“O Wonderful Masons!”

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Following a presentation about the rebuilding of ‘The Square’ at Upminster, the late Rodney Lister Bass OBE, as Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of Essex, declared “O Wonderful Masons!”.  The captivating story of this magnificent achievement by a number of inspirational brethren and skilled craftsmen and the challenges they overcame which led to the PGM’s exclamation can now be viewed in a new video.  

Entitled ‘Rebuilding The Square’, the well-narrated video holds the viewers’ attention with many examples to show how inspired business acumen, resourceful planning, quality workmanship, efficient energy saving applications and creative interior designs all contributed to the successful rebuild of the property whilst saving well in excess of £100,000 without compromising the quality and splendour which can be seen today.

The original Upminster Masonic Hall on the site was built in 1955/56 for £8,200 but had fallen into a state of disrepair. Resourceful planning was needed to work around the meeting and dining needs of over 2,000 members of 55 Lodges, 23 Chapters and 32 additional Masonic orders.

Very professionally produced with computer animations and actual photographs the video story begins on 13th December 2013 explaining how a new board of directors dramatically took control, assessed the situation and unknowingly began a programme of rebuilding lasting seven years. The main video can be viewed in six nuggets starting with the Beginning and followed by The Large Temple, The Small Temple, The Exterior, The Entrance Doors and Commendations.

The first five nuggets explain the major developments including how the ceiling of the new Constellation Temple was created together with the innovative improvements to the heating, lighting and flooring and how some work was carried out at night to keep on schedule because of a heatwave. Viewers can also see how many of the features of the Great Eastern Hotel’s Grecian Temple, built in 1912, gave inspiration for the new Grecian Temple using authentic materials for the intricate work.

The new bar which had been installed at the Masonic Centre in Clerkenwell for over £100,000 in 2014 was acquired by the directors at Upminster for £6,000 just one year later when that centre closed. The video explains how additional business acumen resulted in the bar being completed at zero cost and describes how that acumen was used to make other significant cost savings throughout the whole project including the exterior with its historical entrance doors from Jodhpur in India.

Everyone who views the new video will not only find it a pleasure to watch, being both entertaining and informative, but will also be as impressed as the late Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Rodney Lister Bass, when he exclaimed “O Wonderful Masons!”.

Watch the video at https://thesquareatupminster.co.uk/rebuilding-the-square/

Tony Hales

Content Generator
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex