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Welcome to the Connaught Club

The Connaught Club has been founded to give young Freemasons in London a means to meet and socialise, with like-minded people of similar ages, who might otherwise be dispersed over London’s many Lodges and large geographic area.

Membership of the Club is open to any Freemason under 35 years of age, whose Lodge/Chapter is under Metropolitan Grand Lodge or who lives/works within London.

Latest News

Veterans Aid Charity Walk – In Review

  • Our trepid explorers at the rendezvous point outside East Grinstead railway station.

As you may already be aware, the Connaught Club has this year chosen to raise funds for Veterans Aid. One of several fundraising exercises we’ve planned was our charity walk. At the time it seemed like a good idea, and truthfully, it was.

That doesn’t mean it was plain sailing though. There were quite a few wobbles along the way. In fact, I started out on the wrong foot from the very beginning. I first realised I had a problem with my choice of footwear at Victoria Station whilst waiting for Bro. John Lam to arrive in order to catch our train to the rendezvous point. Having been a really hot summer so far, I had arrived at the conclusion the ground would be rock solid and therefore I’d get away with wearing my running trainers. Quite frankly, this is one of the poorest decisions I have ever made. I was getting hot spots before I had even started. Yes, the others would be joining me in my predicament but it wasn’t fun to be the first one. Nevertheless, we arrived at the starting point outside East Grinstead railway station and commenced our “yomp” in high spirits. It was hard not to, especially with our mascot Bracken the Wonder Dog at our sides. The pace did actually catch me off guard, it was surprisingly quick. I did my best to slow it down by looking for a shop to purchase a toothbrush. Then before I knew it, we had ticked off a few miles and we were sitting down to enjoy a nice pub lunch. The first of a few watering holes on our route. A route I may add, that was well thought up by Bro. Anthony Muirhead a local/committee member who was “conveniently” overseeing the logistics rather than taking part in walking. I jest. Upon arrival at our first campsite, our tent had been erected and there were some cold beers waiting for us. Truly welcome after our first day. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer campsite either. The owner of Little Bohemia, Nutfield had discovered we were walking for a charitable cause and therefore made a goulash to feed a small army. So much in fact, that even the other campers got to enjoy a free dinner. We sat on long benches chowing down just like school dinners. Great fun.

The night wasn’t over though, we had more fuel in the tank. After a quick call to a local minicab company, we found ourselves in another pub, meeting up with the final member of our tribe. Brother Emmanouil Bitzaros, who had recently joined the club, was yet to meet those participating in the walk but was keen to jump in feet first. It must have been strange for him waiting in a pub for over an hour for the arrival of some strangers to take him away to a tent in the middle of nowhere. Funnily enough, I’ve just been looking through my emails and seen his completed Walk Sign Up form. Under “what equipment will you need to borrow?” he had written “Sleeping bag, Roll mat”. I guess that one slipped through the net because he didn’t get either and had to sleep in his coat. To compensate, we made sure he got extra bacon in the morning. Actually, we all had ridiculous amounts of bacon. I’ve never had so much bacon in all my life – it just kept coming.

The second day was the big day. The first was a nice intro of 15 miles to get us into the swing of things but the second was when we really had to cover some distance. As you know my feet were already torn to shreds but I put on a brave face and set out with the rest of the gang with a tinge of apprehensiveness. This was soon forgotten though, Surrey’s rolling countryside soon saw to that and Bro. Mungo Walls, our dedicated “Twitterer”, kept us abreast of our social media exploits and alerted us to donations on our Virgin Giving page. Our target was to reach the rugby pitches of Dulwich Prep School, and over the course of the day, we covered over 26 miles getting there. We were pooped, and after a takeaway pizza each, we crashed out.

Another morning, more bacon.

