In my case, one of the highlights of the year was the visit to Belleek pottery to collect the magnificent Lodge of Research Centenary plates, based on the original 1871 Armstrong designed Masonic pattern plates. In 2012, I had found a copy of Armstrong’s original poster giving the background to his design and the relevance of the various Masonic symbols used in the first three Craft Degrees of Irish Masonry. I got a copy of this document, and after resetting the typeface, I got it reprinted and included one copy in the box of each plate produced. In this way, each Brother who purchases a plate, will have his own permanent record of the history of the plate and how the design was initially arrived at.
Our First major event of the year was our Installation meeting in Molesworth Street on Saturday the 8th February 2014. We had representatives from research Lodges in England, Scotland, Spain, Greece and Germany. Our Guest of Honour was RT Wor Bro Douglas Gray Deputy Grand Master of Ireland and he was accompanied by Rt Wor Bro Rodney McCorley, the Rt Wor Assistant Grand Master of Ireland. We had an excellent turn out of Brethren from Lodges across Ireland and enjoyed the company of each and everyone present on the day. In the evening, at the Banquet, we made a special presentation to Ms Rebecca Hayes, our Grand Lodge Archivist, for all her hard work in assisting all of the researchers present there, on the day.
In April, we were off to Magherally, a small townland on the outskirts of Banbridge, where we joined with the Brethren of Lodge 203, Magherally as they
hosted our visit as an important part of their Bi-Centenary celebrations this year. I had the great priviledge of preparing an illustrated paper for this meeting, which covered the pertient parts of their history, and was well received by all present.
And now, we all prepare for the long journey from the North East to the South West, to enjoy the friendship and fellowship of our Brethren in Cork, Limerick and surrounding territory. Tuckey Street in Cork is home to one of our most historic halls, with strong links to the Lady Elizabeth Aldworth, Ireland’s only Lady Freemason. Just down the road is St Finn Barres Cathedral, where you will find an engraved brass memorial plate set in the floor to the memory of the Lady Elizabeth and beside the magnificent Bishops Throne, which was gifted to the Cathedral in her memory.
We have a number of eminent Masonic researchers joining us from England and Scotland and have a full day of presentations organised on Saturday the 27th September, which will start at 10.00AM after morning coffee. Amongst our speakers will be Wor Bro John Acaster, the current WM of Quatuor Coronati, Wor Bro John Belton from the Manchester Association of Masonic Research and Very Wor Bro Bill Howie, the senior Past Master of Lodge Hope of Kurrachi,one of the leading Research Lodges in the Scottish Constitution. After a buffet luncheon in the Hall, which will give us all an opportunity to inspect the many Masonic artifacts and memorabilia on display, we will then proceed to open The Irish Lodge of Research at 2.00pm, when Dr David Butler, the current archivist of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Munster, will address us all on aspects of the Masonic History of Freemasonry in the Province of Munster. If you would like to learn how to join with us for the morning presentations, the buffet lunch, the afternoon meeting or the Banquet at night, then please do not hesitate to contact Wor Bro Joe McIlveen, our Assistant Secretary North, at his e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org Brethren, we would be delighted to see you come along and join with us on this special occasion, in this very especial year in the history of The Irish Lodge of Research, and we look forward to seeing a goodly number of old friends present, from around the Constitution.