On Saturday 30th May 2015, the Old Wellingtonian Lodge hosted the 82nd Festival of the Public Schools Lodges’ Council at Wellington College.
The day began with a tea and coffee reception providing time for guests to enjoy the splendid surroundings of College. For many this was their first visit and for others, it had been many years since their last. Some commented their last arrival had been via school coach when playing Wellington at sport. The impressive buildings only adding to their nerves before the big game.
During this morning start, the Lodge was opened and business was transacted before being called off.
At 10:30 a chapel service was held. Many favourite hymns were sung with gusto and Father Tim Novis delivered a meaningful sermon for the day. Following the service we remained in Chapel for a talk about the Battle of Waterloo. Col Giles Orpen-Smellie (OW), provided insight into the preparation for the battle with great detail of the intensity and close call of the battle itself.
Following this splendid talk, masons attended Old Hall for the remainder of our masonic business while non-masonic guests enjoyed champagne in the sunshine on Combermere Quad.
In our masonic meeting, we received the MW Pro Grand Master, Peter Geoffrey Lowndes. W.Bro Stephen Dudley delivered an excellent Oration detailing the little known facts about the Duke of Wellington as a Freemason.
Once the meeting was concluded, we joined our guests for a refreshing glass or two of champagne. We were blessed with glorious sunshine.
Lunch was held in the Dining Hall, where we enjoyed poached fillet of salmon, Beef Wellington and Wellington Mess; all accompanied with excellent wines. After lunch we gave various toasts and listened to speeches. Amongst which the Old Wellingtonian Lodge presented two charitable cheques for £10,000 – one to Metropolitan Grand Lodge, supporting the London Air Ambulance. The other to College, contributing to the recent purchase of Maclise’s “The meeting of Wellington and Blucher after the Battle of Waterloo“.
We then returned to the sunshine where the wine continued to flow and guests could explore College. The day concluded with everyone having enjoyed a memorable day. We wish Christ’s Hospital Lodge no. 2650 the very best for their festival in 2016.