ISSUE 9, April 2004

The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews

 Previous Page 
 Next Page 

Masonic groups

Stamp of approval

One of the most active organisations for Freemasons is The Masonic Philatelic Club, as John Kernick explains

The collecting of stamps has been a popular pastime since shortly after the issue of the first Penny Black in 1840. Over the years the number of new issues throughout the world has grown yearly making it impossible to collect all stamps of all issuing countries.
       This has led to an increased interest in collecting those stamps associated with a particular theme, and an interest in those associated in some way with Freemasonry has been around for many years.
       In fact, there was an article in AQC – the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2075, the Premier Lodge of Masonic Research – some years ago, when the author described how he went about this.
       There were clubs associated with this theme in other countries, but never in the UK until the formation of the Masonic Philatelic Club, the brainchild of Trevor Fray of St. John’s Lodge No. 70 in Plymouth.
       In 1974 Trevor, whose interests were the stamps of Great Britain and the colonies, was asked by the Plymouth Philatelic Society to give a display at one of their meetings.
       He decided to show just one of his interests, the stamps of Tristan da Cunha. As an addition to the stamps, and to add more interest to his exhibits, he contacted Jennifer Tombs, the designer of the set of stamps issued the previous year to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the return of the islanders, who had been forced to leave the island in 1963 due to a volcanic eruption.
       She agreed, but requested a favour in return, and asked that, at his display, he mention the Guild of St. Gabriel, a society for those interested in the theme of religion on stamps.
       Trevor agreed to do this, and at the same time mentioned that he did not collect any theme, but if he ever did so it would be on Freemasonry. Not only did Jennifer send him the designs he asked for, but also included a first day cover of a French stamp, issued in 1973, to commemorate the bi-centenary of the Grand Orient, the first stamp that he had seen referring to Freemasonry.
       From this one cover an idea was born, and Trevor decided that his theme would be Freemasonry, if he knew what to collect. He therefore contacted the secretary of the Devon and Cornwall Masonic Study Circle for help.
       This enquiry resulted in an introduction to the late Terry Waghorn, Past Grand Master of the Mark Master Masons in Cornwall, an avid collector of the Masonic theme.
       After several discussions they agreed to form a club, with Freemasonry as its theme, and Terry Waghorn became President. An advert was placed in Stamp magazine about the formation of a Masonic Philatelic Club and more than 50 replies were received and the Club was born. The club’s stated objectives were:

“The furtherance of Masonic Research via the media of postage stamps, the dissemination of knowledge gained and the quiet enjoyment of this interesting hobby.”