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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

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

Burgoyne February Meeting Review

by WBro. Laurence Hobbs

Boring, uneventful, dreary.

These are three words that have absolutely nothing to do with last Saturday’s meeting at Great Queen Street. Given the choice, three appropriate words would be:

Slick, joyful and fun.

Yes, that’s correct, all three of these words are most definitely applicable. The meeting was truly a lesson in the results you get when doing your homework. It was clearly evident that the brethren had been putting in the hours into the ritual books and it really did pay off. It was a slick third degree and brother Sean Benissa was very fortunate to be on the receiving end of this raising. Looking around the room, one saw a wide range of eccentric pairs of socks but not one set of yawning jowls.

Besides the reflective mood of the third degree, there was also cause for celebration. It was announced by the Worshipful Master, that two former members of the Connaught Club are moving up in the world. Frixos Melas is to become Metropolitan Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and Mitchell Merrick-Thirlway is to be appointed to the office of Metropolitan Grand Steward. Hence my choice of the word joyful.

On to the fun part. It’s all well and good to have an efficient and happy meeting but an evening can be quite lop-sided if the festive board doesn’t rise to the same high standards. On this occasion, and I believe this is quite a trend, it proved to be the yang to the meeting’s ying. We dined at the Kenilworth Hotel, at it was worth every penny.

Not only did we eat well, (the duck was pretty tasty) the raffle prizes exceeded expectations. Yours truly walked off with a Dip Dab (not had one of them in years!), but alas, one poor soul won a tin a sweetcorn. Foolishly he chose the unbranded tin in the hope of getting an extra dessert. For those that didn’t have to rush off for a train, the evening the was nicely rounded off at the Museum Tavern. A local pub which we filled to the brim.

If you’ve never been to Burgoyne before, you need to do two things. Get hold of some “interesting socks”, and secondly notify the Lodge’s secretary (Bro. Darren Knight) of your intention to attend. His email address is available on the Facebook group!

The next meeting is Saturday 16th June, put it in your diaries and I’ll see you there.

 

Laurence Hobbs

Deputy Chairman

Congratulations!

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-28 at 11.15.06A huge congratulations from all of us at the Club, to all our members past and present receiving Metropolitan Grand honours this year!

Tomorrow, at Met’s AGM the following people will be invested:

Ian Currans (President) as Assistant Metropolitan Grand Master
Gus Machado (Deputy President) as Met. Grand Inspector
Kyle Alexander (Past Chairman) as Deputy Met. Grand Director of Ceremonies
Martin Humphrys (Past Chairman) as Met. Grand Mentor
Frixos Melas (Past Member) as Assistant Met. Grand Director of Ceremonies

 

And as Metropolitan Grand Stewards:

Stephen Christou (Past Member)
Dan Large (Past Member)
Mitchell Merrick-Thirlway (Past Chairman)
Matt Saunders (Current Member!)

Meet the Member: Michael Parsey

Following on from the success of the last ‘instalment’, we bring you another edition of Meet the Member with one of the Connaught Club’s latest joiners, Michael Parsey!

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1.     What is your lodge and where do you meet?

My mother lodge is Old Kings Arms No.28, meeting at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street.

2.     Tell us the story of how you became involved in Freemasonry and why?

My initial interest to join Freemasonry grew from family members being in the Craft. I was inquisitive for a number of years which culminate in being initiated as a Lewis last year.

I joined Freemasonry to meet new people from walks of life that I would not normally cross, partake in a hobby where everybody starts equal and have a laugh with likeminded brothers.

3.     What is your favourite Masonic memory?

My favourite Masonic memory to date has to be my initiation. While I had little idea of what was going on around me at any given point in the evening, I felt welcomed, respected and honoured to have joined Freemasonry.

Since my initiation I have started piecing together what actually happened throughout the evening. I am looking forward to watching an initiation very soon as this will clear up the remaining questions in my head.

4.     What do you most look forward to getting out of the Connaught Club?

The intention and interest to join the Connaught Club sprouted from a desire to become part of the fresh blood of Masonry and the driving force for decades to come. I would also like to meet young Masons and discuss the paths they took in their early Masonic careers.

