Number 4281 in the register of the United Grand Lodge of England
Izaak Walton Lodge of Freemasons
New Master installed At our October meeting it’s “all change”, as our new Worshipful Master is installed by his predecessor and proceeds to appoint the officers who will assist him during his year in charge. This year we were privileged to have Staffordshire Provincial Grand Lodge’s Assistant Grand Master W.Bro Dr M Rawle in attendance, accompanied by W.Bro N Columbell, the Assistant Director of Ceremonies and acting Senior and Junior Wardens W.Bro M Birkinshaw and W.Bro A J Blake. This occasion, which happens just once a year is the result of weeks of planning. Very necessary, when you consider that the master plan for the installation contains no less than 69 different things which need to happen in a specific order! There’s also lot of planning involved in managing each Lodge meeting, as arrangements have to be made well in advance to ensure the smooth progression and installation of our candidates and to ensure that the team of officers know in detail what they’ll be doing throughout the masonic year. As part of the meeting, the brethren voted to donate £1,850 from the Lodge’s charity funds to the Staffordshire 2024 Festival. Almost fifty brethren attended a truly enjoyable Festive Board after the ceremony to experience Izaak Walton’s famous hospitality. You can find details of the new team on the Our Officers page. Masonic Hall opens doors On September 8th, for the first time in living memory, the Stafford Masonic Hall opened its doors to the public. Thanks to a splendid wave of pre-publicity, over 200 local people turned out on a wet and windy Saturday to find out for themselves what lies at the heart of Freemasonry. Inside the Hall, support was provided by some of the recipients of Freemasons’ charitable giving. Katharine House, the Midlands Air Ambulance and the Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes were all represented.
As a result of the open day, several visitors have expressed an interest in joining a Stafford based Craft Lodge, through which every Freemason begins their masonic journey. Although Freemasonry in Stafford is all male, several women indicated their wish to learn more about the fraternity. Women (contrary to popular belief) have their own Freemasons Lodges. More information can be found at the website of The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons - W.Bro Harry Boult Harry Boult, who was Master of this Lodge in 1987 and who celebrated fifty years in Freemasonry last Autumn passed to the Grand Lodge above in August. His funeral at St Mary’s Church in Stafford was attended by almost one hundred of his wide circle of friends and family. Delivering the eulogy, his Son Chris reminded everyone of Harry’s interesting and varied life and career including an enduring interest in East Africa and Carpentry. W.Bro Andrew Redhead “Andy” Redhead died in Hospital suddenly in August after a short illness. He is remembered for a major contribution to the life of our Lodge, as Master in 1996, our Almoner for ten years and various other offices. He was also heavily involved in the life of Eccleshall, where he, Sally and their three children lived, as a Parish Councillor and member of the local Church Fellowship. Our sympathies are extended to the family of each of these lovely men. They will be missed. We’re missing...... W.Bros Ray Barnett, Ray Truman and Darryl Davies and Brothers David Breeze and Gerald Bates are all in our thoughts - not just at the meetings, but always. We’re looking forward to seeing you back in Lodge very soon.
One visitor commented that he had passed by the Hall on literally thousands of occasions during his life and had never seen the doors open, nor anyone coming or going! Like many, he was fascinated to hear about the history of the building and its decoration, as well as discovering what Freemasonry is all about. Each of the 3 Stafford Craft Lodges were represented by their Master and Wardens who circulated to answer questions, as well as the many members of the fraternity who attended in support. To mark the occasion, as you’ll see from the adjacent picture, the banners of each of the Lodges which meet at Stafford were hung on the walls, bringing a splash of colour to the Temple. A “no-holds barred” question and answer session was held during the afternoon which was well attended and managed to provide clear and unambiguous answers to most of the questions!
Stafford’s Mayor and Mayoress, Councillors Ray and Jenny Barron. They are pictured, left to right, with Assistant Provincial Grand Master Mike Rawle, the Mayor, the Mayoress, Deputy Provincial Grand Master David Thomas and Mark Provincial Grand Master, Mike Heenan.