The Editor welcomes letters,
but reserves the right to edit
them where necessary.
Letters can be sent by email to
The Editor, MQ,
Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen
Street, London WC2B 5AZ.
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!
Oh why has it taken so long for Ray
Hollins and his common sense writing
to surface? As the Craft has wallowed
in the modern ailment of failing to
attract and/or retain recruits, here
was a breath of fresh air undoubtedly
a great strength to his own Lodges and
Province, but unheard in the wider field
(MQ, Issue No. 10).
Almost all the traditional methods
of retaining Initiates have gone. There
are even Grand Officers to whom the
original William Preston system of
lectures is unknown.
Of the original 242 First Degree
questions, only 12 remain. The 145
Second Degree questions are reduced
to nine, and the Third Degree to none.
Then there was the weekly Lodge of
Instruction, now too frequently reduced
to monthly if at all.
Then there was the toast to Officers
and Past Masters, giving the young
Mason the opportunity to become
involved, and the practice of presenting
the Ladies gift on Ladies night. Even this
seems to be disappearing.
Ray Hollins shows the need for
Masonic Education, the excitement
it can produce from its very pursuit
and the value to which it can be put
His set of five booklets A daily
Advancement, could help Lodges
to introduce a 5-10 minute education
slot or have Lodges of Rehearsal return
to Lodges of Instruction, with the
ultimate aim that the junior Brethren,
before reaching office, read a “daily
advancement” for the “education slot.”
Finally, what a clear illustration this
is of the value of MQ. Excellent though
the other Masonic publications are,
they do not have the universal
circulation that is so vital, thereby
giving “new” correspondents complete
and immediate recognition and most
importantly, the whole Craft the benefit
of their experience and wisdom.
R.W. Fountaine, Rickmansworth, Herts.
Boer War VCs
I have read the various letters regarding
brethren awarded the Victoria Cross is
different campaigns and would like to
add some more names, for VCs awarded
in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902.
Lt the Hon Frederick Roberts, son of
Field Marshal Lord Roberts PSGW (himself
a VC holder), died of wounds received
at Colenso. I have been unable to ascertain
if the younger Roberts was a Mason.
Bro Lt John Norwood, 5th Dragoon
Guards, received his VC for conspicuous
bravery during the Ladysmith campaign.
He was initiated into Apollo Lodge No. 357
in Oxford, and later joined Anchor Lodge
No. 1704 and Beckenham Lodge No. 2047,
both in London.
Another gallant brother was Captain
Touse, a member of St Mary’s Chapel Lodge
No. 1 in Edinburgh, awarded the
VC at Maggersfontein. In April 1900 he lost
his sight in another action. Queen Victoria
is said to have shed tears when investing him
with his medal.
Alan Simpson, Gosport, Hampshire
Premier Grand Lodge seal
As a keen student of Masonic heraldry,
I was particularly intrigued with the
depiction of the coat of arms used by
the Premier Grand Lodge of England,
as shown on its second seal which was
adopted at an unknown date, but apparently
some time after 1738, which appears on
the Chinese export porcelain bowl (MQ,
Issue No. 10, page 49).
The only difference is in the colours of the
chevron and the pair of extended compasses
charged on it which are blue and white
on the bowl, whereas they were originally
probably white and in their natural colours
[proper], but since July 1919, in the arms of
the United Grand Lodge of England, gold.
As Mrs Diane Clements, Director of
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry,
was good enough to indicate to me: “What
is not entirely clear in the photograph,
but can be seen on the bowl itself, is that
the colours used in the coat of arms are
reflected in the same colouring used in
the border pattern, which adds to the
attractiveness of the piece. “Secondly,
the act of firing this clay material, glaze
and enamel paints changes the colour of
the enamels from that originally painted.
“Sometimes this change of colour was
known and the decorators could take
this into account, but the act of firing
was never entirely predictable. Also, the
chemicals were not necessarily available
to create all colours.”
Apart from the change of colours in those
two objects, the remainder of the complete
coat of arms is a faithful reproduction of the
original version on the seal.
Other examples of the Chinese porcelain
makers’ art can be found in collections
of sets of ceramic ware in many stately
homes and elsewhere, with similar faithfully
reproduced armorial bearings – although
occasionally including minor errors –
a tribute to the considerable expertise
and skill of the decorators working in
an unfamiliar medium.
Bruce Hogg, Middlesbrough
Music in Lodges
Further to George Holden’s letter and his
thoughts on ‘modern’ music, he is not alone.
Having been a Lodge organist for over 50
years, I usually greet a brother who arrives
late to a meeting with Who Were You With
Last Night or, if he is small in stature, Little
Man You’ve Had A Busy Day, as he presents
his apologies to the Master.
For many years I was organist to the
Household Brigade Lodge No. 2614 and
the members, all officers in the Brigade of
Guards, loved to hear their own particular
regimental marches being played in the
background whilst carrying out their
The dignity of the ritual can be enhanced
by playing solemn music at the appropriate
moments. I play a large number of hymn
tunes during the ceremonies. Lead Kindly
Light sets the atmosphere of the 1st degree,
while Abide With Me is used in the 3rd, and
Now Thank We All Our God is one of many
following an Installation.
At the closing of the Lodge there is a
choice of Now Is The Hour, Who’s Taking
You Home Tonight and sometimes the Last
Post. As the Brethren march out they get
Show Me The Way To Go Home, Goodbye,
Auld Lang Syne or, being in Eastbourne,
Sussex By The Sea.
I get a great deal of pleasure in searching
for specific tunes applicable to members, and
my choice of music must work down here,
as my services are in great demand.
Jimmy Howe, Eastbourne