Travelling gavel goes to Farington

At the October meeting of Farington Lodge No 7277 a delegation from White Hills Lodge No 5209 were in attendance to support their Secretary Paul Boardman. He was to give a presentation which turned out to be a most interesting and enlightening talk about the Masonic Million Medal.

The Masonic Million Medal: Paul explained each of the different medals, the competition to design the fund and the huge total raised. Here is an excerpt from a handout from the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London.

“In 1919, after the First World War, Grand Lodge decided in response to a suggestion from the M.W. The Grand Master, H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, to embark on the building of a new headquarters for the English Craft as a memorial to the many brethren who had given their lives during the War. For this purpose a special committee was set up in 1920 and an appeal made to every member of the Constitution for contributions to the fund which, from the target set, came to be known as the Masonic Million Memorial Fund. Contributions to this Fund were to be entirely voluntary and were to be recognised by special commemorative jewels. These were of three types for the three categories of subscribers, of the same basic design but of different sizes and precious metals:

  1. A medal called the Masonic Million Memorial Fund Commemorative Jewel on a dark blue ribbon, to be worn as a personal breast jewel by any member of a lodge under the English Constitution subscribing to the Fund: ten guineas or more, a silver medal; one hundred guineas or more, a gold medal. There were some 53,224 individual jewels issued.
  2. A medal in gold on a light blue collarette to be worn by successive Masters of lodges contributing an average of ten guineas per member, such lodges to be known as Hall Stone Lodges (thus giving the jewel its name). 1,321 lodges at home and abroad qualified as Hall Stone Lodges; their names and numbers are inscribed on commemorative marble panels in the main ceremonial entrance vestibule of Freemasons’ Hall.
  3. A medal in gold and coloured enamels, on a dark blue Collarette, to be worn by successive Provincial and District Grand Masters of Provinces or Districts contributing an average of five hundred guineas per lodge. Two Districts, Japan (now defunct) and Burma, and one Province, Buckinghamshire, qualified as Hall Stone Districts/Province. Certain lodge rooms in Freemasons’ Hall were therefore named after them in recognition of their achievement, this being commemorated on a bronze plaque therein. Lodges Rooms 11, 12 and 17 were thus named respectively the Japan, the Burma and the Buckinghamshire Rooms. They are the only lodge rooms in Freemasons’ Hall distinguished in this way by a name, although only the Buckinghamshire Room is still so called.

Pictured from left to right, are: John Sidgreaves, Danny Dewhurst, David Swift, Terry Fowler, Mark Humphries, Chris Wilson and Paul Boardman

Just prior to the closing of the meeting, Terry received the delegation led by the David Swift. Here they formed up in front of the Worshipful Masters pedestal and presented the Travelling Gavel to Farington Lodge. Terry thanked White Hills lodge for bringing the gavel to Farington lodge and exclaimed that it was nice to see so many visitors. He also thanked Paul Boardman for presenting a very factual talk for the evening’s ‘entertainment’.

Everyone having had a wonderful evening, retired to the dining room for a festive board. They continued their high spirits building new friendships and with great camaraderie.

The delegation from White Hills lodge comprised: WBro David Swift, WBro Paul Boardman, WBro John Sidgreaves and his recently initiated grandson, Bro Danny Dewhurst, Bro Mark Humphreys and Bro Chris Wilson.