I would like to immerse myself in the events put on by the club and form strong friendships amongst the members.

Lastly, I would like to fully understand the working of the club so that I can recommend it to a number of young London Masons in my friendship groups.

5.     When you’re not dressed in your regalia, what other interests do you have?

My developing profession and interest lies in Information Security and all branches of technology. I am a keen skier and I like to keep fit in the gym. I love anything that involved an adrenaline rush, and I would love to give Ice Hockey a stab after having watched it played in Pyeongchang.

Connaught Club does Dublin 2018: A report

 

On the 12th January, 13 brethren arrived in Dublin. It should have been 14 but one missed the flight! And thus began the Connaught Club Ireland Trip 2018!

After gathering at a pub nearby to our hotel, Guinness and Ale being our choices to hydrate ourselves, we dressed in black tie and marched our dress shoes to visit the Grand Lodge of Ireland which wasn’t as hard to locate as we thought it may be.

If you haven’t been to visit the Grand Lodge of Ireland, it’s well worth the trip. The building is rather interesting. We were treated to an educating yet thrilling guided tour by Head Tyler Keith Stents. We witnessed the tricks in the red room for The Royal Arch Chapter, met the Duke of Connaught (well a portrait that is) in the temple of The Order of the Temple (KT) and their most picturesque temple for the Council of Knight Masons. An order that does not exist in our constitutions.

After the tour, we heard the ringing bell summoning us to the meeting. Therefore we speedily put on our regalia and jewels to attend the Occasional Meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Ceremony of Consecration of Square & Compass Lodge No. 998

The Ceremony is unique and rare because 13 of us just witnessed a full grand lodge meeting, a consecration and the resumed meeting of GML ( Grand Master Lodge ). A 3 in 1 treats from the Dublin brethren. It was a bit of luck we were hungry because we were treated to a five-course festive board served in a room full of laughter and jovial conversations all washed down with a glass of whiskey. Capping the evening we made a circle and sang the Auld Lang Syne to foster our friendship with each other.

However, the night was not truly over, some of the younger brethren of Lodge No. 998 took us under their wing invited to us to the world famous Lillies bar, where we were assured is Bono’s drinking spot, which ended the evening with further drinking and conviviality.

Day 2 (Windy and rainy) 

With the memories of the night before still stuck in our heads, we headed off to see the city. A cycle tour had been organised that we managed to be late for – numerous brethren couldn’t get out of bed. Imagine riding a bike for three hours after our Friday drinks in a typical Irish drizzle. That’s how it felt. Our spirits were not dampened though and our tour guide Brian Griffin (no joke!) was excellent. We started near the Spire of Dublin, headed south of the river to see Trinity College, rode through some alleyways to see some street artwork/graffiti, changing course we went west to admire the beauty of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and then steered to the east to find a pub to warm/dry ourselves. Winding back, we travelled through the Silicon Docks completing the huge circular tour of the city of Dublin. All in all, thoroughly enjoyable.

Hopping off the bikes, we jumped on a conveniently located tram to head to the Guinness Storehouse. The museum is seven floors built in a shape of a pint glass. If you’re a Guinness fan, you’d probably love it all, but the highlight for many was learning how to pour the perfect pint with the shape of a clover in the head. We had a few more pints at the Gravity Bar accompanied with a 360-degree view of Dublin’s sunset.

We would tell you the rest of what happened that evening but we’re only able to decipher what happened by looking at the photos on our phones, and it’s probably wiser not to do so!

AGM 2018: Booking and Constitutional Amendments

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Connaught Club Annual General Meeting 2018

This year our Annual General Meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday 8th March 2018 at Freemasons’ Hall in Holborn. The AGM is a constitutional necessity for the Club, and as I step down from the position of Chairman (which I have been lucky enough to hold for two years) I look forward to electing a new Chairman and Committee who will continue carry on the administration of the Club. The AGM is also a chance for you, our members, to float ideas and provide feedback. Please do come along and support the Club as always.

