Sir Robert Moray Lodge No 1641
In June 2010, I had the great pleasure in attending the Stated Communication of The Grand Lodge of Scotland immediately followed by the Installation of Wor Bro Trevor Stewart as Master of the Sir Robert Moray Lodge No 1641 S.C. The Installation took place in one of the oldest Lodge rooms in Scotland, being those of St Mary’s Chapel ( No 1 ) Edinburgh.
Wor Bro Trevor Stewart – Right Wor Master
The first thing to catch my eye was the symbolic diagram, in stone located over the Main Entrance. This is based on a design prepared in October 1893 by the then R.W.M. Bro Dr Dickson, and contains in cipher the names of the Lodge Officers and a number of Grand Lodge officers for the year 1893.The minute books for St Mary’s Chapel date from the year 1599 and contain a set of the Schaw Statutes in the hand of their author.
Mounted on the stairwall is a painting of the old Mercat Cross outside St Giles cathedral. The painting is of a proclamation being read from the steps of the cross.
Mercat Cross – previously hung in Grand Lodge
The installation of Bro Trevor Stewart was carried out, in part by Wor Bro Bob Cooper, outgoing Master of the Lodge and Grand Lodge Archivist of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. Then once Trevor had efficiently installed his officers, we all retired to the New Club in Princes Street for an excellent Installation dinner. Don’t let the name fool you, as this club has been in existence since 1787, and is a popular venue for Masonic installations.
Bob Cooper Chris McClintock & John Wade
Chris McClintock & Sir Archibald Orr Ewing
Wor Bro Trevor Stewart arrived at Belfast International Airport at 8.00am on Friday the 11th February 2011. We collected him at the airport and then set off up towards Belfast and ended up in the Titanic Quarter for a leisurely stroll around the docks. We were able to get a look at the two famous old Krupp cranes “Sampson and Goliath”, glistening in their yellow hammerite colour finish.
Next stop was the HMS Caroline, the only surviving C-Class English light cruiser, surviving from The Battle of Jutland. This ship is the second oldest surviving ship in the British Navy after HMS Victory ( Built in 1765 and Nelson’s flag-ship at Trafalgar ). HMS Caroline was for many years the training base for the Royal Navel Reserve and was finally decommissioned a couple of years ago in 2009.
Finally we arrived at the Thompson Graving Dock, where the Titanic was laid out and built,and behind it is the associated pump-house, which has now been converted into a fully equipped visitor’s centre complete with AV displays, some excellent static boards and an excellentcafe/restaurant where we had a belated breakfast. On the gable end of the Pump House, is a very faded memorial to Rt Ex Comp Redfern Kelly, 1st Grand Principal of The District Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Antrim, which was formed in 1911. Rt Ex Comp Kelly was the supervising engineer responsible for building the Thompson Graving Dock and associated Pump House.
After breakfast, we returned to the car, and made our way to the Rosemary Street Masonic Hall, headquarters of The Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim, and home to the Antrim Library and Museum. As this was Bro Trevor’s first visit, we took him firstly to The Provincial Grand Lodge-Room, where he has an opportunity to inspect the spectacular mural, painted for the room by the famous Ulster artist John Luke, who died in1975. This is a work, whose subject matter is well suited to its location at the front of the Provincial Grand Lodge –Room in Belfast.
After a brief walk around the rest of the rooms, we ended up in The Provincial Grand Lodge Museum and Library where we were joined by Rt Wor Bro John Dickson PGM and Rt Wor Bro Dennis Millen DPGM. After a formal welcome from Rt Wor Bro John Dickson, Wor Bro Trevor had an opportunity to inspect the collections and ask questions of the Provincial Grand Lodge Curator and Archivist.
Of particular interest to Trevor was our set of three old original ruler’s crowns that were associated with early Royal Arch Masonry in Ireland. We were able to show Trevor examples of old oilcloth floor-cloths with the three crown symbolism and then the actual crowns, a part of our collection. We spent considerable time in the museum looking at the many different artefact’s in the collection and discussing the meaning and use of some of these items.
After a relaxing lunch in “The Northern Whig”, we then went to visit, St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, where Bro Trevor had an opportunity to inspect the Masonic Pillar, where each face has the emblems of one of our Masonic Orders – Craft, Royal Arch, High Knight Templar and Ancient & Accepted. The example shown is of the Craft face.
On Friday evening we took Bro Trevor down to the old Lodge-rooms in Coleraine and joined with the Brethren of Royal Blue Lodge No 754 as they gave one of their members a Fellowcraft Degree. After a convivial evening, we retired in readiness for an early start to Dublin on Saturday morning.
The meeting in Dublin was well attended, in the presence of the Rt Wor Bro Douglas Grey Rt Wor Deputy Grand Master. We received short presentations from our new WM Wor Bro Maurice McMorran, Wor Bro John Wade and of course Rt Wor Master of the Sir Robert Moray Lodge No 1641 – Wor Bro Trevor Stewart.
After our CC meeting came to an end, and the Belfast bus had departed, a few of us retired to Buswell’s for a light bite and some refreshment. Wor Bro John Wade was staying with Wor Bro Terence Read, Secretary of Emerald Isle No 19 I.C. so we all enjoyed a bit of craic, before departing. Before we left, Bro John Wade kindly gave us the opportunity to see his Powerpoint that he had been unable to use in the Lodge Room earlier in the day, due to software problems reading to our digital projector. (I am pleased to be able to host this presentation in full here).
Next morning, we had a late breakfast and then got Trevor packed and loaded into the Diablo. Then it was off to The Giants Causeway for lunch, followed by a brisk walk to the Causeway and back. It was Trevor’s first visit, and you can see from the photos, just how much he enjoyed his visit. We eventually got him back to the airport by 5.00PM, in time for his return flight home.
Ministry of Silly Walks
Brethren, we in Ireland are very grateful to Brethren like Wor Bro Trevor Stewart and Wor Bro John Wade who cross the pond from GB to share their travels, knowledge and experiences with us over here in The Emerald Isle. We are very grateful for the opportunity to see Freemasonry, ever so briefly through their eyes, and I think that we all came away the richer from having had the opportunity to look at Freemasonry on the worldwide stage.