As part of the Wellington Community the Lodge enjoys a strong connection with College, as befits a School Lodge, and one whose membership is open to people with a connection to College.
The 308 members have included both the first and current Presidents of Wellington College, a Vice President, eleven Governors, two Masters, and sixteen members of Senior Common Room and servants of College as well as the first ever boy to arrive at Wellington.
One of the highlights of each year is the May meeting at Wellington, giving members the chance to reconnect with College, to see the tangible and intangible development of the place, and to speak to current pupils and members of staff. These meetings also serve to introduce families and friends to Wellington, including partners of members for whom this physical link to College has helped make decisions on the future schooling of their own children. As a young lodge we have 17 children of current members below the age of Common Entrance. We also have a number of younger members for whom those decisions are some way off yet!
Last and by no means least it provides a connection to the current generation of Wellingtonians. Our dinners at College are open affairs with invitations to current Wellingtonians, the Master, members of Common Room, the OW Society and the wider Wellington community.
This connection is reflected also in the Lodge’s charitable priorities. We have always supported both College’s long-term and one-off projects and priorities, both individually and as a group.
Of course one cannot attribute a single OW’s generosity to their membership of the Lodge, but contributions from OW Lodge members have included:
More generally the Lodge has sponsored a number of projects and trips by members of College, especially any of CMStGP’s adventures. We have also supported the Wellington charities over the year including the Mission and its successors the Herbert Trust and the JL Bevir Memorial Fund, named in memory of Lodge member J L Bevir.
Both these charities are now constituents of the OW Society Charitable Trust which was the chief beneficiary in our centenary year with a one off donation of £5000 as well as receiving regular contributions over the years.
In 2016 we supported College’s acquisition of the Duke of Wellington’s writing set and in November 2017 we donated £1000 to the Picton’s Alzheimers Charity fund raising efforts at the suggestion of the Master.
We also have the honour and privilege every 25-30 years of hosting the PSLC Festival at Wellington, showing off College to about 700 visiting old boys of 34 public schools and their partners and friends. In 2014 when we last hosted this event we donated £10,000, split between College’s appeal to fund the purchase of the Maclise painting of ‘The Meeting of Wellington and Blucher’ and a contribution to the London Air Ambulance. This second cause, supported by all London Masons has seen the purchase of a new helicopter for London and substantial further funding.
We also support charities linked to Masonry and every year the Worshipful Master nominates a charity for that year. More details can be found here.