4th March 2004

GRAND LODGE
of
ANTIENT, FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF IRELAND

 QUARTERLY COMMUNICATION ‑THURSDAY, 4th MARCH, 2004
at
The Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge.
Present :‑

M.W. Grand Master

Eric N. Waller, on the Throne

R.W. Deputy Grand Master

George Dunlop

R.W. Assistant Grand Master

William Mawhinney

R.W. Senior Grand Warden

Robert J. Thomson

R.W. Junior Grand Warden

John Greer

R.W. Grand Treasurer

Charles W. Olden

R.W. Grand Registrar

Arthur D.S. Moran

R.W. Grand Secretary

Michael W. Walker

R.W. Gnd. Dir. of Ceremonies

Cecil D. Burns

R.W. Senior Grand Chaplain

Rev. Canon George N. Little

R.W. Junior Grand Chaplains

Ven. Archdeacon John Murray

 

Rev. Selwoode Graham

V.W. Senior Grand Deacon

Winston C. Patterson

V.W. Junior Grand Deacon

Alan R. Crowe

V.W. Ass. Grand Secretaries

D. Barry Lyons

 

Michael R. McWilliam

V.W. Ass. Gnd. Dir. of Cerem.

Marcus O. Steenson

V.W. Grand Steward

Cecil P. Tilson

V.W. Grand Sword Bearer

Gordon Morrison

V.W. Gnd. Stewards of Charities

Roger Matthews

 

Robert T. McCaffrey

V.W. Grand Almoners

Alan R.G.R. Patterson

 

William M. Lee

V.W. Grand Organist

John N. Rowden

V. W. Gnd. Lodge Std. Bearer

Kenneth Abernethy

V. W. Gnd. Master's Std.Bearer

Samuel W.J. Craig

V.W. Grand Inner Guard

Robert J. Robinson

V. W. Gnd. Secy. for Instruction

Michael J. Ward

V.W. Ass. Gnd. Secy. for Instruction

Robert J. Armstrong

There were also present:‑ R.W. Brother R. Eric Fenelon, Past Deputy Grand Master; R.W. Brothers Daniel B. Fincher and R. Stanley Johnston, Past Senior Grand Wardens; the Provincial Grand Masters of Armagh, North Connaught, South Connaught, Down, the Midland Counties, North Munster, South Eastern and Wicklow & Wexford; the Provincial Deputy Grand Masters of Antrim, Armagh, North Connaught, South Connaught, Down, Londonderry & Donegal, Meath, the Midland Counties, North Munster, South Eastern, Tyrone & Fermanagh and Wicklow & Wexford; R.W. Brothers Charles Hatch and Cyril R. Foster, Past Provincial Deputy Grand Masters; R.W. Brother The Ven. E. Brian Snow, Past Senior Grand Chaplain; R.W. Brothers The Rev. Charles McCurdy and The Very Rev. Philip J. Knowles, Past Junior Grand Chaplains; V.W. Brothers Arthur W. Fielding and John N. Millar, Past Grand Deacons; V.W. Brothers Samuel H. Boyle and Arnold J. Cooke, Honorary Past Grand Deacons; V.W. Brothers Brian Sheridan and Samuel Scott, Honorary Past Grand Stewards; V.W. Brothers Arthur W. White, J. Ardle Agnew, Charles A. McCullough, W. Trevor Morrow and Dennis R. Millen, Past Grand Stewards of Charities; V.W. Brothers David A.R. Lovesy and Victor Whyte, Past Grand Almoners; and V.W. Brothers Robert J. Hunter, Donald H. Finlay and Peter D.G. Read, Past Grand Master's Standard Bearers.

SISTER CONSTITUTIONS REPRESENTED

The following Grand Lodges were represented:‑ Scotland, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Victoria, New Zealand, Tasmania, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Italy (Regular), the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Cuscatlan of El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil (Grand Orient), Chile, Ecuador, Mato Grosso, Sao Paulo, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, South Africa, China, India, the Philippines and the Prince Hall Grand Lodges of Colorado and Ohio.

