I look forward to seeing you
all at The Masonic Centre, Donaghadee at 2.00PM on Saturday the 23rd
October 2010, when we will all have an opportunity to visit this magnificent
Hall and view the many items of Masonic interest preserved therein. Later on,
in the Convocation, we will have the opportunity to listen to a fascinating
history of Royal Arch Masonry in and around the town of
Sitting here, on a large
corner site, looking onto the
Right underneath these windows is the old canopy style Master’s Chair, known to all as “The Seat of Solomon”. This particular example is very ornate with a series of golden urns along the top and a raised pediment around the outside. The front of the canopy bears the legend “ St John’s Blue Lodge No 675” and has golden heralds complete with trumpets on each corner of the canopy. Surmounted in the centre of the canopy, on the underside is the five pointed star of Venus and along the back are a series of further symbols and motto. In the top or spiritual half of the chair are the symbols for The Sun, Moon and Seven Stars accompanied by a representation of The All Seeing Eye, as a representation of Deity.
The lower two thirds of the chair back is marked out as emblematic of stonework coursing, and here the main symbol shows the workman’s hand complete with trowel, applying the cement of Brotherhood. On one side is the Compasses & Square emblematic of the Order and on the other is the Level. Below is the Masonic motto “Amor Honor et Justica” – Love Honour and Justice. The front of the canopy is supported by a pair of Pillars emblematic of Jachin and Boaz and the seat of the chair, hides the old Lodge drawer or cavity underneath.
Set in the wall, beside the Master’s Chair is a very old and well preserved
Foundation stone, associated
with the original Hall located in the town of
1/. The Pascal Lamb bearing the Banner of Christ.
2/. The Scull and Crossbones symbols of Mortality.
3/. The 3 armed candelabra representative of the three Craft Degrees.
4/. The Level and Plumbline representative of Senior and Junior Wardens.
5/ & 6/ The figures of two Men in Aprons either side of The Royal Arch.
On the Arch itself, engraved on the centre of the keystone is the figure of a beating heart, a sign of Fidelity and across the top of the Arch is the motto “D.dee No 675”. On the Western wall, facing te WM’c chair are two old Lodge flags. The smaller, un-named has a representation of the Arch, as previously described in the back of the Master’s Chair and at t5he top of the Arch is the Sun, Moon and Seven Stars and the All Seeing Eye. On the left of the Arch are the Trowel and Maul and on the right is the seven runged ladder. Under the Arch is a second degree Compasses and Square.
The larger flag bears the
legend “St Johns Blue Lodge No 675”
along the top and the name “Donaghadee”
along the bottom of the flag.Here again the main feature on the flag is the
Royal Arch and keystone. However this time the Open Volume of the Sacred Law
sitting on an Alter is the main feature under the Arch along with the All
Seeing Eye supporting the letter “G”. Around the perimeter of the Arch is the
Sun, with a beam of light striking the open Volume of the Sacred Law. Also
present are the Moon and Stars, Noah’s
There are two very early and interesting photographs on the walls of the Lodge-rooms. The first is of a Bro Daniel McPeak who died on the 2nd February 1900. Bro McPeak spent 61 years as a Master Mason in Donaghadee Lodge No 675. The second picture is of Bro Hugh Ross, a man
who received a number of degrees within the Lodge and served as a Provincial Grand Steward of Down in 1879. Bro Ross was called to the Grand Lodge Above on the 26th December 1892. Donaghadee Masonic Lodge No 675 met for many years in a room over Bro Ross’s Shop. Also on display over the fireplace is a nice example of Masonic Bottle Art, which contains a number of Masonic Symbols located within a sealed bottle ( not unlike a ship in a bottle ). Also on the fireplace is a fine example of an old Masonic beer-jug bearing the name Donaghadee and a fine marble memorial plaque to all those members of the Donaghadee Lodge who served in the Great War of 14-18.
Further up the wall, over the fireplace
is another more colourful Great War Roll of Honour. In this case, bearing the
flags of the Allied Nations this Roll of Honour was prepared locally in
In the ante room, is another
memento from the Great War – the Union
Jack flown by HM Torpedo Boat Destroyer Orpelia at The Battle of Jutland. Bro
Thomas Roberts of Donaghadee Lodge No 675 was the Steersman on the day of the
Then finally Companions on the Western Wall, is a magnificent example of a Pillared Priest Board illustrating the many Masonic symbols used in this old defunct Irish degree. There is a fully framed set of Pillared Priest seals associated with Donaghadee located in a frame on the fireplace and they act as a good introduction to this board. I recommend a close inspection of this item by all who manage to attend on the day, as I’m sure that you will all find the contents of great interest.
And just in case you are still hungry for artifacts, I would conclude this section by drawing attention to the large Royal Arch frame located in the
anti-room which has suspended thereon the symbols of Plumbline, Level, Square and Compasses. Companions, here we have a veritable treasure house of unusual, early interesting Masonic artifacts, and I hope that you will all enjoy looking at same on the day.
Our Ex King’s Adventure.
Companions, you will all be
relieved to learn that our Excellent King survived some recent excitement when
one of the passenger wheels nearly fell off his car, whilst he was travelling
home from the
Pillars of the Earth.
Ken Follett’s magnificient medieval novel – Pillars of the Earth has finally been filmed and will be shown on Channel 4 on the next four consecutive Saturday nights commencing at 9.00pm on Saturday the 16th October 2010. This will be a must see for Freemason’s, dealing as it does with the story of the medieval stone mason Tom Builder and his work in constructing a new medieval Cathedral in rural England. Here you will see many of the themes familiar to Masons such as the Lodge, a temporary structure built at the side of the Cathedral where the Masons do their draughtsmanship and have their fellowship, the building techniques forming Gothic arches, flying buttresses and supports for the Cathedral Towers etc. More importantly, it very clearly sets the context for medieval Cathedral buildings, by looking at society at the time, where these Cathedrals were so far removed from normal domestic architecture. So, if you have the chance, set a series link in your dvd recorders and watch this magnificent series in its entirety.