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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

Worshipful Mastermind 2018 – Annual Quiz

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

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!

Report: KT Seminar

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 to 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 practised 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.

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.

First Degree Seminar 2018

On the evening of Wednesday the 14th of November, the Connaught Club hosted its penultimate event of the year. The brethren of the club assembled at the Mumbai Square curry rooms, just off Liverpool Street, for an exploration and investigation into the first regular step in Freemasonry.

It is an unusual venue, to say the least, for a meeting of Masons, but to the surprise of many brethren there lies a fully functioning Lodge room almost directly above the restaurant. There, above the delectable aromas of the spices below, CC veteran W.Bro. Alexi Petrou treated the assembled brethren to an emotive talk and walkthrough of the first degree, accompanied with many exciting and interesting references, that may have been missed upon our own experiences.

Between Bro Alexis’, and W.Bro. Orestes Adamou’s seemingly endless historical and linguistic knowledge, we were guided through the ceremony, step by step, exploring the hidden meanings and genesis of the signs, symbols and tokens of the first degree. The talk evoked meaning and emotion for every assembled mason, ranging from the newly initiated to more mature members in double digits of masonry; and provided a meaningful platform for discussion. A highlight of the night was the ‘alcoholics anonymous’ seating style and reflection where every brother gave their interpretation of the first degree, and what it meant to them. It can be said that most, if not all the brothers assembled shared the same sentiments of wonder and mystery upon knocking on the door of the Lodge for the first time.

After a thorough and enjoyable talk, the brethren retired downstairs to the restaurant, where we were treated to a buffet of Mumbai Square’s finest curries (and beer!). The discussion continued through the satisfying feast and to the customary pub visit afterwards; the brethren obviously inspired by the fascinating review, or beer, or both!

All in all, a most illuminating night above the curry house, onwards to the Christmas Dinner!

Written by Bro. George Singleton

Burgoyne Lodge – Report

Since being adopted by the Club as its ‘Club Lodge’, Burgoyne has grown in to a highly respected and renowned lodge in London freemasonry.  And just as the lodge is highly honoured, so is the Mastership of the lodge.

Once in every year, the Lodge selects a Master who has worked hard for both the lodge and the Club – the Chair has become somewhat of a reward for past labours and efforts in supporting and promoting the Connaught Club. 

Active Grand, Metropolitan and Provincial Offers of Burgoyne Lodge…

Last Saturday, our very dear friend and brother WBro Andrew Ridal was presented before the Master – WBro Mitchell Merrick-Thirlway (Past Chairman of the Club) – for the purposes of being installed in the Chair.  Many regulars to the Connaught Club will remember Andrew (who is sadly now too old for the Club) as a dedicated committee member, known for his singing escapades at our Christmas Dinners and for his wonderfully affable personality.  A worthy and deserving choice indeed.  Mitch, with his usual wry smile, installed Andrew in a near perfect ceremony, filled with solemnity as well as familiarity and friendliness.  It really was a pleasure to watch.

Following the labours in the temple, we retired to the Raddison for a slap up meal where we welcomed our friends from the Kennedy Club (young Masons of Hong Kong), a delegation from South Wales, and Andrew’s Masonic and family friends from Cumbria and West Lancs.  Judging by the buzz of chat around the room, everyone got on like a house on fire!  To top off a brilliant evening, we raised £190 at the raffle, and WBro Mitch even won a pumpkin in the raffle.  What a lucky lad!

Interested in visited Burgoyne?  Our next meeting is the 4th Saturday in February.  See you there!

First Degree Seminar – 14th November

Mumbai Square, Middlesex Street, London, E1 7AA

Walk through those first regular steps with us, once again, as we take you through the first degree ceremony step by step. This seminar will seek to explain the symbolism behind every part of the ritual, and we hope you’ll enjoy reliving that experience once more!

Entry Only – £5.00
Entry + Curry – £25.00


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 –


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

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!


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

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.