and Companions and officers of several Scottish Provincial Grand Lodges as well as the Grand Superintendent of the Dumfriesshire Royal Arch Chapters.
On the sound of a piper the brethren assembled in the lodge room. The Lodge was opened by RWM Bro John Douglas and promptly called off to allow the Companions to change into Royal Arch regalia. They formed up in a ‘two by two’ procession behind the town band and set off on the 10 minute parade that took them around the town where they were cheered on by many of Langholm’s residents who had taken to the streets. Crossing over the quaint stone bridge and then flanked out in front of the church where The Reverend I. Scott McCarthy greeted the Worshipful Master of the lodge.
Once inside the church a service of music and praise took place with readings and music from RWM Bro John Douglas and soloist Bro Allan Marshall PPGM (Roxburgh, Peebles and Selkirkshire). The service now over the brethren formed up into a procession and headed back to the Masonic buildings to call on and then close the lodge. There followed a light tea of sandwiches and a fantastic selection of cakes which was all home cooked and served with refreshments of tea and coffee or something a bit stronger! Some of the MAMR brethren stayed over for the night or the previous night making this a most enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone that we hope to repeat next year.
The meeting took place in conjunction with the Lodge of Prince George No. 308
Chris Powell will spoke about the remarkable Masonic artwork displayed at this former busy hotel in its pivotal location in the upper Calder valley between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Our New President’s inaugural address
The meeting in March, attended by about 15 members, was exceptional as it was the first opportunity in 2018 for our new President-elect, WBro. Peter Robinson, to be inducted by his predecessor WBro. Philip Myers. Various items of routine were dealt with. The appointment of WBro. Ken Olive to be the new Editor of the Transactions could hardly be described as ‘routine’, however, and he was warmly thanked for volunteering to undertake this most important role.
In accordance with ancient custom our new President then delivered his Inaugural Address. In doing so he remarked that it was a unique occasion as he would be the first President in the history of MAMR to be elected for a fresh second term. On the former occasion he had spoken about the Egertons of Tatton, so influential in the Province of Cheshire over a long period. On this occasion he would be completing this by examining the role of Alan de Tatton Egerton (1845-1920), PGM from December 1900 following the death of his elder brother, Wilbraham. In 1909 at Stockport Alan presided over what was to be the largest Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire up to that time. The talk ended with a brief account of Alan’s son, Maurice, who led an extraordinary, bohemian existence, and on whose death in 1978 the Tatton Park estate became a flagship of the National Trust.
The President mentioned the remarkable start of the Lodge of King Solomon’s Temple No. 3464. It was founded on the Wirral in 1910 with a very prestigious slate of early members drawn from all over the world (headed by R.F. Gould, the great historian of Freemasonry). He left us with the question: why was it founded in Cheshire? Answers please . . .
Let’s Talk Masonry 2018
This years event took place at Salford, with over 100 brethren attending it was a hugely successful day which was enjoyed by all. The conference was honoured to have in the audience Sir David Trippier, Provincial Grand Master of the hosting province – East Lancashire.
The theme for this conference was ‘Exoteric or Esoteric’ and took a look at our First Degree in particular. The three principal speakers were Christopher Powell who brought ‘and illustrated by symbols’, Tony Baker presented ‘A Deeper Look at The First Degree’. After a superb buffet lunch Steven Reid presented the final talk ‘ Symbols – the bigger picture’
There were also break out sessions and John Acaster, a Past President of MAMR discussed ‘The Lodge Room – a Transformative environment.’
Chris Powell meanwhile held a break out session specifically for Installed First Principals to discuss the discoveries made on attaining that high office.
Members of MAMR held a book stall offering the visitors a chance to snap up some great books at rock bottom prices!
Allan Shields (webmaster) and Roy Chapman (City Sykes District Mentor) assisted MAMR’s librarian Tony Costello with the book stall which proved very popular.
The event was very well organised and managed by The East Lancashire Provincial Education & Development team who work hard to make this annual event a huge success. Watch out for details of next years event and join in on a great day ‘making your daily advancement’
Knoop, Jones and Hamer- Three English Masonic Historians.
The evening commenced with the opening and closing of the Lodge of Silent Temple No 126 using the original ritual of the lodge dating back to 1762. This provided an interesting start to the evening for the brethren, who then retired to the newly refurbished Library dining room to hear Chris Powell deliver his paper as part of the Association meeting
The trinity of Knoop, Jones and Hamer is probably second only to the importance of R.F.
Gould in the pantheon of Masonic historians in England. As a by-product of trying to unravel the mystery of Knoop’s lecture delivered to MLMR in May 1948 (‘Dr Anderson and the Charges of a Freemason’, subsequently forbidden by UGLE to be published) Bro. Powell has uncovered surprising links of both Knoop and Jones to Manchester and the North-West.
We learnt that out of the three only Knoop was actually a Freemason. He did have connections with Manchester having been born and educated there. He settled in Sheffield where he lectured at the university as Professor of Economics.
Jones was from Liverpool. He too became a lecturer at Sheffield and succeeded Knoop as Professor of Economics.
Hamer, was also from Liverpool. He served in the First World War and later lectured at Sheffield in English. Chris gave an interesting talk on all three authors and described that their work had ‘stood the test of time’.
Following the completion of the Association business Philip Myers – President of the Association declared the meeting closed and the brethren enjoyed a wonderful and delicious three course festive board during which Chris continued to enlighten the brethren with during the discussions that followed.
WBro John Acaster’s Visit to Denmark
John Acaster, Past President of MAMR, recently visited Denmark and in particular The Danish research Lodge Sit Lux, where he gave a lecture. His Danish hosts made him most welcome as can be seen in the selection of photographs.
There was much discussion at the festive board following the meeting
Spiritual Paths of Masons in Continental Europe
The brethren of MAMR were joined at the November meeting by WBro Dr Michel Jaccard, PhD at Manchester Hall.
The evening commenced with a meeting of The Lodge of Silent Temple which utilised the original Lodge opening and closing ritual dating back to 1726.
Following the closing of the lodge the Association meeting was opened and Bro Jacccard introduced, who hails from the French Swiss border area of Switzerland.
Michel is himself especially knowledgeable concerning esoteric interpretations, he was initiated in 1971, He is a Past President of GRA, the Grand Lodge Alpina Research group and is currently their webmaster. (www.masonica-gra.ch) Professionally he is expert in R&D and Quality.
Bro. Jaccard informed the brethren about the background to Freemasonry in Switzerland with special reference to its symbolic and ritual richness. The first Lodge in Switzerland was formed in 1736 and today there are today 83 lodges with 3700 members. Female Freemasonry also takes place in Switzerland, taking the total membership to 5000 Freemasons.
European Freemasonry is often known as ‘Continental Freemasonry’ and usually linked to the so-called ‘liberal’ style of Freemasonry such as that practiced by The Grand Orient de France, who allow discussion on political, social and religious issues.
With most European Freemasons belonging to Lodges that are affiliated to Grand Lodges who fully respect the land marks set out by The United Grand Lodge of England, this papare proved most interesting as it described the spiritual or modern paths in full agreement with Masonic values and rituals that many European brethren embrace.
Following the paper, the brethren retired for dinner where much discussion and debate continued on this most interesting subject.
The full paper will be available as part of the transactions book published later in the year.