Hidden away at 23 Joceyln Street, Dundalk is a fascinating old Masonic Hall, which has been a home to Freemasonry in the town for the last one hundred and twenty eight years. We had a good attendance from the local Lodges at our Lodge of Research meeting and were delighted to welcome Very Wor Bro Gilbert T. Irvine, the Provincial Grand Secretary of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Armagh as our Guest of Honour.
The centrepiece of the day, was the reading of extracts from a comprehensive paper written by the late Wor Bro Larry Conlon FRSAI entitled Eureka Masonic Lodge No 47, Dundalk and its Membership from 1847 – 1974. This fascinating study, will be found amongst the Articles section of this web-site and will repay close study as it clearly sets out the genesis of the Lodge and the individual histories of the many Brethren who were members of the Lodge over its existance. Some of the names are well known from the local aristrocacy and professional classes, and other may well come as a surprise. I must confess that I had not expected to see the name Victor Meldrew amongst the membership registers.
We were particularly pleased to be joined by Wor Bro Charles Winston, a senior Scottish Freemason intimately involved in the current Oral History Project that is underway in Scotland with the full support and encouragement of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. Simply put Charles and his team have been going round a number of our older Brethren and orally recording their stories about life in general and Freemasonry in particular. Each individual interview takes about an hour and a half and is then given a particular index number and catalogue reference, before it is recorded on DVD and stored in the archives of The Museum and Library Committee of THe Grand Lodge of Scotland. Charles enjoyed his day in Dundalk, and a couple of us returned to The Hilton in Templepatrick to learn a little more about the Oral History project, and how it might eventually be rolled out here in Ireland. WE are hoping to get Charles back over on another occasion to tell us more about this initiative and let us see some of the DVD stories recorded to date.
All in All Brethren, we enjoyed a great day’s craic with our Brethren in Dundalk. There was a good turn out on the day, an excellent paper was presented, and we enjoyed the food and fellowship of our hosts in Dundalk.