The third, and final day was a cinch. We really thought it would be harder, but I guess we were just eager to get this done and dusted, plus all of friends and family would be waiting for us at the finish line. We only had to cover 9.1 miles and we could enjoy the Club’s BBQ. After the obligatory photo outside Freemasons’ Hall to symbolise our achievement, we moseyed over to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to enjoy some burgers and sausages. A slight snag though, there was a London wide ban on all BBQs – we didn’t foresee that one. Yet our spirits we not to be dampened, a swift trip to a nearby supermarket solved our troubles and we all tucked into a picnic platter.

For those that participated in the walk, I think it’s safe to say we all had a great time. Yes, there aches and blisters etc. but we still muddled through it. Half of us had no serious walking experience at all and in fact, given the opportunity, I’m sure we’d do it all again. Although, I doubt we’d be so keen if Bro. Rob Morgan wasn’t involved. He navigated the Ordnance Survey map with compass in hand so skilfully that I still lay in bed at night thanking my lucky stars that he came along. (My Google Maps print-outs were woefully inadequate, and the expedition could have quite easily descended into farce!)

So far, our little excursion has raised £1,018.75 – and counting…

If you’d like to donate please visit our fund’s page – http://bit.ly/ccwalk18

THANK YOU!

On behalf of our weary walkers and this year’s charity Veterans Aid, we’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who supported the team in helping raise vital cash for our noble appeal.

Thanks to your donations, we raised £695 which, with Gift Aid, amounts to £817.50 with every penny supporting ex-Servicemen and women learn new skills, find work and deal with substance abuse.

It’s not too late to donate! You can still support the team now at http://bit.ly/ccwalk18

Christmas Dinner 2018 – Standard Tickets ON SALE NOW

Standard Tickets to, arguably, the biggest Connaught Club event of the year are ON SALE NOW!

Unfortunately, Easy Term tickets are no longer available, however, you can now buy your ticket in a one-off £80 payment!

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Open Reception AND Bumper Burgoyne Write Up!

by Connaught Club Chairman, W.Bro. Laurence Hobbs

In the blink of an eye the Connaught Club knocked two events straight out of the proverbial park! It’s not often that we have two fixtures within four days but that’s just how the calendar fell. Nevertheless, we rose to the challenge and put on what can only be described as great successes.

The Club’s annual Open Reception is the first gathering in question. Held on a lovely summer’s evening, it was a pity we couldn’t all be outside! That said, the Grand Temple and Vestibule proved to be a more than adequate distraction. The purpose of the evening is very simple: to introduce the young Freemasons (aged 35 or under) of London, and their friends, to the Connaught Club and the Club’s to goal improve masonry for them by providing the environment to get the most out of it.

Did you know that there’s around 2,000 Freemasons within London that fall within that age category in Metropolitan Grand Lodge? Many can be happy within their Lodge but isolated by their age. By hosting events we aim to provide the opportunities for young masons to meet fellow young masons with whom they may have more common ground. Access to the evening wasn’t exclusive to those on the square though, the invitation was also extended friends and partners.

We follow a simple format, we have a small handful of select speakers and then we retire to the vestibule for a light buffet and wine. This year the audience were treated to some wonderfully interesting speakers (and I include myself within that). Commencing with the Club’s President, VW Bro. Ian Currans PGSwdB, AMetGM, who gave a fascinating introduction to Freemasonry and teed me up nicely to discuss the point and relevance of being a member of the Connaught Club. Besides referring to the numerous social events and educational seminars we host, the talk moved onto our charitable appeal for the year, Veterans Aid, a charity focussed on helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis. We were fortunate enough to be joined by one of their representatives, Dorothy Jones, who gave a very informative talk on the essential services they provide. Remaining on the charitable theme we then introduced Tony Shields, the Metropolitan Grand Charity Steward, who gave an overview of the current £2.5 million London Fire Brigade Appeal. Thereafter, we all munched on vol-au-vonts (or whatever they were – tasty though), drank the Club’s special vintage and got to know each other a little better. For those that weren’t ready to go home at 9pm, we had negotiated free entry to SWAY Bar next door with a small tab behind the bar and there we remained until each of us ran out steam.

One event down, another to go.

