Martin Stewart, WM of Lodge of Chivalry No 3974 accompanied by Mark Holloway (secretary), David Dugdale (director of ceremonies) and Ian Pye, who is one of the newest members of the lodge, visited Lodge of Chivalry No 6372 that meets in the headquarters of Freemasonry in Great Queen Street, London.
They were joined by Richard Green the WM of Lodge of Chivalry No 5685 that meets in Southampton, along with his secretary Andrew Fuller and almoner Richard Hickox.
The visit was timed to coincide with lodge 6372’s 75th anniversary, which was made even more special by the presence of Paul Brown, the Metropolitan Grand Inspector who made a visit to the meeting. Paul responsibility for 6372 and a ‘cluster’ made up of other lodges that meet in Great Queen Street. Also present was Philip Gwinn the lodges visiting officer and the newly appointed senior visitor Barry Clarke, along with Gary Townsend the Past Senior Visiting Officer of the Chivalry Lodge No 6372, who had been elected as an honorary member at the lodge’s last meeting. Also in attendance were representatives from all the lodges in the cluster.
Before the lodge was opened the WM, Robert Neep, welcomed all the visitors saying he was really pleased to see the lodge so full, but felt a little intimidated as the lodge membership was fairly small and he had never seen the room so full in his time as master!
After the lodge was opened and the visitors were greeted with salutations, David Bradshaw, the lodge’s director of ceremonies, gave a brief a brief history of the Lodge of Chivalry No 6372 which was well received and followed by acclamation.
The next business was to pass Benjamin Harrison to the degree of a fellow craft, sadly Benjamin was not present as he was isolating due to COVID-19. The ceremony was given as a demonstration with Gary Townsend acting as the candidate. Robert asked Gary the necessary questions which proved that the junior deacon Edward Conley and Gary both knew the answers!
The rest of the demonstration was carried out in exemplary fashion by Robert, with Gary being conducted round the lodge by the senior deacon Christopher Downing. All the officers who took part in the demonstration are to be congratulated especially Edward Conley who explained the working tools, word perfect and with panache.
After the meeting the Chivalry sisters, as they had become known, along with their guests left the Masonic Hall and relocated to the bar in Hercules Pillars, pub/restaurant just across the road, where they enjoyed pre dinner drinks. The hospitality at the festive board was memorable as the food was served and the wine flowed.
After the meal, Robert Neep the WM of lodge 6372 thanked Martin and his officers for making the trip to visit his lodge and he said he and several other members of the lodge intended to visit lodge 3974 later in the year. He also thanked Richard Green and the visiting officers of lodge 5685 for taking time to visit lodge 6372.
At the end of the evening the sisters, and most guests moved back to the bar where they enjoyed each other’s company and a glass or two of wine, until they were asked to leave the bar as the kitchen was on fire!!
Martin and the members of lodge 3974 walked back to their hotel only to find the bar closed! They then headed across the road to an Italian restaurant, where another bottle of wine was shared, before heading to their rooms for a good night’s sleep before heading back to West Lancashire the following day.
Martin and the members of lodge 3974 are hoping that their sisters will visit West Lancs later this year.