Presentation of the Portrait of Waller Rodwell Wright
Provincial Grand Master of Malta, Gozo and the Mediterranean 1815 to 1826
By W Bro John Perry PPJGD 6th April 2019
Brethren, on the 3rd December last year, some of us were privileged to attend the Installation meeting of St John and St Paul Lodge No 349 in Malta. It was a rather unique meeting in that W Bro Justin Tonna the WM (first time) installed Bro Norman Tonna (his father) into the Chair of King Solomon – a very rare occurrence, I believe.
It was a great evening and we were made most welcome, and by the number of young masons in the Lodge; Freemasonry is thriving in Malta.
On the Saturday preceding this meeting, W Bro Nigel and I, accompanied by our wives, Jennifer and Penny, were given a guided tour of the English Masonic Hall by the VW Bro Dr Lawrence (Larry) Porter, Grand Inspector, which was a fascinating insight into Freemasonry in Malta. During this visit we were shown the life size portrait of Waller Rodwell Wright, which sits in the lodge dining room and also a smaller copy newly commissioned which is situated in the smaller 2nd Lodge room.
WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT, was an important Masonic personality who was the Provincial Grand Master of Malta, Gozo and the Mediterranean from 1815 until his death in 1826. Born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk in 1775, he was educated at Cambridge where he read civil law. He subsequently entered Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the Bar in 1800. In 1804 WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT took a constructive interest in the reorganising of the degree of the Red Cross of Constantine, following on from the earlier work started by Charles Shirreff in around 1780. He was the 4th Grand Master of the Order from 1807 to 1812 and followed HRH Prince Edward (later the Duke of Kent) and was succeeded by HRH the Duke of Sussex
WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT also played an important part in the greatest Masonic transaction of all time, for his name appears as one of the five signatories (immediately following that of the Duke of Sussex) in the Articles of the Union of the two Grand Lodges – the Moderns and the Antients, to form the United Grand Lodge of England, the signing taking place at Kensington Palace on the 1st December 1813.
In 1814 he was appointed President of HM Court of Appeal and a Senior Member of the Supreme Council of Jurisdiction in Malta.****
**** Reference: englishfreemasonryonmalta.org
The painting, (attributed to Allingham) was commissioned to mark the foundation of the Lodge of St. John and St. Paul in 1818, and WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT is seen wearing the collar of the Provincial Grand Master and the distinctive jewel of the Prince of Wales Lodge. He is depicted holding a folio copy of the Book of Constitutions.
On seeing the copy of the painting, Penny and I wondered if it would be possible to get a copy produced for our Lodge, so that the “Great Man” could watch over us and with the help of the Grand Inspector, VW Bro Dr Lawrence (Larry) Porter this has been possible.
W Bro Nigel, it is with great pleasure that Penny and I present this copy of the portrait of WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT, in memory of my late father W Bro Arthur Perry, (a former Master of this Lodge) to the Lodge and hope you will accept it for future generations of Masons to see.
On Saturday 9th March 2019 the Farnborough Masonic Centre hosted an evening of musical entertainment for the Farnborough Concert band of the Royal British Legion. The concert was a roaring success and was attended by 90 guests, including the Mayor of Rushmoor Cllr. Steve Masterton, and the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the North East Area, Peter G. Vosser.
The 26-strong band included some well-known compositions, including The Dambusters, Shepherds Song and Jerusalem and much of this was a rehearsal for an event which is shortly to be held in Belgium. On 24th May 2019 the concert band has been selected to represent the Royal British Legion to play at the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. A wreath will be laid following the sounding of the Last Post and the band will then play for the large crowds that gather to remember the fallen of World War 1.
The free concert at the Farnborough Masonic Centre was a celebration for the support already received from Freemasons in North East Hampshire towards the bands travelling costs to the Menin Gate. Masonic Lodges across the area, including Farnborough, Aldershot, Bordon, Alton and Petersfield were encouraged to support the Concert Band and cheques to the value of £1,550 were presented on Saturday evening. The concert raised a further £350 in additional donations.