APOLOGIES FOR NON‑ATTENDANCE

Apologies for non‑attendance were received from:‑ R.W. Brother Robert Campbell, Past Senior Grand Warden; the Provincial Grand Masters of Antrim, Londonderry & Donegal, Munster and Tyrone & Fermanagh; the Provincial Deputy Grand Master of Munster; R.W. Brothers William J.E. Dukelow and William W. Hughes, Past Provincial Grand Masters; R.W. Brothers Allen G. Megarry and Michael R. Bicknell, Past Grand Directors of Ceremonies; R.W. Brother The Rt. Rev. Samuel G. Poyntz, Past Senior Grand Chaplain; R.W. Brothers The Ven. R. Clayton Stevenson, The Rev. Warren Porter, The Rev. Walter Herron and The Rev. Canon R.H. Bertram, Past Junior Grand Chaplains; V.W. Brothers Arthur T. Pollock, Gordon V. Bradshaw, T. Noel Bownes and Leslie V. Johnston, Past Grand Deacons; the V.W. Grand Superintendent of Works; V.W. Brother Ralph B. McGuckin, Past Grand Superintendent of Works; V.W. Brother Robert Bankhead, Grand Steward of Charities; V.W. Brothers Trevor Monteith, Andrew McFetridge, Richard J. Reid, William J. Johnston and Herbert A. Walsh, Past Grand Stewards of Charities; V.W. Brothers Cecil G. Oakes and Bernard V.A. Woods, Past Grand Almoners; V.W. Brothers Dr. Norman Jackson, S. Gordon Leathern, Thomas A.D. Martin, David M. Wright and Samuel A. Mackenzie, Past Grand Master's Standard Bearers; Sqn.Ldr. L.J.T. West, Honorary Past Grand Deacon; R.W. Brothers Harold Ross and Douglas Wakefield, Past Grand Representatives; and the Representatives of the Grand Lodges of Alberta, New Brunswick, Western Australia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, France, Greece (National), Hungary, Norway, Poland, Turkey, Kansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Benin, Gabon and Guinea; and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut.

WELCOME

Grand Lodge being opened, the Grand Master, Grand Officers and members of Grand Lodge were welcomed to the Province of the Midland Counties by R.W. Brother J. Kenneth Dunne, Provincial Grand Master. The Grand Master thanked R.W. Brother Dunne saying that he recalled the previous occasion on which Grand Lodge had met in Newbridge in the year 1996.

OBITUARY

The Grand Master referred to the recent deaths of R.W. Bro. Frederick Hall, Past Provincial Grand Master of Natal, Honorary Past Grand Deacon; V.W. Bro. Col. Abdul M.M. Fareed, Honorary Past Grand Superintendent of Works, Sri Lanka; R.W. Bro. Joseph N. Lewis, Representative of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel and R.W. Bro. Lewis S.D. Seymour, Past Representative of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire. The memory of our departed distinguished Brethren was saluted:

MINUTES

On the proposal of R.W. Brother Robert J. Thomson, Senior Grand Warden, seconded by R.W. Brother John Greer, Junior Grand Warden, the Minutes of the December 6th 2003, Communication of Grand Lodge, which had been circulated, were taken as read, approved and signed.

INVESTITURE

The Grand Director of Ceremonies formed a procession and presented V.W. Brothers Robert T. McCaffrey, Grand Steward of Charities, and V.W. Brother Kenneth Abernethy, Grand Lodge Standard Bearer, to the Grand Master for investiture. V.W. Brothers McCaffrey and Abernethy were conducted to their seats and were saluted.

INVESTITURE OF CHAIRMAN OF THE METROPOLITAN BOARD

The Grand Director of Ceremonies formed a procession and presented R.W. Brother Richard Ensor to the Grand Master for investiture as Chairman of the Metropolitan Board. The Grand Master congratulated Brother Ensor on his election which he said he had much pleasure in confirming and he referred to the sterling work of his predecessor in Office, R.W. Brother Selwyn Davies. R.W. Brother Ensor was conducted to his seat and was saluted.

