Honorary Worshipful Master

The President of Wellington College, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, KG, GCMG, GCVO, ADC and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England has graciously accepted the position of Permanent Worshipful Master of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge No.3404. As Grand Lodge required him to be physically installed he was proclaimed as Honorary Worshipful Master in the meantime.In 1909 the great, great uncle of the present Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn KG etc, became the Worshipful Master of the Heroum Filii Lodge at its consecration, later to be renamed the Old Wellingtonian Lodge. He remained in that office until his death in 1942 – one of the longest periods a Worshipful Master has ever stayed in an office in any lodge, and outstripped only by the Duke himself.

A century later,  as the Old Wwellingtonian Lodge celebrates it centenary year, the Master and Brethren of the Lodge are indeed privileged to be honoured by the present Grand Master, who is perhaps better known to us as the President of Wellington College, becoming  Honorary Worshipful Master of the Lodge.

Report on meeting held on November 26th, 2009

A total of 43 brethren met at Freemasons’ Hall in London.  This included five visiting from other Public Schools’ Lodges Council member Lodges and nine other visiting guests.  This historic occasion marked the exact date Centenary of the consecration of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge, having been consecrated on 26th November 1909.

Exemplifying the health of the Lodge membership in recent years, a ceremony of Initiation was performed.  W.Bro. Henry Hopking was the ruling Master for the ceremony, ably assisted by W.Bro. Tom Hawley.

The meeting recorded another historic moment, as HRH the Duke of Kent, KG, GCMG, GCVO, ADC, MW Grand Master and President of Wellington College was elected Permanent Worshipful Master of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge. As Grand Lodge required him to be physically installed, WM Henry Hopking proclaimed him as Honorary Worshipful Master in the meantime.

After the meeting, the members and visitors dined very well at Bucks Club.

Report on meeting held on 8th October, 2009

The brethren of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge met at Freemasons’ Hall, London for the annual Installation meeting. The Worshipful Master installed W.Bro. Henry R. Hopking (Anglesey 89-94) into the Chair of King Solomon as the Master to rule the Lodge during our Centenary year. The WM was ably assisted in the ceremony with members from Sir Thomas White Lodge No.1820, Christ’s Hospital Lodge No.2650 and the Old Cheltonian Lodge No.3223.
The Address to the Master was delivered by W.Bro. Geoffrey Baber, with fine style and aplomb. This was especially meaningful as W.Bro. Baber proposed W.Bro. Hopking into Freemasonry seven years previously. The Address to the Wardens and the Address to the Brethren were delivered by W.Bro. James Milne and W.Bro. Rory Shackleton respectively.
After the meeting the brethren retired to St James’s and they dined at the East India Club. The festive board was held in the Canadian Room where everyone enjoyed the superb cuisine and merry fraternal banter. Many have since commented that they hope the Lodge will return there for future festive boards.
The Master and members of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge look forward to the year ahead. It is an exceptional year with 2009/10 being the Centenary of the Lodge. The Lodge has a full programme of events planned. Our meeting on the 26th November will mark the historic date of the Centenary, from when the Lodge was consecrated in 1909. We then look forward to the summer meeting at College, where we will welcome a large number of visitors and guests to join us as we conclude our Centenary celebrations in fine style.

Departed Merit John Underdown PAGDC

The funeral of John Underdown was held at Slough Crematorium on Tuesday, 14th December, 2004 at 12.30.

The funeral was very well attended with every possible seat and standing place taken. As well as family and friends members of the Old Wellingtonian, Herschel, and other lodges were present at what was a solemn, moving, and Masonic celebration of John’s life.

After the opening hymn, “Praise my Soul the King of Heaven”, John’s son-in-law Robert Males gave an excellent eulogy. This was followed by his grandchildren Mikala and Liam who read a poem entitled simply “to Grandad”. Clearly distraught by the passing of their grandfather they read clearly but tearfully, and in turn brought tears to the eyes of many of those present. The Masonic closing ode was sung, and the priest ended with a solemn prayer in which he took as his central theme the immortal mansions of the Grand Lodge above.

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