We might be under lockdown but that isn’t stopping enquiries coming in about joining Freemasonry.
Our Deputy PGM, Richard Lewis is appealing for your support for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity during the COVID-19 Crisis.
It was an ordinary August day when John Stokoe of Temple Lodge set off from home to meet with fellow members of his Master’s Circle at Berkeley. But the day ended far from ordinary.
Dear Brethren and Companions of the Province of Bristol
Last evening, we held an Emergency Crisis Committee meeting to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 virus on our activities. The committee looked at advice from UGLE, the Government and also applied a risk assessment based on the demographics of the membership in the Province. We formed the opinion that this a highly sensitive area for discussion with a large number of diverging views. However, in the light of the evidence under review and the potential risk to the lives of brethren, and their families, we have made the following determinations. Following that meeting, we are making the following statements and recommendations to Lodges and Chapters in the Province. These recommendations will be shared with the other Orders meeting in Freemasons’ Hall.
Brethren and Companions
Since we closed Freemasons’ Hall earlier in March, life has changed out of all recognition. We are faced with new challenges on a daily basis: from shopping for essentials, to checking that our friends and family are safe, understanding how our Lodges and Chapters are to operate and ensuring that we all stay safe and well. This letter will not assist with all of these challenges but may point to a path for those who are finding things difficult.
Francis Stephen (Frank) Creswell was initiated into Powell Lodge on 23 rd June 1941. He was installed as Worshipful Master in 1961 (Note: In those days even with natural progression it took 20 years to reach the Chair!). He became a founder member of Bristol Installed Masters Lodge in 1967 and was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden in 1976.
Frank was renowned for his distinctive booming voice as Lodge Chaplain and in delivering the Proclamation at Installation meetings. His experience as a chorister over many years at St Alban’s Church, Redland stood him in good stead to lead the singing of "The Sweet Nightingale” song at Lodge After Meetings. In 1991 the lodge presented Frank with a masonic gold watch to mark his 50 years in the Craft. Frank was still actively involved with the Lodge well into his nineties.
On his passing to the Grand Lodge Above at a Nursing Home in Almondsbury at the age of 98 in 1996, his personal effects, including his 50 Year watch, were passed to his brother in Hampshire. When he died the watch was passed on to his son, Peter – Frank’s nephew. Although not a mason himself he was anxious to learn of his Uncle Frank’s time and achievements in the Craft and in Powell Lodge and the Province of Bristol in particular.