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Lagavara1 last won the day on October 31 2022

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  1. SundayTimes today 11 Feb 2024 article on Oxford membership. as per attatched PDF Oxford - Sunday Times.pdf
  2. I wholly support any Lodge to lift their warrant from Masonic halls and relocate to non masonic premises. It is the members decision. If they not happy, they vote with their feet and relocate. But i wonder what the feeling and ambience would be like having meeting in non masonic room. Also, how many lodges would be fully self sufficient with pillars, lights, altar etc. Whilst the management of halls would realise that the Lodges custom in bar and meals should not to be taken as granted. But is it really that poor and costly situation when a masonic gathering is neither a dining club nor a 'social club' Provincial and GL officers will be unhappy that halls are closing as the Order has no strategy upon these matters. Personally, i could live with only attending for the purpose of a meeting. However whenever attending a meeting and the option of food and beverage is being offered i partake. But i would never attend a meeting and leave a hall to go elsewhere for FB. It is discourteous to hall staff to pander to a lodges meeting requirements and then take custom elsewhere. Nor is it particularly convenient for elderly members to arrive at a hall for a meeting, and then expect their attendance at another venue for FB. My local hall caterer supplements his business with bookings from out side the Order. This is bizarre as Lodges in the hall gripe with what is offered.
  3. ‘Every meal and beverage purchased elsewhere is a loss to the future prosperity of Freemasons’ Hall.’ The above statement is extensively displayed throughout my local hall. In the washrooms, in the lift, on promotional material etc. But, yet some lodges / brethren take their custom to non-masonic premises. I would support any lodge which desires to use a hostelry of their choosing to also take their warrant with them. I do accept that often there maybe better value and wider selection of both beverages and menu than what is offered within halls. But you are in a masonic hall for a masonic meeting. The cohesion of gathering at a single venue contributes to ease of members particularly those less able or more aged. If one cannot positively support the Hall what merit is achieved by the boycotting other than expediting the demise of the hall and closure of services.
  4. This caught my intertest whilst on recent visit to Lisbon, Portugal. Educational plaque in Santa Maria de Belem Church refers to ‘Lodge.’
  5. Whilst we are currently enthralled with the ongoing Post Office inquiry as to who is responsible and ultimately accountable. A scenario within Irish masonry is developing that would also demand clarity. A Grand Master (IC) read a statement at a provincial meeting. ‘‘I wish to state clearly that every PGM represents the M. W. Grand Master in his particular Province and has the equivalent authority therein.’’ The statement was later circulated. If ‘equivalent authority’ is the case, then an allegation against a PGM clearly extends that the allegation is also upon the GM. Does the buck stop at the GM as he is solely responsible for nominating his PGM’s?
  6. And now the Hall of which the member identified himself to belonging, is attacked as criminal. see article https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/psni-investigating-criminal-damage-at-freemasons-hall-in-belfast/a1576743979.html However, others sitting in the hall are of a mind that it is a hate crime.
  7. Recent revelation that money was not repaid has again raised awareness to connected events. A member was sentenced to jail (six months) for fraud without any action taken apart from being merely ‘struck off’ for not paying his dues. Neither his Lodge, the Province nor Grand Lodge acted to the unquestionable facts either before, during or after the court case. His fraud occurred over five years of which during that period of time he was joint signature on a charge sheet that successfully attained unmasonic charge against others leading to their suspension. With the legitimacy of the charge sheet discredited, by his conviction, I would have deemed the allegations he levied against others as both dubious and self-protectionist due to his rank. Is there ever a time limit to correct that which is wrong or requires explanation?