Saturday afternoon, Freemasons’ Hall. The Club’s Lodge, Burgoyne No. 902, held a white table event. First of all, we opened to conduct our business and then called off to invite our visitors. A very novel experience for both them and us. Many of the wives and girlfriends had never been in a Lodge room or indeed seen their other halves in regalia before. We were honoured to be joined by VW Brother James H. Newman OBE, Deputy President of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, who presented a marvellous talk entitled “MCF, a force for good in Freemasonry and Wider Society”. This was truly interesting talk on the numerous charities and the efforts that went into merging them, on April Fool’s Day (2016) of all days.

Following on, the Club’s Immediate Past Chairman W.Bro Lewis Clement, GStwd, presented a cheque for £5,250 to Rob Music, CEO of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust representing sums drummed up by the Club during our “Bro’s for Jo’s” campaign. What a sum to be proud of!

Looking forward to what’s in store, the calendar says our next event is our Summer BBQ, Sunday 19th August. However, it’s not just any old BBQ. We’re combining it with our charity walk, it’s going to function as our finish line. For three days we’re going to walk carrying our camping equipment from deepest darkest Surrey covering forty odd miles to Central London for our Veterans’ Aid appeal. Everybody is invited to participate whether it be for all three days, starting Friday 18th August, or just the last. And if you wish to share the in glory at the finish line it will great to see you there!

If walking is not your thing, then perhaps rugby is? This year (September 22nd) we’ll be playing in our first ever match against Leicestershire and Rutland Light Blues Rugby Football Club. They don’t stand a chance.

For more information on our forthcoming events and to signup, please visit www.connaughtclub.org

One final thing, don’t forget we meet informally the first Friday of every month at the Freemasons Arms on Long Acre, Covent Garden at 6.30pm onwards! If you’re a freemason aged 35 or under, coming along will be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make.

Veterans Aid Charity Walk 2018

17th – 19th August 2018

This year, Connaught Club Chairman, Laurence Hobbs has decreed that to help raise money for our 2018 Veterans Aid Appeal, we’re going to organise a Charity Walk.

Join us for three days of hiking, camping and enjoying the Great British countryside, as we mardle 40 miles from the outskirts of the city to Central London, culminating in the annual Summer Picnic and Sports Day!

Of course, we’ll have many more details to follow but until then if you’re interested, please complete the form attached and we’ll keep you updated with all the latest on the walk!

 

Burgoyne Lodge No. 902 – June Meeting

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Burgoyne No. 902, our Club Lodge, is back, and this June meeting is not to be missed!

Join us on the 16th June for an extraordinary meeting, in which V.W. Bro. James H Newman OBE, Deputy President and Chairman of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, presents a lecture entitled “MCF, a force for good in Freemasonry and wider Society”.

Afterwards, the Connaught Club will have the honour to present a cheque for all the funds raised in the Bros for Jo’s Appeal to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

This is a White Table event so absolutely everyone is welcome – friend and family, the more the merrier!

Want to book in? Email Lodge Secretary using the link below!

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL

Open Reception 2018

THURSDAY 14th JUNE  |  7:00pm

Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street

FREE ENTRY FOR EVERYONE

Not a Mason but interested in the Craft?

Or, are you a Freemason, under 35 years old and one of the younger members of your Lodge?

Or, are you a Mason with friends and family who keep asking questions about what you get up to of an evening in Holborn?

Then sign up now for the Annual Connaught Club Open Reception!

The Club would love to invite you ALL (Masons and non-Masons alike) to this year’s Connaught Club Open Reception! The Connaught Club exists for young Freemasons to help them get the most out of their Freemasonry. We recognise that many young masons may find they are the youngest member for their lodge by 10, 20 or even 30 years and so we provide a hub to meet other, like-minded masons who are closer to your own age. The Club hosts numerous events throughout the year: monthly socials, lectures, seminars, and visits to other lodges across the country to name but a few.

