ISSUE 18, July 2006
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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I refer to the article (MQ, Issue No. 15) where the Pro Grand Master expressed the concern of Grand Lodge regarding the problem of falling numbers.
    In my 27 years in London Masonry I have seen many members come into my Mother Lodge, but in some of the Lodges that I have visited I see that most of the members are in the older age bracket and nearly all are Past Masters of the Lodge.
    It is very difficult for them to bring in new members because of their age, but if we all spoke openly about Freemasonry, and raised the subject when the occasion arose, some of our friends and business colleagues – and even family – would show some interest in finding out a little more about what it involves.
    This has worked for me. I have recruited seven members into my Lodge and I am working on one more for my Mother Lodge and another for a Lodge I have joined that is struggling to survive.
    These are all contacts I have introduced into Masonry by telling them how much I have enjoyed my involvement and how many new friends I have made during the years I have been involved.
    We need to maintain our membership so as to keep the cost within our budget. If we continue to have falling numbers we will find the cost of membership increasing far higher than some of us can afford, reducing numbers still further.
    Finally, I hope that Lodges are finding more time and involvement in organising open events, such as white tables, to bring people into our friendship.

David Morris
Hornchurch, Essex

   Goose and Gridiron
With reference to the article in MQ, Issue 14, July 2005 and the letter from Michael Plaskow (Issue 16, January 2006), regarding the Goose and Gridiron, the photograph on the left shows my Past Master’s jewel with that emblem on it.
    Anthony Sayer Lodge No. 4225 was founded in 1921 and is the only Lodge under the Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England to bear the name of the first Grand Master.
    Don Phillips, Towcester, Northamptonshire

Exemption from dues
Grand Lodge has stated that it is conscious that Installed Masters’ Lodges fulfil an important role in Masonic education and dissemination of information as well as providing a forum for discussion.
    It has, therefore, approved exemption from payment of Grand Lodge and Grand Charity annual dues from 1 January this year by members of Installed Masters’ Lodges, with the proviso that they are also members of another Lodge.
    If the Provinces were to take note of Grand Lodge’s reasons for its action, and follow suit by exempting members of Installed Masters’ Lodges from Provincial dues – with the same proviso – it would surely be a further incentive to the recruitment of new members, as Lodge subscriptions could be reduced to a nominal sum.
    Louis Lunn, Filey, Yorkshire

“Hele” or “hail”?
I want to enquire when and why “hele” became “hail”. I was initiated in 1959, and it was then always “hele” to rhyme with “heel, conceal and reveal”. Every Lodge I visited around that time used that pronunciation. The word comes from Old English “helian” and meant to set (a plant) into the ground and cover up its roots. What more appropriate for the purpose we employ it!
    To hear it pronounced “hail” jars on my senses and I was quite amazed to see it given as an official pronunciation in Emulation Craft guides.
    As DC of my Lodge and Preceptor of the Lodge of Instruction, I shall continue to teach “heel” in accordance with the old Southwark working, but should be very interested to know why a change was implemented and when and by whose authority.
    Russell Titford, Upminster, Essex

Repetitive toast list
Jim Pryor (MQ, Issue No 17) calls for a shortening of the toasts. May I be even more radical? There is no evidence that any benefit, health or otherwise, accrues to those toasted, so why not abolish them?
    Likewise, why have speeches – who remembers them the next day? All matters relevant to the Craft in general and the Lodge in particular can be covered in the Risings. We have the formalities in the Lodge room so the Festive Board should be a time for enjoying the company and companionship of our brethren. We might, however, retain the Tyler’s toast as that nicely rounds the evening off.
    John Grange, Northwood, Middlesex

I fully concur with Jim Pryor’s Star Letter (MQ, Issue No. 17) on the festive board. Several of my friends and I resigned from our Lodges in the past years for this reason.
    The toast list becomes repetitive and boring at a time when brethren should be relaxed and, more to the point, communicative with each other.
    The seating arrangement in ‘pecking order’ also precludes the senior members of a Lodge from breaking any barriers (and there are some to break) with social conversation, and so be able to lead to a much better harmony with, and among, the junior brethren.
    Frank Hughes, Wigan

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