2019 Annual Foundation Club Poker Tournament

Over 20 players descended on Sutton Masonic Hall on Friday 22 March to battle it out and to be crowned the 2019 Annual Foundation Club Poker Champion. 

Now in its fifth year, the annual poker tournament is one of the Foundation Club’s most enjoyable and best-supported events each year.  As usual, it was a great evening with everyone having a great evening, enjoying great company.

Fifth Annual Poker Tournament

The players were split over three tables before the chip champions from each table came together to face off in the final.

It was a great evening, with many new faces, and plenty of friends and family, masons and non-masons alike, including several who are considering joining Freemasonry. 

At times the tension was gripping, with lots of bluffing and double-bluffing going on as they all tried to hide behind their poker faces. 

Card Sharks

Colin flashes the cash after winning the 2019 Foundation Club Annual Poker Tournament
Colin flashes the cash

As with every tournament, there can only be one winner, and that was Colin from Coulsdon Lodge who won the prize pot of £75 and the end of the night. However, it was a close call with Colin, being pushed right to the end by Danny of Old Sinjin’s Lodge and the Club’s own Chairman Mark Budds finishing third. However, the standout player of the evening was Szymon who was only recently initiated into Crescamus Lodge, and who finished a very credible fourth, playing poker for the very first time. Beginners luck or a card shark in the making?

Masonic Charitable Foundation

The evening managed to raise £200 for the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which provides support to Freemasons, their families and the wider community. You can find out how the MCF supports Surrey by viewing their impact report

Sutton Masonic Hall

Our thanks go to all at Sutton Masonic Hall for their incredible welcome year in year out and whose support ensures that the event goes without a hitch.

Make sure you keep an eye out at foundationclub.org.uk/events for our next Poker night.

Chairman’s Blog – Son Initiates His Father

On Friday 15th March, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a very special Initiation by Castle Lodge at Farnham Masonic Centre.


This was my first meeting in Farnham and also my very first visit to the town. I have to say its a very attractive and interesting place. The Masonic Centre itself is relatively small, having a single temple upstairs and a good size dining room downstairs.  but the building has lots of history with links to the English Civil War, the Castle itself which is just a little further up the hill, falling into Parliamentary hands, and the building the Masonic Centre now occupies, providing lodging to their army.

Castle Lodge

Castle Lodge itself was until quite recently looking at the prospect of closing. But thanks to the efforts of all the members things are now on the up. So much so, they regularly are having to get dispensations to hold for extra meetings. Such is the waiting list of new members waiting to be initiated.

This was the second Initiation this year for Castle Lodge. I had to pleasure of the company of two of the Lodge’s most recent initiates and a new Fellowcraft. I also had the pleasure of meeting a recently initiated member who was visiting from Godalming.

However, the reason for my visit was for a very special and unusual occurance. A son initiating his father! At the begining of the ceremony, The Senior Warden took to chair from the WM  in order to perform the obligation It was great also to see so many new and young masons in the lodge. The future looks bright or (Light Blue) for this Lodge.

I look forward to visiting this centre again and the Foundation club supporting local events at this centre. 

A big thank you to W. Bro. Rob Smith for the invitation and opportunity experience this special occasion, and once again congratulations to W. Bro. John and his father Ben.

Foundation Club Member Hunts Down Family History

Before he was initiated, Foundation Club member Richard Mead had expressed an interest in Freemasonry to his Grandfather, who told him that his Father had been a Mason, but he didn’t know where or how to get in contact with anyone from the Lodge.

Sadly, Richard’s Grandfather passed away in late 2018 but on clearing out his loft, he found a little leather case containing some very familiar looking regalia. Carefully moving his apron out of the way, he found his Great-Grandfather’s Grand Lodge Certificate As instructed he had kept it safe and not in public view. The Certificate detailed that he had been Initiated into Adur Lodge No. 2187, under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex. A few phone calls later, and Richard had managed to contact the current Secretary of the Lodge. Richard then put together a plan and arranged for several members of the Club, and also members of his Lodge, Beddington, to visit the Adur Lodge for their Installation meeting.

Adur Lodge

Adur Lodge was founded in January 1887, and initially met at the Assembly Rooms in Henfield. In 1909 it was decided to move to Brighton, to be more convenient for its members. Meetings were then usually held at the Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, until 1928, after which they again moved to the Sussex Masonic Temple, Queens Road, Brighton, where they still meet today.