NEW GRAND REPRESENTATIVES

R.W. Brothers Sydney C.A. Stephens, Victor Scott and Noel Simpson, being in attendance and having produced their Patents of Appointment, the Grand Director of Ceremonies formed a procession and presented them to the Grand Master for investiture as Representatives of the Grand Lodge of Idaho, the Grand Lodge of Missouri and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Colorado, respectively. The Grand Master congratulated the Brethren on their appointments; and they were conducted to their seats and were saluted.

MOTION TO AMEND GRAND LODGE LAW NO. 141

Notice of Motion having been handed in at the December, 2003, Communication of Grand Lodge to amend Grand Lodge Law No. 141, paragraphs I and III, Grand Lodge unanimously approved the Motion, in the case of both paragraphs, in line 3 after the word "or" to delete the words ", where the Lodge meets outside Ireland,". The effect of this amendment grants Provincial Grand Masters in Ireland the same power as Provincial Grand Masters overseas, to grant dispensations for the conferral of Degrees with a lesser period of time intervening than the statutory twelve weeks, if sufficient reason be demonstrated.

REPORT OF THE GRAND LODGE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES

The Board noted, with regret, for reporting to Grand Lodge, the decision of the Brethren of Lodge No. 855, Johannesburg, to return the Warrant.

A vacancy having arisen in the Representation of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales, the Board recommended that the name of V.W. Brother Edward H.W. Newenham, Past Provincial Grand Warden of Munster, be sent forward for consideration by the Grand Lodge of New South Wales as a suitable Brother to act as their Grand Representative here. Confirmed.

The Board noted a request for recognition from the Grand Lodge of Lithuania. Having heard from the Secretary that this Grand Lodge had been'constituted by the United Grand Lodges of Germany, with which we are in amity, and that we had received assurances from the United Grand Lodge of England, as to its regularity and the United Grand Lodge of England itself having granted recognition, the Board recommended to Grand Lodge that recognition be granted to the Grand Lodge of Lithuania and an exchange of Grand Representatives agreed. Confirmed.

There being, therefore, a vacancy in the Representation of the Grand Lodge of Lithuania, the Grand Master indicated that he would wish to nominate W. Brother Paul C. Stewart, Wor. Master of Temple Lodge No. VI, Dublin, and who had rendered sterling service to Freemasonry in the Metropolitan Area over a lengthy period, for submission for their approval as a suitable Brother to act as their Grand Representative here. Confirmed.

The Board considered a request from R.W. Brother Donald Milliken to use the title `Freemasons of Blaris' for his group whilst undertaking voluntary charitable work in South Africa. The Board decided that this request be submitted to Grand Lodge, without recommendation. On hearing explanations Grand Lodge approved the request. R.W. Brother Milliken, who was in attendance, thanked the Grand Master and Brethren for their indulgence.

CONFERRAL OF HONORARY GRAND RANK

The Grand Master, with the concurrence of Grand Lodge, conferred the following Honorary Ranks:

Past Grand Deacon

V. W. Bro. Lau Kee Siong ‑ Grand Inspector Designate for South East Asia

Past Grand Superintendent of Works

V.W. Bro. Derrick Chivers ‑ on promotion from Past Grand Steward, Gaborone, Botswana

V.W. Bro. W.M.K. Wijetunga ‑ on promotion from Overseas District Grand Rank, Sri Lanka

V.W. Bro. Ananda Gunatilleke ‑ on promotion from Overseas District Grand Rank, Sri Lanka

Past Grand Steward

V.W. Bro. Paul R. MacCallum ‑ on promotion from Overseas District Grand Rank, S.E. Asia

GRAND MASTER'S PERSONAL REPORT

The Grand Master presented his quarterly report as follows:‑ "When I took Office in November 2001, my prime objective was to improve the public perception of Irish Freemasonry. I regard this as essential to the continued success of our great Order. We have enjoyed considerable success with the media by way of press reports, radio interviews and one television programme `Open House'

We were approached last October by the researcher for the RTE television series `Would You Believe' and in good faith we agreed to participate in what we thought to be a factual, impartial documentary. TV cameras recorded the early stages of the opening ceremony of Grand Lodge in Freemasons' Hall on December 6th. Interviews with six Brethren were filmed subsequently and a simulated Lodge meeting. A camera crew visited Carrick Manor Sheltered Housing facility at Monkstown, Co. Dublin.,