On Thursday 14th June at 7:00pm, we’ll be hosting our annual Open Reception in the Grand Temple of Freemasons’ Hall. Our invitation is open to all: Members, Freemasons, partners and friends who are interested in the craft. They are all welcome. The purpose of the event is to introduce you to other young Freemasons from across London, to the Connaught Club and to Freemasonry in general.

After welcoming speeches from our guest speakers you are all invited to mingle where good food and even better wine will be provided!

COMPLETELY FREE ENTRY

Jeeves and Wooster hit the AGM

By Bro. Bertie Wooster

Now if there is anything in a Wooster its Sporting Blood, I can assure you. So when my good Chum William Connaught invited me to the Connaught Club AGM and placed a wager on the length of the meeting I was in for a pound instantly!

As with any flutter, I passed it by my man Jeeves for the old nod of approval and got the go ahead with his estimate of 21 Minutes, which I, of course, took as my own.

On Arrival I was quite taken aback by the dashing Blue and Grey Club Ties so many of the young birds were sporting. Having only been in the club for a short time I had yet to be presented with mine, but thought what Spirit it shows with so many wearing the Club colours!

With my pound at risk I took great interest in noting the time of kick off . . . 5.32PM.

First item on the agenda was to approve last year’s minutes. The gentleman looking after proceedings was a well turned out chap by the name of Clement. Turns out he’s Welsh but let’s not hold that against him what! He pottered through a couple of the below points:

Amendments to the Constitution which were read out by the outgoing Chairman Lewis Clement and with no issues passed rather quickly. Good to see things ticking along. What were the changes? In short, there will be trustees to look after the wealth of the Club of which is doing rather well

Reports which nobody much listened on.

Accounts, more of the above!

Electing Club Auditors. An honour for those selected I thought. All proposed and passed swiftly.

Re-election of some older chaps who have been Patrons in the past and have done such a stand up job they have been put into the role for another year! One of whom managed to attend . . .

Up next was the election of a new chairman, a speech from the new Bird and a farewell from the old. Lewis I hear has done a stand up job and received a rather elegant looking whisky decanter for his troubles. He has said he would publish his goodbye on the “web-site” (looked rather long), and quickly hurried proceedings along.

The new bird, Laurence, seemed rather pleased for his new position. And I felt it rather splendid to be there for such an occasion.

Taking to the chair in his new position Laurence informed the room of his gratitude in being elected to the position of Club Chairman. He also shared some of the upcoming events he has planned for the year, all to support a rather splendid charity, Veteran’s Aid.

Now when I said we Woosters have sporting blood I was not in the slightest referring to any kind of thick necked, rolling in the mud affair. But, if that is your game the forthcoming club rugby match will be for you. Some coves in a Kent club, I hear, should be quite concerned!

And on a usual trip away for 3 days I would of course need my man Jeeves along with at least a trunk of jacket, shirt and tie options. This, I expect, would not do on the 3 day charity walk with the club but to meet you at the finish for some delicious foods and refreshments is certainly something I shall attend. More details to follow.

Before I knew it the whole thing was wrapped up and gavels struck at exactly 18.53pm, the bet was won! I must, once again, pay a marked tribute to good old Jeeves. A modern saint that man!

On to the pub in Covent Garden we went where, if I remember correctly, my old chum from prep school, Bingo, once fell in love with one of their bar ladies, but that’s for another time …

A solid group of dandies had turned out for the meeting and all were attending the dinner too! So with little encouragement the evening got off to a splendid start with drinks flowing and good eating.

Later in the evening I had further opportunity to win another wager with a game called heads and tails. Never one to turn down a good opportunity I got in on the action but this time fell short at the final fence. Failures will occur when placing wagers without the man Jeeves!

I came to win a pound from my old chum William and did just that. But I must say, the deuce of the thing is that I am very much looking forward to heading out again to mix in with this Connaught Club lot at the their next monthly drinks. I do hope to see you there what!!

