ISSUE 17, April 2006
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

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Confirmation of Minutes
Minutes of the Quarterly Communication of 14 December 2005 were confirmed.

Election of the Grand Master
HRH The Duke of Kent KG was re-elected as Grand Master for the ensuing year with acclamation.

Election of members of the Commission for Appeals Courts (2006 to 2009)
The following Brethren were approved: Metropolitan members: PM of Lodge No. 10, W Bro P.R. Griffiths PJGD; W Bro C.G.A. Aylwin PJGD (No. 6); W Bro His Hon. Judge R.G. Kaye TD, QC (No. 2456); W Bro A.R.P. Ullstein QC, GStwd (No. 2202). Provincial Members (elected under Rule 275a, Book of Constitutions): VW Bro M T Penny, W Bros J R Bevan, A Dunn and J K McLauchlin.

Report of the Board of General Purposes

Grand Lodge of Russia
The President of the Board made a statement on the Grand Lodge of Russia as follows:

‘I wish to bring to the attention of this Grand Lodge the situation that appears to exist in the Grand Lodge of Russia. Rumours and reports have been reaching us for some time about the manner in which the Grand Lodge of Russia and its affairs are being conducted and controlled.

‘It is not proving easy to assess the truth or otherwise of such reports. Accordingly, until it has become possible to ascertain the actual position with some degree of certainty, it is recommended that Brethren should refrain from visiting Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Russia and, further, that Lodges under this Constitution should exercise extreme caution before admitting as visitors Brethren from Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Russia.’

Rulers’ Forum
The MW Pro Grand Master, in addressing Grand Lodge in June 2005, reported that the Strategic Working Party, set up under the chairmanship of the Deputy Grand Master, had made recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the General Council which was not functioning successfully.
    Those recommendations were circulated to Provincial and District Grand Masters and Grand Superintendents for their views and the Board is now able to bring proposals before Grand Lodge.
    It is proposed that the General Council should cease to exist and that in its place a new body, to be called the Rulers’ Forum, should be constituted. It will be a body, meeting twice a year, in which issues of general importance to English Freemasonry can be discussed with the Rulers of the Craft.
    Provinces will be divided among nine Groups, roughly corresponding with the Groups in the existing Associated Masonic Provinces (which it is also intended should be disbanded), with a tenth Group for London. A proportion of the members of each Group will be required to be below the rank of Grand Officer to ensure a reasonable spread of representation.
    Each of the Groups will elect two members to the Rulers’ Forum on a twoyear rotating cycle. The Rulers and certain members of the Board of General Purposes will be ex officio members of the Forum and the Grand Master will have power, if he so desires, to appoint an additional member of the Forum in respect of each Group.
    Besides discussing issues of general concern, the Forum will take over from 2007 the election of members of the Commission for Appeals Courts and the Panel for Clemency.

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