Welcome to the site News and Notices Page

In general, the whole emphasis of English Freemasonry is one of openness and fun. We recognise and honour our founding Brethren and the difficult times they passed through, and now look forward to a new era driven forward by our more junior Brethren. If this is something you might relate to, then we wish you well on your Masonic journey.

The basic precepts of Masonry have been tested and strained to no avail across the past 300 years, and our membership numbers continue to grow worldwide, showing that all the sometimes rather risible theories of the unknowledgeable person have not prevailed. If you are someone looking at Freemasonry and seeking the actuality of life within the Brotherhood, forget the various (admittedly rather exciting and well-written) romances and adventure novels as sources of knowledge, and go to the people who know and understand. Try CLICKING HERE.

Freemasonry has always been about making good men better. Individuals aim to shape their lives round five core principles:- 

Integrity: We say what we mean and we keep our promises. 

Kindness: Although our families come first, we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures. 

Honesty: We pride ourselves on openness, about what being a Freemason means for us. 

Fairness: We treat everyone as equal – we listen to others, explore any differences and look for common ground. 

Tolerance: We respect the opinions of others and behave with understanding towards them.

The well-known social characteristics of The Minionsc epitomise the brotherly love and fun of Freemasonry.

No doubt some readers are interested in discovering what might be the (in-)famous "Freemasaonic secrets"

Yes, there are parts of our meetings that are restricted to our Brethren, and so denied to those not members, but this is the same as in many other membership groups. This PAGE LINK will take you to a large amount of relevant information. 

Please do ask further questions as they occur to you. For instance, as for me and many other Masons, one of the first questions asked of applicants is "Why do you want to become a Freemason?"  Those pages will help you focus on your reasons and help you answer that question.

  

The Royal Army Ordnance Corps absorbed many fellow soldiers and proudly evolved into the Royal Logistic Corps. As famous Regiments and Corps naturally evolve over time, so has our Lodge. We stand ready to warmly welcome applications from all men who fall within the Freemasonic criteria.

NEWS


Saturday 10th October 2015
saw us celebrating the Lodge's 50th Anniversary of our Consecration in the presence of our remaining Founder, Carl. 

This was an especially  interesting and memorable day which included the Initiation Ceremony of a Lewis (Kevin) by his father (Richard) a past-master of the lodge (2009-10), and we were pleased to greet many visitors from both the Metropolitan Grand Lodge as well as from far-flung Provinces as well as distant homes across the globe.  

After a sparkling ceremony in Temple 10 of Freemason's Hall, 50 years since our Lodge had been formed there, sixty-three Brethren sat down in brotherly harmony and unity to a first class dinner in the world famous Imperial Hotel, Russel Square, which had famously played host to so many Lodges over the years until simple market forces required (in sadness) a managerial decision away from continuing to host the few Lodges meeting there, thus ending a very long and happy association - and the Brethren of Sua Tela Tonanti hereby offer our heartfelt thanks for our fruitful association in the past, and offer our best wishes for a secure and profitable future moving forward.

In our October 2018 meeting, we welcomed our newest Brother. We "old'n'bold" Brethren look forward to the Lodge being taken forward into the future by our younger more junior Brethren - aided, of course, in every way possible by more senior Brethren.

It is now well into 2019 and I am happy to report that our "Founders' Day" Brother, Kevin, has progressed to the degree of a Master Mason and is enjoying the responsibilities of new office; more Brethren have found us and visited, with one or two Joining us as members; and our newest Brother is due to be made a Master Mason this year! So, congratulations all round. Further news of a little less weight is that both our WBros Richard and Chris have been greatly honoured with the grant of London Grand Rank.

Our long-serving Bro Secretary reminds us  that he will always be pleased to receive any requests to visit us at any of our meetings.

As to our charitable donations, the Brethren will note the London initiative, 'Lift for Life', an Appeal by MetGL to raise £2.5m for two super-high ladders for our heroic and highly esteemed Firefighters. The Lodge will be donating sums to this excellent appeal. There has been a little honest worry voiced by those ignorant of our Order, but our Dr David Staples, CEO of United Grand Lodge of England, our governing body, said :  “Freemasonry has a long and proud 300 year history of charitable giving and this £2.5 million appeal to purchase two vehicles for the London Fire Brigade is the latest step in London Masons’ objective to support the local community and help make London a safer place."

London Masons recently made a £2 million donation to help fund its much needed second London Air Ambulance, and a further 22 Air Ambulance and rescue services across England and Wales, have also recently received grants.

Our universally recognised Square and Compasses logo     can be seen on many of these emergency vehicles, all funded by the generosity of our members up and down the country. These include everything including ambulances, first responder vehicles, helicopters, and lifeboats to smaller buggies which carry patients with mobility difficulties around local hospitals. 

United Grand Lodge of England and its members are disappointed that, in some peoples’ minds, out of date and inaccurate perceptions about Freemasonry continue to drive anti-masonic and discriminatory agendas. The continuing and undue antipathy of the Holy Roman Catholic church leadership is particularly saddening. Service to the community has always been one of our key tenets.

