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The Arthur Square Class - London Exemplifications

Irish Invasion! April 1993

W.Bro. Barry Hutton, P.M. Woxendon Lodge No. 5672 and Inner Guard of Hampden Lodge had made a visit to the province of Antrim during the winter months of 1992/93. In return for the hospitality received by him in the several lodges he visited he organised a part from the Arthur Square Class of Instruction.

A party of 34 brethren from 20 different lodges and all members of the Arthur Square Class of Instruction arrived in Luton and were met by W.Bro. Barry Hutton, and taken by coach to the Kings Arms Hotel, Stonechurch where they were fed, watered and rested. After a morning sightseeing and shopping in the locality, they arrived at the Masonic Hall, Ripon Street, Aylesbury for a specially convened meeting of Hampden Lodge.

The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Peter Garland welcomed the brethren, W.Bro. Joe Small and the visiting brethren from Ireland led by Very Worshipful Bro. J. Armstrong who then gave a demonstration of passing in accordance with the Irish Constitution.

Eighty three brethren sat down to the festive board during which Very Worshipful Bro. Armstrong presented an engraved decanter to the Worshipful Master to commemorate their visit. A raffle organised by the lodge stewards raised £420 which will be added to the Masters list for the McMillan Nurses Cancer Relief fund.

The Irish party retired to their hotel for a good nights well earned rest as the next day they were to visit the Grand Temple and Library and later to give a further demonstration of the third degree at the Woxendon Lodge in the Grecian Temple at the Great Eastern Hotel.

Saturday morning one or two sore heads but in the main all fit to face another masonic day, At 10.30 a.m. we arrived at Grand Lodge and were greeted by our Tour Guide. Our guide explained many interesting points of masonic history and in number 1 temple after explaining about Hallstone Lodges said there was only one hailstone province, at this point as if with one voice BUCKINGHAMSHIRE rung out around the portals of number 1 temple as reference was remembered to W.Bro. Joe Small's speech the night previous.

We then travelled across town to the Great Eastern Hotel for the afternoon meeting. Our visitors clearly concerned about the damage surrounding them as the Natwest Tower is next door. One was heard to say that he was surprised that the meeting was still on, but I assured him that English Masons would even meet on the rubble if it were necessary.

The Woxendon Lodge was opened in the first degree, called off and in a manner somewhat similar to former evening the third degree was conducted. Again the silence was deafening as W.Bro. J. Gilchrist orated for over an hour. No Trip! No Slip! No Prompt! with that lilt in his voice that is always synonymous with sincerity and confidence.

The festive board seated some eighty masons again from several lodges and again the lodge was presented with a decanter to commemorate their visit. This English mason does not get caught out twice whilst the brethren from Ireland were on the tour of Grand Lodge I slipped over to Toye Kenning & Spence and purchased a presentation Square & Compass set. This was duly presented by the Master of Woxendon Lodge W.Bro. B. Bailes to commemorate their visit to Bucks and London. This was received by V.W. Bro. J. Armstrong and assured the brethren that it would be used and have pride of place on their volume of the sacred law.

The broken column realised £510, £430 to be divided equally to hospices in England and Ireland and £80 from the sale of badges for Mencap. We all returned to the Hotel in celebratory mood, we have been, we have seen, and we were made very welcome indeed.

Sunday 09.00 sharp, coach at door of Hotel, today we tour London, taxi driver style! Four taxi driving brethren gave of their time to give an alternative tour of the Capital. At one point the coach was stopped by Police whilst the Blues & Royals crossed the road to rehearse for the Queens Birthday at this point the brethren were convinced that it had been arranged for their pleasure.

Onward we stopped for a short shopping break at Covent Garden, then for liquid refreshment at the oldest pub in London followed by a superb lunch at the Tower Hotel, followed by a return to Luton Airport, where the brethren took their leave.

I would sincerely like to thank everyone who assisted in this week for your efforts. Masons made a difference not only Anglo-Irish relations but also to the charity which for the two meetings realised £930. As a footnote special thanks to W.Bro. Peter Edward Telford, Charles Garland, W.M., L.G.R. (Enoch & Hampden), S.Barber, (Amethyst Irish Constitution), Bro. T.J. Young, (Hampden), for their time and support.

Brethren All I Salute You!

Source: Concord - Buckinghamshire Masonic News and Views

September 1993 - No. 13