AGM 2018 – Outgoing Chairman’s Address

For those of you who were present at this year’s AGM, you will have heard our outgoing Chairman, W.Bro. Lewis Geo. Clement mention that he would spare us his speech and instead, publish his address to the membership on the website. Albeit a week or two late, please find below Lewis’ speech and a downloadable PDF of the AGM Booklet for those who weren’t present.

 

Gentlemen,

It is customary at this meeting for the outgoing Chairman to say a few words prior to his departure. I shall not break with this tradition; however I am mindful that the sooner I wrap up, the sooner we may enjoy each other’s company at dinner (and maybe even have a pint). Thus, I shall not detain you long.

For those of you who were at last year’s Annual General Meeting you may recall that we voted on to the Committee a number of fresh-faced and eager individuals. Well twelve months on I am happy to report that these ‘newbies’ have not jaded but have grown in to their roles on the Committee and have gradually taken over the management of the Club over the course of the year. I have said on numerous occasions that Bros. Kyle and Mitch left real voids when they moved on as they did so much for the Club. Over the course of my Chairmanship I have been eager to encourage some new talent to get involved with the Committee in order that the Club may continue to evolve, and to ensure our smooth governance for many years to come. With the likes of Jack, Josh and Mungo we have extremely capable and enthusiastic Masons who, all being under the age of 25, have over ten years of involvement to look forward to with the Club. With the likes of Neil, Tes and Muirhead we have experienced Masons and wise counsel. I believe that there has been somewhat of a necessary changing of the guard over the last two years during my tenure, and I believe that Laurence is inheriting a happy Club, with a particularly bright future.

I think we would all agree that 2017 has been the most extraordinary year in Freemasonry. We have all been extremely privileged to have witnessed the celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall and throughout the Constitution. I feel very proud to have represented the Club at many of the tercentenary events across London and even on the tele! I am particularly privileged to have hosted our own tercentenary celebrations – the 300 Ball at the H.A.C. That evening was a roaring success as around 180 of us danced the night away to the big band, drank cocktails, and raised awareness and funds for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

I really am extremely grateful to the whole Committee who have continued to help put on a variety events whilst continuing to streamline the internal structures of the Club. You have heard this evening that we continue to be over 300 members strong. With this success comes a lot of responsibility and one would be amazed of the amount of administration and man-hours that are dedicated to processing applications, managing event sign-ups and communicating with the membership. I thank each Committee member for their dedication and hard work in helping the Club to run as efficiently as it does.

Finally – I really must thank you, the membership of the Club, for supporting my proposed charity appeal, for continuing to attend and engage with the Club, and for supporting me personally. I have made some of my best friends through the Connaught Club, and with you I have enjoyed some amazing Masonic and life experiences. I am really fortunate to look forward to another five years of membership of the Club, and to a whole lifetime of Masonic friendship with you all. I do look forward to seeing Laurence and his team continuing to develop the Club and I shall continue to participate as and when I’m needed!

*Mic drop* 

Yours in the friendship of the Club,

W. Bro. Lewis Geo. Clement 

Club Chairman

Download the AGM Booklet Here

Met Grand Chapter: Royal Arch Awareness Evening

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Why not start a new chapter in your Masonic
career by becoming a Royal Arch Mason?

Metropolitan Grand Chapter will be opening the doors of a Chapter Room to all Craft Masons desirous of finding out what the Royal Arch is about.

The Chapter Room will be set up as it would be for a regular Meeting with all of the Officers in regalia and in their seats. There will be an informative and interesting talk by E.Comp. Ian Currans PGSwdB Assistant Metropolitan Grand Superintendent about the Degree, including an explanation of the role of the different Officers, following this there will be a question and answer session.

We hope all of the Lodges & Chapters that meet at Mark Masons Hall will join in the event by bringing their own prospective Royal Arch candidates along.

Whilst not obligatory there will be a dinner following the event which will round the evening off.
(numbers will have to be limited so early booking is advised)

Booking forms including details of the dinner for this unique event can be found at the front desk or obtained from
Ex.Comp David Ashbolt PGStB

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL