The Brethren of France have spent considerable time over the past 18 months planning, programming, organising and inviting Masonic Researchers from around the globe to come along between the 19th and 22nd of May 2017, to participate in the first International Meeting of Lodges of Research, in a conference entitled ICOM 2017. They have booked a state of the art highly serviced electronic conference centre called The Palais Neptune, located in the centre of Toulon, in the heart of the old city, at the edge of the old seaport of Toulon. The speakers are all being put up in the Grand Hotel du Dauphine located just a short dander from The Palais Neptune.
Wor Bro Louis Trebuchet, representing our hosts – the GLDF, will get things moving on Saturday morning at 9.30AM with an introduction and a short presentation on the layout, aims and structure of events over the next two days. At 11.00AM We then break out into separate groups where Professor Margaret Jacobs, Emeritus Professor Aubrey Newman, Professor Yves Hivert-Messeca, Robert Bashford Irish Lodge of Research and Thierry Zarcone, Director of Research at CNRS present their individual keynote talks and powerpoints on a range of Masonic topics. An independent chairman, usually one of the other speakers, will set the scene for the speaker and his topic, who will then make his presentation. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers before the end of each session.
An equally well known panel of speakers including John Belton from QC Lodge 2076 London, Iain MacIntosh from Grand lodge of Scotland, Andreas Onnerfors from Research Lodge Carl Friedrick Eckleff in Sweden and Professor Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire from l’universite de Sophia Antipolis will be presenting their talks at the afternoon session starting at 14.15PM.
There will be a further series of Presentations on Saturday afternoon at 15.45PM featuring more well known speakers including Oscar Alleyne Grand Lodge of New York, Michael Pelissier President de la commission d’history du SCDF, Adrian MacLiman from the Centro Iberico de Estudios Masonicos Madrid and Alain Bernheim Member D’Honneur du Supreme Conseil de France. Our final two speakers on Saturday will be Colin Heyward past president of the Australian and New Zealand Masonic Research Council and Michael Kearsley, Quatuor Coronati 2076 and Editor of The Square.
The evening will conclude with a formal dinner at 20.00PM, in the presence of Most Wor Bro Philippe Charuel Grand Maitre de la Grande loge de France. At the end of the meal Jean-Noel Jeanneney, Historian, ancient Ministre, ancient President de la Bibliotheque Nationale de France will speak on he responsibilities of historians when presenting their researches to the public at large.
Brethren, it is a great honour, to once again have the opportunity to represent the Grand Lodge of Ireland at these important International Symposia. On this occasion I have been invited to speak on the topic The Irish Origins of The Grand Lodge of the Antients. There is a wealth of material in support of this proposition and I look forward to posting same, as an illustrated article on my return. In the meantime, I will close with the portrait of an unknown Antient Mason, complete with his Royal Arch jewel. There have been a number of suggestions of whom the portrait may represent, but to my mind, although it is a fascinating thought, I regret to say that the jury is still out. Look forward to briefing you on this interesting Masonic Research occasion, and am looking forward to learning much new material, from this select group of Masonic Researchers. One small reservation, at the back of my mind is the knowledge that all the English presentations will be simultaneously translated, as the talk proceeds. I just wonder who will translate from Ulster Scots to English.