On the 27 March, the contingent from Surrey went to Brighton to visit the recently refurbished Masonic Centre to visit is Great-Grandfather’s lodge. All of the party from Surrey were all in awe from the moment they walked in the temple.

Just after opening the Lodge in the First Degree, the Worshipful Master welcomed the visitors then, pausing for a second said: “I’d also like to extend a very special welcome to Brother Richard Mead, whose Great-Grandfather was a member of this Lodge and sadly passed away in 1954.” He then wished Richard a good meeting and hoped that he would aIso enjoy the Festive Board. Adur Lodge practice Taylor’s ritual, always squaring the Lodge, paying particular attention to their floorwork.  

There was then a report at the door, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Sussex was in the anteroom and demanded admission to the meeting. As his Escorting Officer reported to the Worshipful Master, it turned out that his own Grandfather was also a member of Adur Lodge! Truly, it felt like a very special meeting. Unfortunately, Richard had to leave for the Inner Workings to be conducted – but the Surrey Brethren from the Foundation Club who remained said it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen before.

Festive Board

Following the meeting they enjoyed a fabulous Festive Board, where the Worshipful Master took wine with Brethren who had Ancestor’s in Adur Lodge, which Richard found really touching.

Richard truly enjoyed his visit to Adur Lodge, finding it fascinating to see the different ways Lodges operate and was not exaggerating when he said he felt that he was treated like royalty. The visit completely summed up what Freemasonry is about, it’s a family and even though he’d never met any of the members of the Lodge before, he was welcomed and treated like one of their own. Their Secretary is now planning to come and Richard’s Lodge in the near future and no doubt Richard will certainly be organising another trip to Brighton, where any member of the Foundation Club would be more than welcome to join him.

Chairman’s Blog – Foundation Club Member Proclaimed Worshipful Master

In April 2018, Crescamus Lodge kindly hosted a demonstration of Bristol Workings for the Foundation Club. With their Worshipful Master, W, Bro. Chris a member of the Foundation about to be Proclaimed as Master for a Second year, I thought it was time to make a return visit and to thank the Brethren of Crescamus Lodge for their hard work in supporting the club.

Foundation Club Chairman wih Crescamus Lodge's Worshipful Master

W. Bro. Chris was first Installed as Master of Crescamus Lodge in February 2018, and faced a very challenging year; no more so than his very first meeting in the Chair, when nearly 200 Brethren packed Croydon’s Wheeler Temple. Also present that day was R. W. Bro. Ian Chandler Provincial Grand Master.

Returning to Crescamus Lodge, I could see just how Chris had grown into the Chair. After the short Proclamation Ceremony, Chris Installed his Officers in a superb manner, including four other Foundation Club members. The meeting was very moving, as Chris had been Installed last year, by his Father-in-Law who very sadly passed away towards the end of 2018.

Taylor’s Ritual

Crescamus Lodge is a small, but super-friendly Lodge who use Taylor’s ritual, but have their own unique take on it, including some very special floor work. Their perambulations around the Lodge are a must-see for any Brother in Surrey. Most importantly, and obvious for all to see is just how much fun the Brethren of the Lodge have. It was a delight to see just how much enjoyment the members have in their Freemasonry.

Visting Light Blues

It was great to be part of a number of visiting Brethren, including members of the Connaught Club, Metrpolitan Grand Lodge’s Club for Light Blue Freemasons, who had come to support W. Bro. Chris.

Following the meeting, we retired to the bar for a quick libation, before enjoying a splendid Festive Board. Throughout the meal, however, my mind turned to other things, as I had been invited to give the response to the Toast to the Visitors. On such an auspicious occasion, I was cautious to ensure that I struck the right balance, paying tribute to the Lodge as a whole, but also congratulating W. Bro. Chris, and thanking the Lodge’s Secretary W. Bro. Sam for all his efforts in establishing the Foundation Club.

I will be sure to visit Crescamus Lodge again, and look forward to their next meeting, where they will be Passing a member of the Foundation Club, which again will no doubt be a very special occasion.

Chairman’s Blog – Visit to Worcester Park Chapter

In the first of a new regular series, Bro. Mark Budds gives us an insight as to what he has been up to in his new Chairman’s Blog.

Whilst recently visiting Rosehill Park Lodge, I was invited by W. Bro. Ray Turner, their Immediate Past Master to witness his exaltation into the Holy Royal Arch.