Following the AGM we will be dining at the Nag’s Head, Covent Garden. The Club has subsidized dining, so the spectacular dinner will only cost £15.00! The menu is:

Cheeseburger – brioche bun, gem lettuce, tomato, red onion, gherkin, burger sauce, triple cooked chips and coleslaw; or

Hunters Chicken – bacon, BBQ sauce, melted Emmental cheese, triple cooked chips and coleslaw; or

Mushroom Pappardelle – kale pesto, cream sauce, sun-blushed tomato, baby spinach and Gran Moravia™ hard cheese

~   ~   ~

Hot Belgium Waffle – caramel sauce and ice cream; or

Chocolate Brownie – hot chocolate sauce and ice cream; or

Apple & Cinnamon Crumble – served with custard

Please complete the form below to book in now!

Prior to the AGM, we are obliged by the Constitutions to give you formal notice of our intention to propose and vote on a number of amendments to our Club’s Constitutions. Please CLICK HERE to see a letter explaining the amendments to the Constitutions and the proposed amendments.

All members are encouraged to attend the AGM to comment on and cast their vote on the proposed amendments to the Constitutions. and we hope as many of you as possible will take up this invitation.

Many thanks

Lewis Clement
Connaught Club Chairman

Worshipful Mastermind 2018 – Annual Quiz

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Friday 5th January 2018

7:00pm – Freemason’s Arms, Holborn

The Club welcomes in the new year with a relaxing evening of teasing questions, laughs and games.

Teams of up to six people allowed, and friends and guests are more than welcome.

Members – £5
Guests – £8

Price includes a free hot dinner!

And don’t throw away those crappy Christmas gifts from grandmother – oh no – bring along unwanted presents for our spectacular “Unwanted Presents Raffle”! All monies will be donated to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

10th Annual Christmas Dinner – This Friday!

Christmas Dinner Menu

Christmas Dinner Menu

Wow – well this has come around rather quickly.

We are so very excited to be welcoming around 90 members to Boodle’s Club this Friday to celebrate the Connaught Club’s 10th annual Christmas Dinner. We will kick off the evening with drinks at 7 to 7.30pm, and finish it off with the obligatory carolling and quizzes. We may even have a glass of champers and a few surprises along the way!

For those attending, please do not forget to wear your most garish bow tie as we will be drawing the Mitchell Merrick-Thirlway Memorial Prize as per usual.

Last year's winner - a bow tie featuring a real lego batman!

The MMT Memorial Prize Winner 2016
A bow tie featuring a real lego batman!

Report: KT Seminar

Dr Viv

On Tuesday 21 November the Club gathered in the opulent surroundings of the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall to listen to a talk by Right Eminent Knight Dr Viv Thomas. When looking for an authority on the history, origins or practices of the Masonic Knights Templar one needs look no further than Dr Viv who is widely renown for his in depth knowledge and understanding of the topic.

 

Well, Dr Viv did not disappoint. We were taken back to the story of the Crusaders and traced the story of the Templars in Europe. We learnt about the many templar orders and Christian degrees that were practiced by various Masonic groups throughout Europe in the 18th century and before, and speculated on how Ireland came to form the first Great Priory of the United and Religious Orders of the Temple.

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Dr Viv spoke enthusiastically and authoritatively on a topic that is rich with history, myth   and speculation – as like most things in Freemasonry. The Club was extremely privileged   to host Dr Viv, and thank him for such an enlightening talk.

 

As well as Dr Viv, we also hosted the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, Paul   Raymond Clement. The Grand Master spoke a little on the founding of Great Priory (the   Grand Lodge of the Order) and how it is administrated today before answering our   questions with charm and knowledge.

Following the presentation, we mingled over wine and nibbles in order to continue the   discussions amongst ourselves. I noted that, whilst the numbers were not as buoyant on   this cold November night as we had expected, we were fortunate to have a few “newbies”   amongst our ranks. I hope they enjoyed their first experiences of the Club, and came away enlightened happy, content and not too groggy the next morning.