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Freemasonry Today Spring 2017 Issue

United Grand Lodge‘s Freemasonry Today Spring 2017 issue is now available to view from the Middlesex Provincial Website by following the link below.

http://pglm.org.uk/new/freemasonry-today/issue-37/

A hard copy will be dropping through Freemason’s letterboxes over the next couple of days, except for those masons who live abroad , who I believe are just sent a link

This issue has a full calendar update of all the events covering the 300 year tercentennial celebrations.

 

Another Great Meeting

Another great meeting takes us into 2017

We moved into 2017 with another on the 20th January which was special as we initiated another young member into North Harrow Lodge. At 21 years of age Bro Aiedan has become the youngest member to join us, again increasing the membership of the Lodge to over 40 and reducing the average age of the Lodge down well below the Provincial average at 47 thus helping us to be among the strongest and proactive Lodges in Middlesex.

Our new Worshipful Master

W.Bro Rimal had the pleasure of conducting his first initiation ceremony in front of almost 40 members and visitors including our VO on his official visit who also presented our initiate, Bro Aiedan with a copy of the Charge and a personal letter of welcome from our APGM.. Another achievement which is becoming a rarity among Lodges is that for the first time in many years all our offices from Worshipful Master down to the last of nine Stewards are now ALL Light Blues.

 

Our last three initiates

Our last three initiates have been under 32 years of age which is encouraging news for the longevity of the Lodge as we continue to move forward with another initiation and passing at our next meeting on 10th March. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our meetings

Head and Shoulders above the Rest

Now and again you visit a Lodge that are head and shoulders above the restimg_3281

This is not just because one of their members happen to be the ProProvGM, but the level of their ritual is superb, their commitment and friendliness is infectious and being a predominately Welsh Lodge, there are copious amounts of singing ( in Welsh of course), which is something you don’t normally get elsewhere.  Such are the joys of visiting other Lodges.

Such a great event was on Wednesday 16th November.

The Lodge in question was Middlesex St. David’s no.5460, meeting at Harrow Masonic Centre and as part of North Harrow Lodge’s workshare scheme, they had agreed to Raise one of our members, Bro. Matthew Jeffrey to the degree of a Master Mason. And being 6’2″ was also head and shoulders above the rest. The meeting was made extra special as they were  receiving an official visit from W.Bro David Wareham, APGM accompanied by a Provincial escort.

Seven North Harrow Lodge members,

including W.Bro. Shah, ( who was our 1st candidate  from the internet to be initiated in 2011) and now our newly installed Worshipful Master attended in support of Bro. Matthew who was going through his 3rd Degree. As an added reassurance to the candidate, W.Bro Nigel Harris-Cooksley had agreed to act as Senior Deacon for the ceremony, a roll that he had not performed in open Lodge for 20 years and W.Bro Terry Clayfield agreed to present the 3rd degree W/Ts. Both performances were exceptional (I would say that, wouldn’t I ).

Middlesex St. David’s is a small, friendly and predominately Welsh Lodge

who are always looking for either initiates or joining members with a Welsh connection, they do supply phonetic song sheets if you can’t speak or sing in the language, although, the translation looks the same *too may consonants*

Over all, the members of North Harrow Lodge,

along with the rest of the visitors experienced a great afternoon and evening and are hoping to be invited again on a future occasion.

However, as we continue to initiate members into North Harrow Lodge, we have been able to offer Lodges 2nd or 3rd degree ceremonies for the last 4 or so years,  I feel sure that another visit will be on the cards in the not so distant future and long may it continue. 

 

 

The Provincial Service of Thanksgiving

Why not come to the Provincial Service of Thanksgiving ?

The Service will be held at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, located in the centre of St Albans on Sunday 6th November, 2016 commencing at 3 pm.22688923712_bf30189cae_o It is the Pro Provincial Grand Master’s wish that all brethren are encouraged to attend this most important occasion in the Provincial Masonic year, and I am sure that you and your families will wish to be present.
Brethren attending the Service should wear Craft regalia (full dress if possible), Provincial tie (no gloves). As there are no changing facilities, they are advised to carry their regalia in a small bag and robe on entering the Cathedral.  The Provincial Service is an event of great enjoyment, being a mixture of celebration, pageantry, an interesting speaker, wonderful music and singing; and as always we warmly welcome our ladies, partners, family members and non-masonic friends.
There is no car parking at the Cathedral, however, there are car parks in the town within a reasonable walking distance, and brethren are advised to use these where possible. Street parking is also possible in some areas.22688928322_a25008fbac_o  There will be a limited area available for disabled Brethren and such requests should be made directly to  Mike Karn as soon as possible. Please also inform me should anyone require wheelchair access in the Cathedral. No tickets will be issued as Brethren may sit in any part of the Cathedral other than a reserved section. Parking is free on Sundays in the London Road Car Park. For those using public transport there is a British Rail service to St Albans Abbey Station from Watford Central and a direct service to St Albans station from St Pancras.