Chairman's Blog

Holy Royal Arch

The Holy Royal Arch is the completion of every Mason’s journey in pure and antient Freemasonry. It is also a requirement for joining many of the subsequent orders open to you in your Masonic career. To become a member of the Holy Royal Arch, you will need to be a Master Mason for one month or longer. The ceremony of entry is called exaltation and is a truly beautiful and colourful ceremony, unlike any other you would have been through in Masonry.

To become a member of the Holy Royal Arch, you will need to be a Master Mason for one month or longer. Members of the Holy Royal Arch are called Companions and meet in Chapters. The meetings themselves are called Convocations. These Chapters meet less frequently than Lodges, usually three times a year, and the Annual fees are considerably less. In recent years the ritual has been modernised, and the ritual is now often shared between three or four companions, to make it easier to learn.

Worcester Park Chapter

W. Bro Ray’s exaltation into Worcester Park Chapter, was set for 14th February. I was of course more than happy to attend Ray’s special day… my wife was not quite as happy given the date, but it all turned out fine in the end, especially as I was treating her to a night out the following evening at the Foundation Club’s Annual Quiz Night

The night was extra special for Ray, as he was the third generation of his family to be exalted into Worcester Park Chapter. The members put on an excellent ceremony for him, with excellent renditions of the Historical and Mystical lectures.

Foundation Club

W. Bro, now Companion Ray, had previously spurned my repeated invites to join the Foundation Club, but at the Festive Board following the convocation, Ray expressed an interest to join us. I am sure Ray will make a great addition to the Club. We, of course, welcome new members no matter how far they are down their light blue Masonic journey.

Foundation Quiz Night 2019

On Friday 15 February, the Foundation Club held its third annual Quiz Night at Croydon and District Masonic Halls.

Brain Food

Unfortunately, our regular Quizmaster was unable to make the evening, so Mark Budds, The Foundation Club Chairman, took the reigns and became Surrey’s very own Jeremy Paxman.

Before the quiz started, the participants were treated to some Brain Food in the form of another one of Croydon’s amazing curries which was enjoyed by all.

Champions 2019

With 35 members and their guest’s taking part, there were five teams battling it out to be the Foundation Club Quiz Champions of 2019. 

After seven hard-fought rounds (Including a picture round) we had a winning team, Titanic Swim Team who enjoyed winning and the added bonus of Red roses as a nod to St Valentine’s Day the previous day.

Wooden Spoon

The “winners” of the wooden spoons were Sat Nag who were equally pleased, and in fairness, they were the smallest team on the night, so should be congratulated for their efforts

Our raffle, with prizes donated by the members, raised an impressive £140. All in all, a great deal of fun was had by all.

A big thank you to all those involved in the night and all those who turned up to support us.

We look forward to repeating this again next year and at our next social event, the Foundation Club’s Annual Poker night on 22nd March at Sutton and District Masonic Hall. 

The Foundation Club

The Foundation Club was founded to give new and young Freemasons in the Province of Surrey a means to meet and socialise with like-minded people; of similar experience, whilst bridging the large geographic area and diversity of Surrey’s many Lodges.

Light Blues

The Foundation Club is unique among Light Blue clubs across the country. It is run by the members for the members. As a new or young mason, the Club is an excellent way to increase your knowledge of the Freemasonry. Many visits to Lodges are arranged so you can experience other Lodge’s work. It also allows you to get involved in activities and events beyond your own Lodge. The Foundation Club’s aim is to organise events to give you an opportunity to extend your Masonic knowledge. You will see from the list of activities below we try to offer a good variety of events; but please do let us know the kind of events you would like us to organise for you. 

Recent Events

We kicked off proceedings this season by holding a Summer Disco boat trip on the Thames, starting at Kingston. This was great success with over 40 members and their partners attending. It allowed everyone to get re-acquainted after the summer break and let their hair down (those that still have it, anyway!). By popular demand we will be repeating the event in 2019, but a little earlier in the year.


In October we held our AGM at Surbiton. Sadly this saw our long-standing Chairman, W. Bro. Nick Tamila, stand down, having received Provincial Honours. We thank him for his outstanding contribution to the Club; being a founder member in 2014, and we wish him well on his Masonic journey. Nick has been succeeded as Chairman by Bro. Mark Budds. After our meeting we dined and the evening ended with a fascinating presentation by W. Bro. Peter Cartwright on “Freemasonry and the British Empire”.

At the AGM we voted on how to distribute our charitable funds raised this year. As we enter the final year of the 2019 Festival there was a unanimous decision to make this our focus of the year, and to that end we donated £780 to the Festival.

