RUDYARD KIPLING AND THE CRAFT.
Most Freemasons know some of the innumerable allusions in the various books of the great writer Look at the sketch forming the initial letter of "The Butterfly that Stamped" in "Just So Stories" Kipling drew the sketch and shows Solomon the Most Wise Sovereign wearing a P.M's. Apron and Collar bearing the letters "HTWSSTKS".
Some years ago Rudyard Kipling and his wife (Carrie of his books) visited Jerusalem and wishing to avoid staying at Government House, and to elude autograph hunters, asked our Lodge, through the I.W.G.C., to show them the Old City and other sights. W. Bros. Cowell and Hudson had the privilege of taking them to the Temple area, the Wailing Wall, the Muristan and Quarries. He frequently murmured bits of verse and in the Quarries, remembering "My NewCut Ashlar", scratched his initials on a stone as thousands had done before him.
During discussions Kipling said that his favourite Lodge was No. 4948. The Lodge of the Builders of the Silent Cities. This was composed of men connected with the Imperial War Graves Cemeteries. Our Lodge did not have a meeting during the time of his visit but he was most interested to visit the Muristan and to see our Temple.
In the library at Grand Lodge is an old copy of the score of Mozart's "Magic Flute", presented by the Lodge of King Solomon's Temple, No 4611.
Mozart was a great Freemason and in the overture particularly, can be recognized, the Masonic knocks. In Vienna in 1785, he wrote his 'Masonic Funeral Music', on the death of two distinguished Brothers.
During the early years of the Lodge, it was the custom to present every Lady attending, a silver commemorative Tea Spoon. At the top of the handle was the Lodge Crest, finished in silver and enamel When a Lady had attended for a sixth time, she was given a display box in which to keep her collection. The receiving of these Spoons was very popular with the Ladies.
For a number of years the Lodge did not have a ladies festival but it was reintroduced as an annual event in 1995 and has become a popular event in the KST year as has the Summer Bar-B-Q which has a small but regular band of attenders. Both these events although not dedicated to charitable causes always produce a worthy contribution for the Lodge Charities.
MERSEYSIDE ASSOCIATION OF MASONIC RESEARCH
In 1929 the Lodge joined the Merseyside Association of Masonic Research. Several members, headed by W. Bro. Cowell, became experts on research of Masonry in Palestine and the Middle East. At one time it was thought that they had discovered the cave mentioned in the third Degree, unfortunately this was never authenticated. Bro. C.W. Cowell submitted two papers to the Manchester Lodge for Masonic Research No. 5502, titled "Materials for the building of the Holy Temple" and "Freemasonry in the Holy Land". He also donated a pair of Ashlars from the Royal Quarries of Solomon, to the same Lodge.
DEDICATION OF THE GRAND TEMPLE.
An invitation was extended from the United Grand Lodge of England to supply the smooth and rough Ashlars from the Royal Quarries of Solomon at Jerusalem, for the new Temples of Grand Lodge. The members presented pairs of rough and smooth Ashlars for each of the sixteen Lodge rooms in the new Grand Temple. The occasion was the Dedication of the Grand Temple on the 19th July, 1933.
At the 75th aniversary celebrations in 1999 a new set of three tracing boards were donated and presented by W.Bro David Sullivan PPGStB (Gloucestershire). (Click here to see them)