Further details can be obtained from The Provincial Website  including a booking form if you wish to dine afterwards

The 2016 Lodge BBQ

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For the first time in a number of years it was thought that the members should get together during the summer recess for a 2016 Lodge BBQ combined with  other social events and who better to organise such activities was Bro. Matthew Jeffrey one of our young, newly initiates and now officially appointed ‘Social Secretary’ . The date for a BBQ had been sorted and along with Bro. Secretary agreeing that his back garden should be the venue, all was set for what was to be a great event. All that wasn’t certain was the weather. However, it ended up a glorious afternoon.

Over 32 members, prospective members and partners had booked in to attend. The only proviso was that each should bring a bottle and in return would be supplied with copious amounts of meat (green stuff  for the veggies) from the BBQ. By 3 pm everyone had arrived and it was great to see the new and old members mixing, chatting and having a great time in the summer sunshine. Even a game of cricket pursued on the lawn with the dogs guarding the outfield and anything edible that dropped on the floor.

With the massive increase in our membership over the last 5 years, we felt it was important have a few social events to get to know the new guys better. The next event Matthew had organised was a gathering at the local hostelry The Case is Altered in Eastcote for a few drinks, where another 15 of us turned out. So it’s really looking for the future of North Harrow Lodge and long may it continue.

Well done Matthew for all your efforts…. we’re looking forward to the next one.

Master’s Ride 2016

A few months ago I asked if anyone in the Lodge was interested in cycling to Brighton in the Masters Ride 2016 and raising funds for Charity.

The event took place in late June, and Matthew Jeffrey who was only initiated into North Harrow in January did take part and so did his partner Jade.

(Matthew has been to every Meeting since, but some of you may have met both at our Ladies Night in April – it was really good to have such a new member and his lady take part in Lodge Social events)

The ride was not an easy one, however both were able to complete it and raised over £600 in total as a result. Jade’s funding went to the charity supporting Crohn’s disease whilst the results of Matthew’s efforts are going to the Middlesex 2020 Festival.They completed the Ride despite suffering from their efforts and the photograph shows them being presented with their certificates by Simon Thoday our DepProvGM after the event. Some friends who were supporting the Ride commented on how impressed they were with the efforts of both of them, and their refusal to give up.

Well done to both of them.

 

North Harrow Sailing 2016

Once more the North Harrow Sailing 2016 extravaganza was underway and 6 Lodge members spent the weekend sailing the Solent on ‘Sea Song’ a chartered 42′ yacht .
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We gathered at Hamble Marina to sign off the yacht on the Thursday afternoon and enjoyed the usual chilli dinner on board that evening. The next morning, we slipped lines and IMG_2665headed down the Hamble with our destination set for Poole. The weather was not completely kind to us and although the rain held off, we were tormented by 30 knot winds and strong spring tides which made our sailing quite demanding.

We were welcomed into the marina by a few Dorset Freemasons brandishing copious bottles of bubbly to welcome our arrival, after which our first evening was spent in the town at one of the local hostelries where we had arranged to meet a few more of our “Twitterati” brethren to enjoy a great evening of chat accompanied by plates of the best fish and chips we’ve tasted in a long time and of course the mandatory pint or two.img_2672-1

However, the next morning we did notice that our Middlesex flag had broken from the mast during the strong winds, so a press gang was sent to find a willing crew member to re-attach it by means of the bosun’s chair and who else could we find to take the Queen’s shilling than that of our Chaplain, W.Bro Terry Clayfield  (nearer to God than the rest of us), so we hoisted him 40′ up the mast to rectify the situation..

A wonderful weekend was enjoyed by all (despite the conditions)  and arrangements are already underway for next year’s extravaganza. A short video of our exploits are on YouTube

Middlesex Provincial AGM

On the 10th May 2016, 8 members of North Harrow Lodge attended  the Annual Middlesex Provincial AGM and Investitures at Freemasons’ Hall in London.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 4 pm, so we all arranged to meet prior to this in the Shakespeare’s Head, a hostelry, just down the road from Holborn Underground station for a swift half.

The AGM is the occasion when members of Lodges throughout the Province of Middlesex receive appointments and promotions in recognition services to their respective Lodges..

After registration we took our places, among the 800 Freemasons representing every Lodge in the Province, in the Grand Temple to witness over 200 members including 3 of our brethren receive their promotions, namely our WM, Michael B and our DC, David R who were honoured to be promoted to PPrGSwdB and Ken C, our Snr Steward, who alas was unable to attend due to poor health, to PPrGSuptWks. The ProPGM then gave his address where he announced that Nigel Harris-Cooksley PProvGsuptWks had been appointed Provincial Membership Officer and would take on the role of heading recruitment within the Province

After the meeting had closed at 6.15pm, the North Harrow members went on to Join up with our wives and partners at the East India Club for refreshments and a superb dinner before making our journey home, looking forward to a repeat performance next year.

