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.

AGM

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.

Initiate

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.

Foundation Club New Year Quiz 2018

Join the Foundation Club for our first event of the New Year as we celebrate 2018 by challenging our brains, and stimulating our grey matter with our annual Quiz Night. This year we will be in the East of the Province as we visit Croydon and District Masonic Hall.

Our event is open to all! Friends and family, Lodge members, are welcome to join us as we tick into a curry for just £10 per person before we summon up some answers from the recesses of our minds.

To book your place email quiz@foundationclub.org.uk

Foundation Club Tours Freemasons Hall

On Saturday 9 December members of the Foundation Club, their friends and family toured Freemasons Hall as a prelude to the annual Foundation Club Christmas Party.

  • Foundation Club Freemasons Hall Christmas 2017 Party

The Club was given an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the home of English Freemasonry, seeing sites normally out of bounds to both Freemasons and the public alike, as the conclusion of the tercentenary year.

Following the conclusion of the tour, the members and their guests headed across the road to the Freemasons Arms for a three course Christmas meal, served with all the trimmings and festive frivolities.

Once again the Foundation Club’s Christmas party proved to be one of the highlights of the year.

Foundation Club Christmas Party 2017

This is your last chance to book to join the Foundation Club on Saturday 9 December for our famous Christmas Party, an event which will be without fail one of the Masonic social events of the year!

Foundation Club Christmas Party 2017

The day starts at 10.30 am with an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Freemasons Hall, itself an occasion not miss especially in this the Tercentenary Year of Grand Lodge. before we head to The Freemasons Arms for a slap-up Christmas Meal.

This will be a great event exclusively for Foundation Club members and their partners.

During the Tour of Freemasons Hall, you will see the Grand Temple, ceremonial areas, the Library and Museum plus areas normally off limits to the general public.

To book email events@foundationclub.org.uk

Foundation Club Tours the Province

Throughout November, members of the Foundation Club toured the Province visiting centres across the county from Croydon to Farnham and all stops in between!

  • New Members meeting

The New Members Events saw over 60 new members join the Foundation Club, as we were joined by members of the Provincial Executive to explain the Foundation Club’s plans and its key role in the Province’s strategy.

Our thanks go to all those who attended and supported the events, but especially to W. Bro Richard Wileman, W. Bro Trevor Rains, W. Bro Steve Jarvis, W. Bro Bill Caughie, W. Bro Mike Harding, W. Bro Nick Gras and W. Bro. Steve Dingvean.

It was great to see so many of you, and we look forward to seeing you at future events.