Hemlock Stone Lodge
The evening of Friday 15th November 2019 witnessed 120 Masons from 3 East Midlands Provinces gather together at the West Bridgford Masonic Hall for a unique occasion, unique that is, in this Province. The Provincial Grand Master, Philip Marshall, together with the Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge, skilfully led by Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies Robin Maung, performed the Ceremony of Amalgamation which saw Radcliffe Lodge No 5313 and Hemlock Stone Lodge No 3734 become the new ‘Radcliffe with Hemlock Stone Lodge No 5313’.
Among those present to witness the ceremony were Assistant Provincial Grand Master, David Wall; Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire, Steven Varley; Past Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire, John Hockin; several Grand Lodge Officers including Hugh Stoddard, Robert Grummitt and Graham Riche; plus a group of young Masons representing the Byron Club. Also present was a contingent from Derbyshire’s Glossopdale Lodge which, in 2018, was formed by the amalgamation of the former Devonshire and Mallender Lodges. The experiences shared by the Glossopdale Lodge throughout the negotiations between the Radcliffe and Hemlock Stone Lodges were invaluable in ensuring smooth and painless negotiations leading up to their amalgamation.
Unfortunately, due to a long-term family commitment, the Provincial Chaplain, the Reverend J. M. Burgess, was unable to attend and was deputised on the evening by Assistant Provincial Grand Master, David Wall. In the Ceremony of Amalgamation, the Chaplain is second only in contribution to that of the Provincial Grand Master; and with an Oration and prayers specially written for the occasion by the Reverend Burgess to hand, David did a magnificent job.
The ceremony was both uplifting and moving, with the assembled brethren raising the roof with hearty renditions of ‘Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us’ and ‘Peace, Love, and Harmony’. More about the ceremony is not for this time or place, but suffice it to say that it will live long in the memories of those fortunate enough to be present, none less so that the members of the new Lodge – long may they prosper.