A REVIEW OF THE LODGE YEAR 2004 -2005
The first meeting of the lodge's year, in November, is traditionally the Festival of the Four Crowned Masters, when the new Master is installed in the chair of the lodge. On this occasion that honour fell to Bro-' Jacques Litvine. Bro Litvine then delivered his address, on' A French Esoteric Installation of the Worshipful Master in 1774' , in his individual, continental style that duly held the attention of the brethren. Such an unusual and original paper received the close attention that it merited and Bro Litvine was duly applauded.
The paper delivered at the February meeting was by Bro. James Daniel, one of our most distinguished members. His subject, 'Grand Lodges in British Colonies 1850-1900: Imperial consolidators or Commonwealth seedlings ?', fell within the specialist area that he has made his own, and Bro Daniel deftly and systematically demonstrated the weakness of currently received academic opinion that Freemasonry was utilised by government to foster British Imperialism. Inevitably, his paper stimulated comment and was warmly received by the brethren.
In May the lodge received a second paper from Bro A.R. Baker, on this occasion an interpretative biogr~phical study of 'Walter Leslie Wilmshurst: his world of Fallen but Living Stones'. Wilmshurst was, and still is, a controversial figure in the masonic world and Bro Baker set out in full his personal, professional and masonic careers, and gave a careful analysis of the published work that reflects Wilmsh:urst's thought. Bro. Baker further considered the ways in which anti-masons have turned Wilmshurst's ~tings to their own ends. The paper provoked much debate and the brethren showed their appreciation with due acclaim. June brought a change of key with a paper from Bro G.W.S. Davie on the 'Loyal Order of Moose and Freemasonry'. The Loyal Order of Moose is unusual among Friendly Societies in that it is proscribed by the United Grand Lodge of England. After giving a brief introductory sketch of the nature and history of the Order, Bro. Davie considered in great depth the case of two disaffected masons who fought against
the proscription but who were ultimately defeated. With the triumph of Grand Lodge the brethren rested content.
The final meeting of the year, in September, brought a paper from one of our more prolific Past masters, Bro M.L. Brodsky. His paper, 'Freemasonry among Prisoners ofWar 1750-1815', gave us a new perspective on the masonic activities of prisoners of war during the almost unending conflicts between Britain and France at this period. Rather than concentrating on the prison camps, Bro. Brodsky considered the internal and external governance and administration of the masonic lodges, and their complex relationship with the Grand Orient of France. This fascinating paper bought the lodge 's year full circle back to France, which is our Master's adopted home.
Robert A. Gilbert