Strong indeed, but the link and support from Masons meeting at Bryn, does not require passports and negotiating customs borders, not for the time being, anyway. It does however require a commitment to travel to Wigan North West railway station, and catch the Pendolino to Edinburgh.
The lodge is not in Africa but the Caledonian Lodge of Uganda No 1389, a lodge that originated in Uganda and now meets in Edinburgh under the Scottish Constitution. As the name may suggest, Caledonian Lodge of Uganda was originally consecrated in Kampala, Uganda, but under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1935. It was to serve Masonic ex-pats, both Scottish and English, living and working there for a little over 35 years. Unfortunately, when Idi Amin came to power in 1971, things became more difficult and eventually Britons were expelled from Uganda and the lodge ceased to operate. In 1977 the charter was re-designated in Edinburgh and the lodge has met there since.
There has been a strong link with the lodge for a number of years, with Howard Morris, WM of Ashton Trinity Lodge No 8821 being a previous RWM of Caledonian Lodge of Uganda. There have been many cross-border visits in both directions, and a contingent from the Wigan Group has regularly visited with Howard.
The installation in Edinburgh was no different, with a great turn out, but this was a ladies’ trip, so the wives and partners accompanied the Bryn brethren. Lodge of Uganda is a daytime lodge meeting on Saturday, so they all enjoyed the Christmas markets and did some shopping on Princes Street whilst the Masons enjoyed the installation of Joe Crawford. After the lodge meeting, brethren and ladies got together at a central hotel for a gala dinner evening. A great night was had by all, with a site seeing expedition Sunday morning before travelling back to home ground. At the installation, Fred Dickinson from Bryn Lodge was invested with the office of tyler whilst Gordon Cooke PM of Wigan Lodge No 2326 took office of junior deacon. The Wigan Group were really well represented, with members of Wigan Lodge, Willows Lodge No 5343, Bryn Lodge No 6553, Vigilance and Douglas Lodge No 6236 and Ashton Trinity Lodge.
The link remains strong, the fraternal bond secure.