Tuesday 21st August was, by any standards, a special night in my life when I celebrated fifty years in the Old Brightonian Lodge. At the Installation Meeting in the Great Hall for our new Masonic year, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V.W. Bro. Grahame Carr (A. 1953-56), presented me with a framed certificate from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex to mark the occasion, while at the dinner afterwards a large framed copy of an original painting of the College entrance by former headmaster W.Bro. Bill Blackshaw (Brighton College Headmaster 1971-87), who was present, was presented by our new Worshipful Master , W.Bro. Adrian Latham on behalf of the Old Brightonian Lodge and Brighton College.
The Lodge met in the Horden Room on March 20th when they were both informed and entertained by a short talk given by one of our Honorary members W.Bro Chris Apps (H, A. 1942-46) entitled “Brighton College at war 1940-1945”. This talk gave a fascinating insight into college life during the war, combined with some personal memories of the time. The talk was well received by all who were present, and some might have liked to have heard more. After the meeting the members met for pre-dinner drinks in the recently opened Simon Smith building, located in the Woolton Quad and a superb five course dinner served with wines and port, which was rounded off with the usual toasts and speeches that the occasion required.
Large numbers attended the Installation banquet last August and we were delighted to receive the Provincial Grand Master for Sussex at our meeting, a rare honour. We were most grateful to the catering staff at the College, under the direction of Ben Cable, who turned round the Great Hall from our meeting place to a dining room in a 30 minute transformation without fuss.
The past year has been a difficult time as our meeting places have been of necessity changed several times. For many years the Lodge has enjoyed the hospitality of the College for which we are extremely grateful. However, recently the College has been unable to help due, we suspect, to the huge success of the school and the enlargement of its boarding numbers.
The Lodge enjoyed an excellent Ladies’ evening at the College on Friday 28th March. 73 members and their guests, more than in recent years, sat down to a very good meal excellently served by the College caterers who had really worked hard to make it a special evening for us. The Lodge was particularly pleased to have Mary Rumney as a guest.
W.Bro. Christopher Apps gave an interesting paper entitled “In the beginning...” which traced the history of operative masonry from the 13th century with its lodges until the formation of the present speculative lodges in the 17th century with its culmination in 1717 with the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England which is now a world wide organisation.