  8. Another edict. As reported in the Irish News, Belfast. ‘People have been guessing what foot I kick with all my life' – Belfast Freemason Brian McBride reacts to Vatican ban on Catholics joining organisation - The Irish News
  9. PM George, thank you for recalling your experience on matters in Scotland. For clarity, the issue is solely a masonic issue and not of someone in jail. I wonder in your instance if the brother was appealing his judgement of Lodge or Provincial at a Grand Lodge setting. It is good practice that a higher authority not be involved as it enables a pathway of appeal. Here in Ireland I do recall a non masonic solicitor representing a brother at masonic trial. Unfortunately Grand Lodge Ireland has deleted past minutes of proceedings from its website, co-incidentally at a time when Grand Masters Lodge expelled several members and the Grand Secretary position was relinquished. However, this specific (IC) Grand Lodge trial was directed and managed by the Deputy Grand Master under instruction openly aired at a Provincial Grand Lodge meeting by the Grand Master. Whilst this in itself is somewhat bizarre in itself and setting that aside, the accused ultimately has no pathway of appeal as Grand Lodge has no route of challenge against the direction and will of the Grand Master. Never the less, even judgements not derived from any Grand Masters direction the accused is never in attendance in Ireland. I believe sentencing a brother in his absence is wrong and it is unjust.
  10. In recent times there has been numerous instances, highly publicised, at court sentencing when the accused have declined to be present to hear the (guilty) outcome of their trial. Freemasonry in Ireland regretfully also is required to hold trials. However, in Freemasonry the accused is not permitted to be present to hear the outcome at Grand Lodge when judgment is delivered. Rather the entirety of those attending Grand Lodge both hear and vote on the judgment while the accused (guilty) learns from hearsay or awaits postal correspondence. Masonic scholars will advise that matters are proven rather than have guilt applied. This may so but the absence of the accused is not justifiable in today’s modern world of openness, transparency, and human rights. What is the position in UGLE and GL Scotland when an accused is judged?
  11. Members in Freemasons' Hall Arthur Square Belfast, struggle with the Halloween menu. ( The Trustees are pleased to assist with the jovial Halloween spirit )
  12. Regrettably some lodge secretaries in Belfast (IC) are not informing members that to gain access to their hall that they must follow the same covid regulation as if seeking to enter a hotel, bar etc. These public covid regulations have been applied for several weeks and merely copied to Masonic premises. And yet of those turned away some become annoyed and allegedly surprised of the hall management enforcement. It is disappointing that the lodge almoner also appears to be sleeping behind the wheel to assist those more elderly. The messaging from both Grand Lodge based in Republic of Ireland and that of the Provincial Grand Lodge based in Northern Ireland is conflicting and discourages members from attending halls that are fully adherent to public safety. Hopefully good word of a Halls covid compliance will spread and that all members long awaited return will be further encouraged to do so. Stay safe and follow the rules, where ever you are.
  13. An update on hall (mis) management.... PGL Antrim sold its purpose built hall, which was only 50 years old and choose to rent 4th flloor office space above a betting shop at the nearby High Street. This 2017 arrangement was much praised by the hierarchy. Whilst the proceeds of the sale were never disclosed on annual accounts it is now published in the Antrim newsletter that savings of £40,000 per annum will now be made by relocating out of Belfast capital city to a village in Templepatrick near the airport to an abandoned Masonic hall. However the newsletter states, '' It was explained that the proposed refurbishment to the premises, was estimated to cost between £145,000.00 and £200,000.00, but due to the spiralling costs of materials, the costs could be as high as £400,000.'' So five years of apparently excess costs of £40k have been incurred despite 10 years of prior planning upon the sale of its former offices and now a proposed refurbishment tf a property which has an unknown cost, but likely to exceed estimates by £255.000. The PGL Antrim treasurer in 2017 was jailed for stealing £120.000 from the Order. I wonder has he now started a building company !! Happy and prosperous new year to all.
  14. Sontaran, hope you fully recovered. I have from within my immediate family those who attend to private households with Covid as their jobs demands so. Their job demands they follow appropriate measures and they never disregard their own personal reasonability. Masons are well able to follow government guidelines and regulations. The Orders blanket decision in Ireland telling members not to meet is financially closing down larger halls with catering and club bar facilities. If government permits catering and bars to be open then masons should surely be able to meet in their own premises. Even if an actual meeting is deemed unnecessary the gathering of the lodge at catering and bar maintains the masonic connection nad breaks the isoloation of many elderly. Of course such gatherings are invitational and not a summons !
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