We are grateful to all Brethren who participated in these events, especially those whose individual interviews lasted from twenty minutes to more than an hour. RTE chose not to use the interviews with R.W. Brother Robert Quigley and V.W. Brother Neil Fenton. Those parts of the interviews with R.W. Brother Archdeacon Brian Snow, W. Brother Morgan McCreadie and Brother Vere Wynne‑Jones that were broadcast, were excellent. These Brethren were honest, sincere and informative; regrettably RTE were not. This was never expected to be a recruitment video. Inevitably criticism would be levelled at us but the critic chosen by RTE was given an unfair length of time to present totally inaccurate, futile criticism. No intelligent viewer could have taken him seriously. Melodramatic film sequences depicting ritual from an unknown source, were misleading and not Irish ritual. A fact RTE failed to acknowledge. Our input into the programme demonstrated integrity, RTE descended to the level of the tabloid press in their obvious effort to be anti‑Masonic.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of non‑members who have expressed interest and support for us having seen the broadcast on February 19'h while deploring the fact that National Television should sink to such depths to denigrate such an old, honourable institution as the Grand Lodge of Ireland. RTE have done themselves no favours. We have survived with dignity and honour intact having dispelled at least some myths and misconceptions. Brethren watching the programme must have reacted with a mixture of dismay, disbelief and anger that such blatant bias should have been directed towards us. If you have not had any personal involvement with the media, particularly press or TV, you should be aware that, while acting in good faith, we have no editorial input into the resulting newspaper report or TV programme, so these will rarely be 100% favourable and some criticism is inevitable. A success rate of 70% is success. We are not placing an advertisement which we have drafted.

Reaction to the programme has been generally very positive from Brethren and the general public. The Grand Secretary will confirm that within hours he received four emails and letters from men interested in joining. I am particularly grateful for the many personal telephone calls and letters which I received expressing support and encouragement.

Undeterred, we will continue to promote Freemasonry throughout Ireland explaining that we are non‑political, non‑sectarian, tolerant and kind to our fellow beings, charitable to members and the general public alike and we strive to maintain truth, integrity and high moral standards.

These facts must not be kept secret from the public. What wonderful news we have to tell!!

None of our PR success would have been possible without the support of W. Brother Trevor Hanna in Belfast and Brother Vere Wynne‑Jones in Dublin, whose professional advice and expertise is invaluable. R.W. Brother Kenneth Dunne, Provincial Grand Master of the Midland Counties and I gave an interview this morning to the Editor of a local newspaper, the Kildare Nationalist, which will publish a feature next week on Freemasonry throughout Ireland and in County Kildare. This work will continue and we will continue to promote the true nature of Irish Freemasonry".

APPROBATION EXPRESSED

R.W. Brother Winston C. Patterson, Provincial Deputy Grand Master of Londonderry & Donegal, Senior Grand Deacon, following on the Grand Master's personal report, rose to convey the unstinting support, loyalty and appreciation of all the Brethren for the sterling work and effort which the Grand Master has put into the promotion of the Masonic Order in Ireland ever since his installation. R.W. Brother Patterson's words and sentiments were greeted with acclamation.

WELCOME TO VISITING BRETHREN

The Grand Master welcomed W. Brother Charles W. Craine, Provincial Grand Secretary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Isle of Man (EC); and Brother Alastair Hogben, a member of Lodge Elgin & Bruce No. 1077 (SC).

THANKS TO ORGANIZING BRETHREN

The R.W. Deputy Grand Master thanked V.W. Brother Peter Read and the many Brethren involved in helping with the arrangements for the excellent lunch and the splendid arrangements for the Grand Lodge Communication.

SALEM LODGE No. 62, TRALEE SPECIAL WEEKEND MEETING

The Grand Secretary reminded Brethren that Salem Lodge No. 62, Tralee, in the Province of Munster, was holding a special weekend meeting and celebration over the weekend of Saturday April P. Any and all interested Brethren, along with their ladies and friends, were invited to take part, it being expected that a number of Brethren and ladies from the English Constitution would be visiting.

CHARITY COLLECTION

The Charity Collection amounted to 1,238.

Grand Lodge Closed.