 

North Harrow Ladies Night 2016

The North Harrow Ladies Night took place on Saturday 23rd April with over 100 North Harrow members, partners and guests attending the function at the Hilton National Watford Hotel.

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This has always been a special fun evening, one that has been run almost every year for the last 50 or so years and has become one of the highlights of the Lodge social calendar,
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 especially important now as over the last few years we have initiated so many young masons into the Lodge that this could be possibly one the first formal functions they may have attended, so it was most important that they had a good time, that’s why it was great to see so many present at this event.

The evening started with a pre-function reception in the bar at 6.30pm before being asked to make our way to the banqueting suite and take our seats for dinner at 7.30. After an excellent 3 course meal there were the usual toasts during dinner and it was at the request of our Worshipful Master that formal speeches were kept to an absolute minimum to enable all assembled to take advantage of the dancing that was to follow.

However, W.Bro Terry Clayfield did have the honour, privilege and pleasure in singing the traditional “Ladies Song”, another masonic tradition…..The three piece band were absolutely brilliant and easily contributed to the evening being another great success for the North Harrow Ladies Night ( this can always be gauged by the dance floor being packed at all times) everyone had enjoyed another successful evening.

Special thanks must go to the festival committee  for organising such a wonderful evening once again and to all those who attended and supported the Lodge in making this great event such a success… roll on 2017

 

Freemasonry at its Best

Its not very often that I receive unsolicited reviews following our meetings

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But, Freemasonry continues to surprise me and last week’s meeting on the 11th March was no exception. With 46 members and guests in attendance including a representative from UGLE, (hoping to see a masterclass) our PProPGM  (just coming to meet the boys) and other 2 Grand Officers ( coming because they like us) , the pressure was on. But was surprised to receive ….

“What can I say, it was an absolute delight to be with you on Friday evening for a ‘feast’ of Freemasonry – it epitomised to me all that is great about our wonderful organisation, and indemnifies what I very much suspected would be the case in North Harrow. Will you please pass on my sincere thanks to the WM and brethren for the warmth of their hospitality and welcome in both the temple and at the festive board, They and you should also be congratulated on two first class ceremonies”.img_2093

“I have been sifting words of praise through my concise list of symbols to express my thanks for attending North Harrow last Friday. It was a delightful masonic evening that is etched in my list of visits.  All are to be congratulated for attending to their special part that gelled into a sparkling crystal.”

“Just a quick but very sincere note to say thank you so much for inviting me to join you at North Harrow Lodge yesterday. img_2102 Having been aware of the changes you were making over the last few years towards the revival and ultimate success of the Lodge it really was a wonderful demonstration.  It showed just what can be achieved with an understanding of how the application of modern technology can draw younger people into the organisation. You should have been justly proud of yesterday’s meeting.  To get so many members from such a variety of backgrounds taking part so enthusiastically and competently was a joy to watch”. 

From an active membership of 18 in 2010 to a membership of 40 today, we’ve come a long way, all down to good strategy and forward thinking. This has now culminated in all our offices being held by light blues with the support of 10 stewards in the wings and with good mentoring were ready to shine.

This became evident at our last meeting where we were to perform a Second degree followed by an initiation.IMG_1400 Our Worshipful Master performed the Second Degree ceremony faultlessly with his usual aire of confidence with our Senior Deacon conducting the candidate exceptionally well with the assistance of another steward standing in as acting JD for that part of the ceremony, our chaplain’s delivery of the long 2nd degree working tools was a joy to behold.

It was then my turn to take the chair in order to perform the ceremony of initiation for a candidate that contacted me 4 years ago at the age of 17 and had now just turned 21. The two stewards acting as deacons swapped roles seamlessly without anyone noticing.

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Bro JW needed a drink

Silence ensued, There was the dreaded knock on the door. Alas,  It was the Tyler advised us that the candidate was yet to turn up due to traffic conditions. Plan “B” swung into action. We decided to ‘call off’ for a short while and on asking the principal officers to be upstanding, I quickly realised that the young Wardens had never called off before (or even practiced it) and the reply to my inquiry of the Bro JW “What time is it”? was classic but sincere. He immediately glanced at the clock and replied ” 5.45, WM”. That reply relaxed everyone in attendance.The acting JD and recently appointed Steward who lives in Serbia, flew in for the meeting and only agreed to take on the role 3 weeks previously  when our serving JD was unable to attend. 

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Steward / JD going home

His performance was stunning, ( all down to excellent guidance over Face Time by our Mentor) as was the charge after initiation delivered by our Bro. JW in such an outstanding and theatrical manner.  Culminating in our visiting Officer presenting the initiate with a copy of the Ancient Charge . A joy to be present. After which

 Bro. Secretary had the pleasure in reading the details out of another TWO registration forms. The festive board that followed was also a delight and a fitting end to a great day. That meeting, in my opinion, was the best I’ve experienced in over 30 years and long may I continue to be amazed. We now are looking forward to our next meeting where we are performing a 3rd Degree in the presence of our newly appointed APGM on an official visit. Ahh ! we thrive on pressure.