We believe that everyone must enjoy the freedom to safely speak their minds, but that they should also be offered correct information should they so desire to receive it. To this end, we politely sign-post interested individuals to the many 'official' sources of information such as our United Grand Lodge of England website, which has many links out to our world of benevolent Masonry, and wish them well on their journey.

  Brotherly Texan Sojourn  

 with much thanks to our own Worshipful Brother Mike

We are constantly being exhorted, particularly during the Festive Boards to visit other Lodges, and during these visits we experience slight differences to our own rituals. I was fortunate enough to take up a teaching appointment in Texas, USA.


But first, some history about Freemasonry in Texas. 

The first record of a Freemason in Texas was Major Zebulon M Pike from No 3 Lodge of Philadelphia in 1806. It should be appreciated that Texas was an independent country, rather than a State, when it ceded from Mexico.  Records show that 22 of the 59 signatories to the Texas Declaration of Independence on the Brazos on the 2nd of March 1836, were Freemasons. 

On 6th March 1836, after 13 days of siege, the fortified Mission of San Antonio de Valero – "The Alamo" -  fell to Generalissimo Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, himself a Freemason. Of the 188 defenders, only a few could be truly numbered amongst members of our  Fraternity; but did include Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.


By the end of 1837  there were three Lodges chartered in Texas by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, of whose shield design, as can be seen,  is itself quite Masonically suggestive:-

By 16th April 1838, 4 months later, there were 25 Lodges – No 1 Holland, was in Houston.


Following the massacre and death of Fannin and his men at the village of Golliad, Santa Ana’s Army was defeated. It is said that Santa Ana divested himself of his officer's accoutrements and disguised himself as a common soldier. He was recognized by one of his men as El Jefe (the Boss) and he was captured.

As the officer responsible for the massacre he faced execution, and it is said that he identified himself to his captors as a Freemason by giving a sign of distress. This version of history is disputed because General Sam Houston apparently giving instructions before the battle that he was not to be summarily executed; but to be used as a bargaining chip by the Texans.

It was always my plan to establish contact with the Lodge, No 1300, Sul Ross and was given the go-ahead having sought permission from UGLE via our Brother Secretary.

 

 


Famous Freemasons in America include George Washington, Benjamin franklin, Mark twain, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, J Edgar Hoover, Rev Jesse Jackson, John Elway, Duke Ellington, ‘Bud’ Abbot, Shaquille O’Neil, Nat ‘King’ Cole, John Wayne, Buzz Aldrin, James Audubon the Ornithologist, Samuel Colt, Cecil B de Mille, Clark Gable, Al Jolson and Harry S Truman.




had the opportunity to visit three Lodges during my time in America; No 1300 Sul Ross, Richards Lodge in the hamlet of Richards (population 276) and Phoenix Lodge in San Francisco.




Festive Boards (formal dining) are not normally held after the ritual. Members tend to eat a snack, anything from Mac and Cheese to hotdogs and salad and the obligatory Peach Cobbler (considered by me as the State Dessert).Those partaking of refreshment are expected to make a voluntary contribution to cover costs. As a result, they are not familiar with “Fire”. This was demonstrated by me and my friend, WBro Roy, we also explained the difference between our own aprons.


Dress for the meetings is not always as formal as we have here. In College Station it would vary from business suits (and cowboy boots) to sports jackets and slacks. In Richards, however, being a rural community, it varied from business suits to sports jackets to dungarees and T-Shirts. But this, I think shows one of the things that Freemasonry is about. The meetings in College Station were held weekly unless the Lodge is “dark” meaning there is no business or ritual that week.

The Worshipful Master is the only person permitted within the Lodge to wear a hat. It appears to be his choice of style of hat: anything from a Stetson to a Pork Pie. Aprons like ours are not normally worn unless the person is in Office. All others wear a plain white apron.

Each ritual is in three phases; the physical part of the ritual, then a confirmation, usually by PowerPoint followed some time later by a Question and Answer session. This is expected to be word perfect. Their attention to detail in the ritual is faultless.

The first meeting of the month is known as a Stated Meeting and is a business meeting for the Lodge. It is open to all and the door is open to the outside. Only after the meeting has finished is the door closed and normal Lodge ritual resumes. Before the meeting officially starts, those in the Lodge are expected to vouch for others and this takes the form of pointing. Once you have been the subject of pointing you are then free to sit down and wait for the meeting to begin officially.

Ritual is very similar to ours, but in the third degree it is richer. Some members of the Lodge dress up into middle eastern garb. There is also a cruel trick played upon the candidate after his initiation, and results in his being reminded of the rules, etc.

Finally, guests or visitors are presented a Challenge Coin, similar to that shown below, which is not only a memento of the visit to the Lodge, but also to remind us of “that peculiar moment in Freemasonry…”

How to sum up my time in Texas? The ritual is the same but different. Freemasonry is more open than here, but the precepts of Brotherly Love are strong, and visitors will be welcomed, as I was, with open arms and I strongly exhort anyone who has the opportunity, to visit and enjoy different aspects of Freemasonry.







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