Photos: David Peabody
There is a veritable treasure trove at
Freemasons’ Hall in London, tucked
away in the basement, but which carries
out work for Freemasons which adorns
many an individual Mason, and many
Lodges – the embroidery department.
Anna Fernandes, who is in charge of
the department, has been involved with
the department for more than 20 years
and has two assistants – Zafar Saleem
and Carol Williams.
The walls and tables are filled to
overflowing with banners, aprons, alms
bags and much else, bringing a cacophony
of colour which symbolises the rich
tapestry of Freemasonry.
In addition, they also carry out repairs
for other organisations such as the Masonic
School for Girls and an altar cover for St
Paul’s Church in nearby Covent Garden.
And, to show the diversity of work carried
out, Coppers, a ‘hearing’ dog for the deaf,
whose training was funded by Freemasons,
wears an embroidered jacket when he escorts
his owner to Masonic meetings.
Anna has long experience in the trade,
having been a successful quality controller in
the clothing industry and a distinguished spell
at the London College of Fashion before
coming to Freemasons’ Hall in May 1984.
One thing Anna realised from the
start was that to achieve success, modern
computerised techniques used in
embroidery would be essential, and a special
machine now does much of the work.
Indeed, designs can be faxed to Anna and
the team will reproduce it faithfully to the
instructions on the machine.
The next task was to digitise the
department’s own specialist programs,
which has also been successfully completed.
Indeed, the first “in-house” banners that
started it all have all now been replaced.
Anna with one of her banners
Web site created by Mark Griffin