Foundation Club 2019 Festival
Bro. Mark Budds (Chair) and W. Bro. Richard Bates (Treasurer) presenting W. Bro. Robbie Dobbie AsstProvGM a cheque for the Surrey 2019 Festival

For those who were unable to join us at the AGM, we held a New Members’ meeting at Godalming Masonic Centre on 27th November. This was a chance for “Light Blue” Masons to come and find out more about the Club.

Seasonal Cheer

At Christmas, we organised a visit to Harmony & Progress Lodge where one of our members was recently Installed as Worshipful Master. A fabulous night ensued as W. Bro. Iain initiated out newest member.

Looking Ahead

A quiz night, a charity poker evening, and a visit to the very special Pilgrim Lodge are all in the pipeline along with much, much more either planned or being planned.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events soon!

Foundation Club Celebrates Christmas

On Friday 14 December 2018, members of the Foundation Club from across Surrey descended on Surbiton Masonic Hall to celebrate Christmas with the Brethren of Harmony and Progress Lodge.

The visiting members were treated to a magnificent display of ritual from fellow Foundation Club member, W. Bro. Iain, who had only recently been installed as Master of the Lodge.


The meeting saw the Lodge Initiate their latest member who on completion of the meeting joined the Foundation Club immediately, and was presented with his Club pin by the Club’s Chairman, Bro. Mark Budds.

A Very Festive, Festive Board

At the conclusion of the meeting, all the Brethren present sat down to dine at a very festive, Festive Board, enjoying the delights of a Surbiton’s Christmas Fayre. But before the going to dine all the Brethren swapped their ties for Christmas themed ties, to support Christmas Jumper Day and raise much-needed money for Save the Children.

It was fantastic to see so many members of the Foundation Club present, and many thanks need to go to the Brethren of Harmony and Progress Lodge for their welcome and support.

Foundation Club AGM 2018

On 18 October, the Foundation Club held its Annual General Meeting at Surbiton Masonic Hall, where our long-standing and very successful Chairman, Nick Tamila, retired after having received Provincial Honours.

Nick Tamila Chairman Foundation Club

We thank him for his outstanding contribution to the Club, being a founder member in 2014, and we wish him well on his Masonic journey.

The members present voted Bro. Mark Budds to be his succesor.

After our meeting, all those present dined and the evening ended with a fascinating presentation by W. Bro. Peter Cartwright entitled, “Freemasonry and the British Empire”. 

At the AGM, the members also voted on how to distribute the charitable funds raised over the last year. As we enter the final year of the 2019 Festival there was a unanimous decision to make this our focus of the year, and to that end we donated £780 to the Festival.

Bristol Workings – What a Day!

On Saturday 28 April, the Foundation Club held its long-awaited Bristol Workings event as St Augustine’s Lodge No. 3108 travelled from Bristol to demonstrate their unique and dramatic ceremony to the gathered Brethren in Croydon.

Bristol Workings

Country-wide Appeal

Crescamus Lodge 7776, whose Master W. Bro. Chris Norman is a member of the Foundation Club, hosted the meeting on behalf of the Club and  152 Brethren attended the meeting, including the R.W. Provincial Grand Master Ian Chandler.

The meeting was certainly the buzz of not just the Province of Surrey, but of Light Blues Clubs far and beyond. Other than the delegation from Bristol, visitors came from, Berkshire, Essex, Hampshire & IOW, West Kent, Metropolitan, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire and Somerset.

Tom, a member of the Club, even had the distinct pleasure of being the candidate for the ceremony and therefore holds the honour of now having been raised ship-shape and Bristol Fashioned!

Bristol Workings

The Bristol Craft ceremonies are believed to date from a period long before the Union of 1813 – one authority has suggested from about 1724. They are considerably different from those worked in the rest of the English Constitution – more elaborate and dramatic. They have affinities in many respects with Irish and American workings. These differences are what draw so many visitors from all parts of the country, and abroad, to witness their workings. They are also the reason Bristol Lodges are so often asked to perform demonstrations in other Provinces. Bristol Workings are unique. Although the Masonic ceremonies across the United Grand Lodge of England have the same meaning; Bristol Workings

Festive Board


Following the meeting, the Brethren dined in fine style, enjoying a superb three-course meal. This was followed by toasts to those who had partaken in the afternoon’s events, with special attention paid to our visitors from Bristol. A raffle was held during the course of the meal which raised over £500, the proceeds of which will be donated to charity.