Tony Hales

HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh 10/06/1921 - 09/04/2021

In a communication to all Essex Freemasons the Deputy Provincial Grand Master In-Charge, Paul Reeves, said “The world will be a poorer place for his passing and we will be writing to Her Majesty on behalf of the Province to express our sadness at his passing and our support for her and her family”.

Leading the tribute on behalf of all Essex Freemasons, Paul Reeves pointed out that it was only a few weeks ago that the Brethren of the Province of Essex had sent their Fraternal Congratulations to His Royal Highness on being a fully paid-up subscribing Freemason for 68 years.  (HRH Prince Philip 68 Years a Mason (essexfreemasons.org.uk)

On 5th December 1952, the Duke of Edinburgh was initiated into Navy Lodge No 2612, whose past members include the late HM King George VI, Shackleton and Scott of the Antarctic. The Earl of Scarborough, the Grand Master, and Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, were in attendance.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a formal dinner at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939. Their Majesties were accommodated in the Captain’s Quarters and Cadet Philip (18) was asked to escort the Princesses Elizabeth (13) and Margaret for the evening. It was there Princess Elizabeth fell in love and both began exchanging letters. They married in 1947. Philip graduated from Dartmouth in 1940 as the best cadet on his course and served with distinction in WW11 receiving a Mention in Dispatches for gallantry at the Battle of Cape Matapan.

There is a protocol set by the United Grand Lodge of England to be used upon the death of a Masonic Member of the Royal Family making it appropriate for all brethren to wear a black tie while the period of national mourning is in effect and any masonic centre that flies the Union Flag should fly it at half-mast until after the funeral.  An ‘In Memoriam’ to HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will be added to the first summons issued by every Lodge and Chapter in the Province of Essex from the date of his passing.

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Brotherly Love

The grand principals on which Freemasonry is founded are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. To both women and men Freemasons, a brother refers not only to the members of their respective Orders but to the ‘Whole of Society’.  As W Bro Elaine Malone, the Deputy Grand Secretary of the Order of Women’s Freemasons (OWF), explains “It is right that Freemasonry is there to help those less fortunate in society who have suffered more than we have, especially during the pandemic”.

Elaine saw on Twitter the Essex Provincial tweet about the Shoebox 500 Challenge and contacted Chris Hicks of Thomas Ralling Lodge No 2508 who is responsible for events, PR and communications at Loughton Masonic Centre, where her own OWF Lodge Diligence No 179 meets, to see if they could join in to help the homeless. 

Elaine received a reply from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master In-Charge, Paul Reeves, who thanked Elaine for her interest and said that he was more than happy for her Lodge to get involved. To co-ordinate, Peter Low, the Provincial Communications Officer asked Ian Graham to be the linkman and he arranged for Lodge Diligence to support his Chafford Lodge No 5510 Shoebox 500 Team.

The lady Brethren of Lodge Diligence raised £150 which Elaine used to buy drinks, shampoos, body lotion, deodorants, tissues, wet wipes and female hygiene products. Another member, Eileen Colls, is also in Lodge Diligence.  Margaret Gibson, a Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and the lady Brethren of her two Lodges also joined in, Colchester Priory No 155 collected a number of items and Obedience No 346, which meets at Witham Masonic Hall, raised £90 to add to the items they had collected. The picture shows Elaine, Eileen and Margaret delivering their Shoebox items to Ian Graham for the Chafford Lodge Team entry.

Lady Freemasons are an intrinsic part of modern-day Freemasonry. The OWF was formed in 1908. The ladies wear regalia the same as the men and buy from the same shops.  Their ritual is identical and, like the men, there are a number of different workings. Lodge Diligence No 179 supports events at Loughton Masonic Centre and the OWF supports County shows, Freshers’ Fairs and had a stand at the Open House event at UGLE,  “It’s all about getting involved” said Elaine who also works hard to encourage new and young members to join the OWF stating “They are the future of Freemasonry”.

The Most Worshipful Brother Zuzanka Daniella Penn is the Grand Master of the OWF which explains that Freemasons are taught to be tolerant towards all people and behave with kindness and understanding towards all.  This should resonate with all Essex Freemasons, as her namesake and former pupil of Chigwell School, although not a mason himself, founded a city named from the Greek words for love and brother, phileo and adelphos.  William Penn chose the name to embrace the ’whole of society’. It is, of course, Philadelphia, meaning the city of “Brotherly Love”.

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A Platinum Lodge

On the evening of 29th March 2021, ten brethren held a Zoom meeting and talked about Freemasonry Past, Present and Future. Like most Freemasons they belong to a Lodge of congenial people, alike in their enthusiasms and enjoyment of the Craft and proud of their Lodge, particularly on this occasion which was for a notable Anniversary.

On the same day 70 years earlier when ‘The Third Man’ with Orson Welles as Harry Lime won an Oscar in the US, at Freemasons Hall in Chelmsford, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Dr Archibald Glen Durgan MD, consecrated East Saxon Lodge No 7053.  It had been a two-year journey for the Founders who had seen the need for an additional lodge based in the town. Chelmsford and Tindal were also considered as names but in October 1949 the Lodge of Good Fellowship No 276 passed a resolution to support the petition for a daughter lodge named ‘East Saxon’.

The Founders were proud of the heritage of the ‘Kingdom of the East Saxons’ which, from the late fifth and early sixth centuries, covered modern Essex, Middlesex and part of Hertfordshire. There were 15 Kings of Essex who reigned from London. In AD 653, St Cedd converted the then King, built the Anglo-Celtic Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall at Bradwell in AD 654 and was Bishop of the East Saxons.

The Worshipful Master of East Saxon Lodge No 7053, Gavin MacInnes was joined by Burt Adams, Liam Devine, Tony Hales, Bob Kempson, Alan Love, Steve Philips, brothers Connor and Thaine Mayes and their father Glen, the Lodge Secretary and Almoner. Glen Mayes is also the Almoner Liaison Officer for Zone 3 covering Chelmsford, Hutton, Maldon, Orsett, Thurrock and Grays areas, his service to the community is exemplary and can be viewed at Deputy Lieutenants of Essex - Essex Lieutenancy (essex-lieutenancy.org.uk) as Wing Commander Glenn Mayes DL.  Orson Welles became a Freemason and passed to Grand Lodge above in 1985 when he was 70.

The nine o’clock toast to Absent Brethren was coupled with the names of Past Masters from 1970, Malcolm Robinson, and 1977, Keith Tuttlebury.  Malcolm is regular attender at meetings and is a nonagenarian who will, this August, become a continually subscribing Essex Freemason for 70 years. With platinum being symbolic for a 70th Anniversary because of its long-lasting strength and durability, all Essex Freemasons send their fraternal congratulations to the Brethren of East Saxon Lodge No 7053 which can now deservedly be called ‘a Platinum Lodge’.

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