The first 10 Years
A short history of the first 10 years of the Lodge appears here.
Millfield School , now widely known for sporting and academic excellence, was established in 1935 by R.J.O. Meyer, at Street, in Somerset. Initially formed to give a good British education to five Indian Princes, the school has grown to a full compliment of over 1,500 pupils.
It was at the memorial service, in 1991, for 'Boss', as Jack Meyer was affectionately known, that it was first proposed by a number of Old Boys, to form a Lodge for Old Millfieldians and Masters. It took seven years to come to fruition and we are thankful to our sponsors, Christ's Hospital Lodge, for their aid in helping the dream become a reality.
So, on the bright and sunny day of the 23rd July, 1998, Millfield Lodge, No. 9669, was consecrated in the Indian Temple at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street , London; a suitably venue for a lodge which school's original purpose was to educate five young princes from the sub continent.
The new lodge was honoured by the presence of the then Assistant Grand Master, the Right Worshipful, the Most Honourable, the Marquess of Northampton, DL, conducting his first consecration ceremony in London . A hundred and fifty Masons, from all over the globe, witnessed a flawless performance of a most meaningful nature. All those present were deeply moved by the ceremony and for those founding members who were privileged to take part, this was, and perhaps will always be, their most memorable Masonic moment.
The Millfield Lodge has grown in strength with eight initiates and four joining members. Although there are just three regular meetings each year we have been able to cope with this influx by holding emergency meetings. We have travelled back to our roots in Somerset to meet at the Masonic Halls in Glastonbury and Shepton Mallett and also held a splendid non-Masonic dinner in the mediaeval refectory at Wells Cathedral. On these occasions it has become traditional for our guests to assist in the ceremonies. At the 'White Table' Festive Boards we welcome partners and non-Masonic friends.
The Lodge has seen two visits to foreign lands. Firstly to Hong Kong in January 1999, when a party of seven lodge members, accompanied by friends and wives, visited the District to meet up with a founder member of the Lodge and a former pupil of the Preparatory School, RW Bro Peter Wong, the District Grand Master for Hong Kong & the Far East, who welcomed the party and arranged a week of interesting and varied activities. They visited three of the local lodges and attended white table dinners specially organised to enable the ladies to join in the festivities. The party also enjoyed the usual tourist activities which included a fascinating trip to mainland China. There were other non-Masonic activities too, most notably a reception held for all the Old Millfieldians and their parents living in the Territory. Thus our party was able to meet up with many people who enjoyed strong links with the school.
The next was to Singapore when in December 2000, a smaller party made up again of members, guests and wives ventured off to the District of the Eastern Archipelago and a side trip was made to Malaysia. The party again enjoyed some wonderful Masonic hospitality, visiting various lodges and chapters, and the ladies were also entertained at an amazing banquet. It was again an opportunity to meet with former pupils of the school and many new friends were made.
Although based in London We have also travelled around the country where in our second year we had a most remarkable emergency meeting in King's Lynn where the Master, Andrew Davey, made us all welcome and later that year we were requested to conduct the Passing of the School Chaplain, who had joined his old school lodge, Old Aluredian, in Taunton. The ceremony performed by our officers was acclaimed as one of the best seen in Taunton for some time. Being a Lodge with branches all over the World, our workings can sometimes be confusing to the visitor, and particularly to the Director of Ceremonies. Yet we are able, through a general desire to promote the craft and tenets of being happy and communicating happiness to ensure that what ever transpires flows with sincerity and is flawless in its projection.
Some of our members have even made the newspapers. Our last Charity Steward was named in the London Column and no doubt some local papers as well. Here is the report from the said Column, it refers to his 'Jump'.
'Prostrate Cancer Charity - The Millfield Lodge, No. 9669 was formed in 1998 by old boys and masters of Millfield School . It is also open to parents of pupils and those with a strong interest in the school. One of its members, W. Bro. Rev Andrew Davey PAGChap, has been parachute jumping to raise money for the Prostrate Cancer Charity and, on his first jump, raised nearly £10,000. Additional jumps are planned with the ambition to raise more money for this and other worthy charities'.
Our congratulations go out to Andrew for this great achievement and we welcome him when he gets back down to earth.
After the consecration in 1998, the idea of having a banner was discussed. The members, after several meetings, agreed that the appropriate time to dedicate a banner would be when the Lodge had its first initiate take the Chair. This, our tenth year, sees W Bro Andrew Selby, who was initiated into the Lodge in 1999, installed as our Master and so it follows that we have now dedicated the banner in keeping with the wishes of the founder members who had generously donated funds to cover such a cost.
The Lodge is continuing to search out suitable Old Boys to join its ranks and shortly we will be seeing a young man who has just left University initiated into the Lodge. We hope that he will find a Lodge that is now moving steadily forward with common goals of meeting old friends, making new ones, and being happy and communicating happiness.
Many members of the Lodge have gained honours inside and outside of London , many with active Ranks. Our First Appointment to active rank within London was W Bro Nigel Payne who was appointed an active Metropolitan Grand Standard Bearer. W Bro Nigel was our first Master so the honour was well deserved and greeted with delight within the Lodge. W Bro Tudor Morgan was promoted to Senior London Grand Rank last year and also appointed as a Visiting Officer. While in the Provinces, W Bro Chris Harding became an active Grand Standard Bearer for Somerset, W Bro Graham Best was first appointed as a Provincial Grand Steward for Surrey and then the following year appointed as an active Junior Grand Deacon. W Bro Stephen Gould was also appointed as a Provincial Grand Steward for North Wales and members have gained active and past rank in Chapter with both E Comp Chris Harding and E Comp Harold Lewis gaining active appointments in Somerset. However, what stands out for us all is that we are especially delighted to have within our ranks Grand Officers, namely RW Bro Peter Wong, Past District Grand Master for Hong Kong and the Far East, W Bro Andrew Davey, Past Deputy Grand Chaplain, and our Secretary, W Bro Patrick Ferguson-Sheehan, Past Grand Tyler, who each bring with them the knowledge and experience so vital for a new lodge to develop.
Contacting old pupils and friends -Your editor has through Friends Reunited been contacted by 2 old house mates from Eatonhurst. One is living in the USA but does come "home" often, and one lives and works in Singapore and is also a Mason. How do I know this. Well I put the Lodge web address in my write up. I have also put that address in with my details for the school as well. There is another name I recognise so I will contact them as well. While on this subject I have been in contact with Frazer who emigrated to Australia. Should any Australian Mason in the Sydney / Darling Point area read this please contact us as he is looking to join a Lodge over there.
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