Visit by the AGM
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Surprise Visit by the Assistant Grand Master

On Friday 16th April 2010, the Province of Northumberland had a surprise visit from a very distinguished brother from United Grand Lodge of England. He was the Assistant Grand Master, R W Bro. David Kenneth Williamson. R W Bro. David is also the President and Founder of the Universities Scheme. His visit was supported by the Universities Scheme Chairman, W Bro. Edward Lord and our Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro. Peter Magnay DL was also in attendance.

For many years two Lodges have been successfully recruiting students and staff from the two world renowned Universities in England namely Apollo University Lodge No. 357 in Oxford and Isaac Newton Lodge No. 859 in Cambridge.

As the President of the Universities’ Scheme, R W Bro. Williamson formally started the Universities Scheme in 2005. The aim of which is to invite those who are studying at or working in Universities throughout England and Wales to join Masonry whether they are undergraduates, postgraduates or staff. Since the Scheme began, it has been tremendously successful. In 2007 there were 9 participating Lodges and by the end of 2009 this had grown to 29 with one more Lodge joining very soon.

There are two Scheme Lodges in the Province of Northumberland: Hotspur Lodge No. 1626 is receiving candidates from Newcastle University and Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 3892 from Northumbria University. Having joined the Scheme in May 2009, each Lodge has three students going through with more candidates in the pipeline. Interestingly nearly all enquiries and recruitments were made via the Provincial and Lodge websites.

The Assistant Grand Master has been very impressed and delighted with reports of our progress and so he arranged a short trip to Northumberland to visit Hotspur Lodge on 16th April to witness one of their University candidates going through his 3rd degree. He quoted afterwards, ‘The meeting itself was first class and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect; an excellent candidate, a superb and very interesting ceremony and a most enjoyable dinner’.

Of course, the phrase ‘very interesting ceremony’ refers to our Northumbrian working! Since his visit to Hotspur Lodge, R W Bro. Williamson has been presented with a copy of the Northumbrian Past Masters ritual which he later said that he would have great pleasure in browsing. He also commented that he must be careful not to remember too much or he might be tempted to introduce 'innovation' into Emulation!


United Grand Lodge of England