ISSUE 23, October 2007

Editorial
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Pro Grand Master : Quarterly Communication
Grand Secretary: Exciting times ahead
Historic: Telford - Mason extraordinary
Travel: Cruising round Sicily
Samaritan: Helping the distressed
Younger Masons: The common bond
Jersey: Local Masons guard the Duke
   Classic car run: Down memory lane
International: Joseph Brant - a Masonic legend
Universities Scheme: The way ahead
Grand Chancellor: The importance of external relations
Education: Events : Understanding the symbols of the craft
Specialist Lodges: Australia link
Royal Arch: Why join the Royal Arch?
Lbrary & Museum: Major award for Library & Museum
MQ Signs off
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity : NMSF : RMBI : RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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On 15 July, 1788 at the Fox Inn, Kiln Lane (now Princess Street) in Shrewsbury, just 12 days after the Lodge had been formed, Thomas Telford became the third joining member of Salopian Lodge, then number 525 on the roll of the Premier Grand Lodge of England. Meetings came thick and fast in the early days of Salopian Lodge, even throughout the summer. The second meeting was the following day, on 4 July, when there was a triple initiation. Telford was present at this ceremony and he is recorded in the minute book as a visitor.
     At the third meeting, on 15 July 1788, with Bro. Neale as Master, the business in the minute book stated: Mr. James Trehearne was proposed to be made a Mason, and it being unanimously agreed to, he was initiated. Bro. Telford and Bro. John Gellion were proposed, and being balloted for and approved, were admitted members of the Lodge.
     In the treasurer’s cash receipt book of the same date it is recorded: Thomas Telford, Surveyor, Salop – Admitted – ten shillings and sixpence.
     Telford was a very enthusiastic member of the Lodge in those early days, only missing four of the 37 meetings which took place in the following 12 months. He was a signatory to the Lodge bylaws, which were adopted on 20 August, 1788 and was present when the Lodge was consecrated on 10 September by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Major Charles Sherriff.
     Before the year was out he had been appointed a steward for the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, to be held on 27 December. In June 1789 Telford acted twice as Junior Warden and on 7 July acted as Senior Warden, the highest position he was to hold in the Lodge.
     Telford attended, together with 23 other members of Salopian Lodge, one of the first Provincial meetings ever held in Shropshire, at Whitchurch, on 24 June, 1789 to celebrate the Festival of St. John the Baptist. In those days, Provincial Grand Lodges usually took place at the oldest Lodge in the Province.
     After the Lodge was opened, representatives of other Lodges were admitted. The Provincial Grand Master or his Deputy was then received and opened a Provincial Grand Lodge, transacted any business of general interest, closed Provincial Grand Lodge and the private Lodge reverted to its own affairs before closing. A reminder of this procedure still holds good today, as each Provincial meeting is held under the banner of a private Lodge.
     When Telford attended this first Provincial meeting there were only three Lodges in the county, the oldest being Holy Lodge of St. John No. 1, meeting at the White Lion in Whitchurch, Salopian Lodge at the Fox Inn, Shrewsbury and Egerton Lodge at the Coach and Horses, also in Whitchurch.
     As both the PGM and his deputy were members of Lodge No. 1, this was the reason for Telford and his fellow brethren of Salopian Lodge travelling north.
     On 17 July, 1789 Telford was present when William Hazeldine, the ironmaster from Shrewsbury, was initiated into Salopian Lodge. Hazeldine was to work very closely with Telford for the next 20 years. At the Feast of St. John the Evangelist in 1789, Telford was ‘instituted’ as Lodge treasurer, an office he held for 12 months. It was a privilege to look through those meticulous entries in Telford’s own hand in the treasurer’s Account Register for the period.

An engineering print of the Menai Bridge



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