The event demonstrated that Freemasons care about the community we meet in and there was a unanimous request from all participants for the band to return to the Masonic Centre for another concert in December this year.
About the Concert Band
The Farnborough Concert Band of the Royal British Legion was formed in 1987 and consists of over 40 enthusiastic musicians who enjoying performing and entertaining.
It has performed at many prestigious venues, including the Brit awards in 2011 and 2012 where they performed for the pre-awards event. In 2011 they played for the opening of Brighton football club performing in front of a crowd of 17,000 football fans. Each year the band play at Field Day in Hackney entertaining the vast crowds playing more modern music from well-known stars like Adele, Britney Spears and Olly Murs. The band also supports local remembrance events.
The band’s main charity performance is the annual proms style concert held in Aldershot in October with funds donated to charities including Parkinson’s UK, the Army Benevolent Fund, the Royal British Legion and other local charities.
On 24th May 2019 the band has been selected to represent the Royal British Legion and play at the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. A wreath will be laid following the sounding of the Last Post and the band will then play for the large crowds that gather to remember the fallen of World War 1.
For more information on the Farnborough Concert Band: www.farnboroughconcertband.org
Brethren including Light Blues are invited to attend the Mid-Wessex Lodge of Installation Masters next meeting. There will be an Official Visit by W.Bro. Darren Lawrence Provincial Grand Senior Warden.
W.Bro. Ian Thornton-Bryar will present “The Lancashire Witches Walk”, an interesting and historical journey on how it changed English Law.
The Petersfield Masonic Centre was dedicated 40 years ago today and this was celebrated last night by Lodge of Friendship 928.
Our masonic history explains that the Lodge of Friendship had met in an upper room in the Hall behind the Red Lion Hotel in College Street prior to 1965, and as the Lodge expanded this building became less attractive. The semi-derelict, Primitive Methodist Chapel and Wartime School in Windsor Road first became available in 1958, but it was not considered suitable to house a Lodge and the owners rented it to the Red Cross for a number of years until it eventually became available to purchase.
A feasibility study was carried out and it was decided to purchase the Chapel for the sum of £6,000. The lease at the Red Lion was surrendered in June 1966 and the first Lodge Meeting at the new premises took place on 4th October 1966. The Dedication of the Masonic Hall in Windsor Road took place on Tuesday, 3rd October 1978 by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro The Rev. Bishop John Phillips with the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in the Chair and the Provincial Grand Wardens in attendance.
Two daughter lodges were formed from Lodge of Friendship – Clanfield Lodge No 8203 was formed in 1967 and initially met in Petersfield, but now meets in Horndean. Union of Malta Lodge No. 407 moved to Petersfield in 1981 and St Peter’s Lodge No 9182 was founded in 1985. In 1993 East Hampshire Masters Lodge No. 9513 was consecrated.
Today the Petersfield Masonic Centre is the home of these 4 craft lodges, as well other Orders, which are Knights Templar, 2 Chapters (Petersfield Chapter and William Kingston), a Rose Croix (Durford Abbey) and William of Orange Mark – in all these various units have over 250 Members between them.
With the approval of the Provincial Grand Master, RW. Bro. Mike Wilks, the Widows Sons assisted by the H&IOW Motorcyclists Lodge, are collecting BRAND NEW UNWRAPPED TOYS for their annual appeal (No Toy Guns please).
Toys will be donated to SCRATCH, Southampton City and Region Action to Combat Hardship. Please see the flyer attached for further information.
The North East Area will have collection boxes located at all Centres from Mid-October, and it is hoped that all Lodges will provide support. Please note that Financial donations are as welcome as toys, and queries should be directed to the NEA Charity Steward:
W.Bro. Steve Russell
Your support will make a huge difference to this years Christmas experience for so many Children.