250th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE JEWEL
14th April, Ipoh, Perak
On 14 June 1967, the 250th anniversary of Grand Lodge was celebrated at the Royal Albert Hall. Centrepiece of the celebrations was the installation as Grand Master of HRH The Duke of Kent, who still holds that office today.
In 1966 in celebration of Freemasonry's 250th anniversary, Lord Scarbrough, launched a charitable appeal in February 1966 to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons. It was marked with a massive donation by the Craft to the Royal College of Surgeons to endow a research chair at the College for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
"The College has a long and special relationship with Freemasonry in England with the advancement of surgery, owing much to the generosity and constant support of Freemasons, who have contributed money and time to the College over many years.
"He proposed that every English Freemason should give £1 towards `the betterment of human health and `happiness."
The purpose of the appeal was to establish a charitable fund with the income being made available to the College for research. The appeal was enthusiastically embraced by Freemasons, and resulted in the establishment of the 250th Anniversary Fund for "research into the science of surgery".
This fund is used for non-Masonic charities and endows research units under the auspices of the Royal College of Surgeons. More than £580,000 was raised, and used to create the first Masonic charity with exclusively non-Masonic objectives.
In its first years, the fund gave £25,000 to the Royal College of Surgeons of England, financing the first three Freemasons’ surgical research fellowships, a dental research fellowship and a library grant to help with the research process.
The donation took the form of a collection equal to £1 per member of the Lodge to the Grand Master’s Fund. Lodges achieving their own target in this respect were accorded the right to a 250th Anniversary Commemorative Jewel; to mark this event the Jewel now adorns the Master’s collar.
The medallion is in ‘Red and Blue’ enamel showing the Arms of the Premier Grand Lodge and the years 1717 to 1967.
The charity’s objectives remain ‘to further, in conjunction with the Royal College of Surgeons, research in the science of surgery’.
The following address is suggested as being suitable for the use at Installation of the new Worshipful Master and could be delivered by the Installing Master, at his option, immediately after the presentation of the Warrant, Book of Constitutions and the By-Laws and Hall Stone Lodge Jewel if appropriate.
(Extract from the Emulation Ritual Book)
Worshipful Master, during the Ceremony of Installing you into the Chair of this Lodge, I had the honour of investing you with the Collar and Jewel of your office. In addition to the Square, that collar is adorned with the Commemorative Jewel indicating that the members of this Lodge played their part in establishing a Fund which commemorated the preservation of Freemasonry through two and a half centuries. The design of the jewel embodies the central theme of the Arms first granted to the ‘Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons; in 1472.
As you are aware, the income from this very substantial Fund is placed at the disposal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England to further research into the science of surgery as a real and practical contribution for the betterment of the health and happiness of humanity.
I feel sure, Worshipful Master, the members will always feel great pride and satisfaction that the adornment to the Master’s Collar marks the Lodge’s participation in this great enterprise.
Within the District of the Eastern Archipelago there are a total of 26 Lodges that were consecrated before the 250 jewel was issued to qualifying Lodges.
I know from checking archive photos that both Kinta Lodge No. 3212 and Napier Lodge No. 3418 both had this Jewel on the Worshipful Master’s collar. But with the generosity of Brethren, new Lodge Regalia were purchased around the turn of the centenary in 2000. With no one still a member from the 60’s there was no one to indicate the importance of this small Jewel on the collar and therefore they were discarded. Now the history is now lost for these two Lodges.
I have tried contacting UGLE and DGLEA and there is no evidence of these Jewels being distributed as no records were kept.
So how many of the other 24 Lodges lost this Jewel?