The David Kenneth Williamson Lodge No.9938 held its first meeting outside of London at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester to conduct a quintuple Passing ceremony on behalf of the three Universities Scheme Lodges in the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland.
The Lodge is the Installed Masters Lodge for the Universities Scheme and whilst consecrated in London in 2016, it was agreed that the lodge should occasionally meet around the English constitution to undertake second and third degree ceremonies on behalf Universities Scheme lodges.
The meeting was held in the very decorative surroundings of the Holmes Lodge Room at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester on Friday 4th May 2018 and was opened in due form at 5.45pm by the Master, RW Bro Oliver Lodge TD PSGW GDC with 66 Brethren in attendance including the Immediate Past Master RW Bro David Williamson PAGM, the Assistant Grand Master RWBro Sir David Wootton, RW Bro David Hagger, ProvGM, Leicestershire and Rutland; RW Bro David Pratt, ProvGM, Yorkshire, West Riding; VW Bro Peter Kinder, PGSwdB, AProvGM, Leicestershire and Rutland; and RW Bro Derek Buswell, PProvGM, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The five candidates Bro David Hames, of Wyggeston Lodge, No. 3448; Bro Jonathan Haslam, of Castle of Leicester Lodge, No. 7767; Bro David Veryan Jones, of Castle of Leicester Lodge, No. 7767; Bro Marat Guysin, of Lodge of Science and Art, No. 8429; Bro Steven Brian Szukielowicz of Lodge of Science and Art, No. 8429 were Passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft in a superbly conducted ceremony ably assisted by the Senior and Junior Deacons along with 3 Assistant Deacons. VW Bro Peter Kinder, W Bro Kelvin Johnson, PAGDC, ProvGSec, Leicestershire and Rutland and W Bro David Thompson PAGDC also assisted the Master in the ceremony.
RW Bro Wootton, President of the Universities Scheme, provided an update on the Universities Scheme and made mention of a recent audit undertaken of all Scheme Lodges to help identify those Lodges who may benefit from extra help and support.
He also highlighted the four strategic aims the Scheme was pursuing, namely:
- Providing support to Lodges and producing ‘know how’ guides on topics such as lodge finance and ritual. Also suggesting to Lodge Almoners that they could focus on understanding their student members and when they have exams coming up, when they are graduating, and celebrating their successes.
- Talent transfer – how to assist members to find a new masonic home after leaving university. Far too much talent is lost at this stage and it is our most important objective as a Scheme.
- The Royal Arch – the Scheme now has five Royal Arch Chapters and is looking at how best to develop this important part of the Scheme.
- Overseas – students from districts graduation in England and helping our Districts attract students in their home countries, especially important where they compete with domestic Grand Lodges.
Also mentioned was the important work of the New and Young Masons Clubs (NYMC) and that the Scheme was increasing its engagement with NYMC both on a local and national level to ensure that with items, such as talent transfer, both groups can work together. He also referenced the links with the Association of Medical, University and Legal Lodges (AMULL).
After the Ceremony the Master said: “It seems to me that this Lodge is very much living up to the high expectations of it. Well done to all.”
The Past Assistant Grand Master, RW Bro David Williamson reiterated this by saying: “It was a perfect demonstration of how a multiple Ceremony can be done without detriment to the Candidates, and brought much credit to the Lodge.”
The Brethren retired to the Holmes Lounge were they were welcomed with reception drinks before an excellent four-course dinner consisting of cheddar soufflé, epaule of lamb, trio of chocolate desserts, followed by cheese and biscuits with port.
After grace, W Bro Mo Afsa, ProvJGW, East Lancashire of Old Mancunians’ With Mount Sinai Lodge, No. 3140, presented the DKW Loving Cup to the Lodge. Under the watchful eye of RW Bro David Kenneth Williamson, PAGM (‘DKW’) the Loving Cup circulated around the room. There being six members of Apollo University Lodge, No. 357 present, W Bro Paul Grier, PGPurs, GStwd rose to claim the Cup on behalf of that Lodge and announced that the Lodge would next be meeting on Saturday 2nd June 2018 where the cup was available for claiming by another Scheme Lodge.
The evening concluded at 9.30pm sharp to allow many brethren to get the train back to London or other parts of the country from whence they travelled.