December Newsletter 2020

Newsletter from the Pharos Secretary

Greetings Brethren,

I hope you are keeping safe and well.
Where to begin? After four weeks of lockdown, to end on the 2nd December, the hope was that things would ease slightly. As you are all aware on that date we enter Tier 3, the most severe restrictions. Even if we had been in Tier 1 we would not have been resuming ‘Rule of Six’ as many brethren assumed.

To clarify the instructions from UGLE on the 2nd November the Grand Secretary sent notice through the First risings that the MW the Grand Master had directed that all Lodge meetings be suspended from the 5th November and that the suspension would remain in place until due notice. This open-ended suspension means that at present and until advised further no meetings can take place in December and thereafter (Government lockdown or otherwise).

What does this mean to the Pharos Lodge? At this moment in time we can only speculate, but with the relaxation of rules over the Christmas period infection rates will probably increase meaning yet more severe rules. Our January meeting is doubtful and the Special meeting we were going to have in the Great Hall at the Dover Grammar School for Boys in February 2021 has been postponed.

I have mentioned in previous communications the success of our October meeting when we were able to vote on donations to our regular charities. I have received letters of thanks for our continued support in these difficult times.

Our Worshipful Master, Roger Gabriel, attended an ‘Old Pharosians’ Zoom meeting recently and discussed the situation with the Head Teacher, Phil Horstrup. It looks like we could have our special meeting in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 as the building works on the new school are a little behind due to Covid, so at least something to look forward to.

This is a recent picture of the progress.

On a more personal note, it has been a very sad year for the brethren and their families with the passing of four of our number (thankfully none through Covid). We have also said farewell to one of our widows, Mrs Betty Slater and the wife of one of our members, Sheila Copp. I recently contacted some of our older brethren by phone and am pleased to report that the majority seem to be coping ok. One is recovering from a serious operation and sadly another has been diagnosed with cancer. For obvious reasons I cannot go into detail here, but I’m sure you would like to join me in wishing all of our members and their families good health for the future.

Recently I set up a couple of Zoom meetings, one in the morning and one in the evening, both of which were attended by the same 5 people. I know I’ve made a hash organising a couple of these in the past, but I am doing my best to keep us all together. I will continue to set meetings up, but please, if you are free, try to join in. if there are any specific things you would like us to discuss, drop me an email and I’ll let everyone know.If you are having difficulties with the technology please ask as we might be able to resolve these for you.

News from the Province of East Kent;
At the Provincial Meeting in April, Very Worshipful Brother Peter David Williams PGSwdB will be stepping down as Deputy Provincial Grand Master having held the office for the past six years.
The Provincial Grand Master has invited Worshipful Brother Philip Neil South PAGDC of the Northfleet Lodge No 4149 to accept the office of Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Also at the meeting in April, Worshipful Brother David William Alexander PSGD will be stepping down as Assistant Provincial Grand Master having held the office for the past four years.
The Provincial Grand Master has invited Worshipful Brother Duncan Andrew Rouse PGStB of the Old Cranbrookian Lodge No 6877 to accept the office of Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
I am delighted to inform you that both W. Bro Philip South and W. Bro Duncan Rouse have accepted their respective appointments and will be invested at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting to be held on Friday 16th April 2021.
It will be interesting to see where the county is in relation to Covid restrictions in April.

If you are online, I recommend visiting the Solomon website at run by UGLE. There is a lot of interesting educational information available, including webinar tutorials. Remember our pledge to make a daily advance in masonic knowledge? Well here’s a place that can do just that. The ‘First Risings’ also have a lot of information about the history of freemasonry, so don’t just delete them, have a read and maybe save them as a future reference library?

If there is anything masonic you need help with, remember we have a team in place. Garry Steed is our Mentor, Dai Bennett our Almoner and I am Membership Officer. All of our details are on every summons you have.

That’s about it for now. Please stay safe, as I want us all to be able to return to our ‘normal’ life as soon as possible. Personally, I would rather have a somewhat restricted and secluded Christmas this year and live to see many more in the future. As has been stated elsewhere, ’The virus doesn’t care that it’s Christmas’, so I will be taking the same precautions over the whole festive season. I want to still be around when we can all get together again!

Stay safe, stay well,

WBro Arthur Hornby,
Secretary of the Pharos Lodge 6967

Covid-19 Support

As Freemasons we are proud of a 300-year history of helping those in need.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic focussed our minds on the dramatic changes to the lives, circumstances and needs of so many people in so many ways. In our Province of East Kent we have been able to respond very positively to the truly exceptional difficulties that the pandemic has brought about. The challenges presented by the pandemic will always be met with enthusiasm and commitment. As Freemasons we are determined to identify and support such organisations and individuals in these times of unprecedented difficulty. This medical emergency will, of course, pass in due time, but the purposes and positive effects of Freemasonry, both locally and nationally, will remain long afterwards. We would like to thank all those who have made such a difference for so many —and who will, continue to do so.

Neil Hamilton Johnstone, Provincial Grand Master

Obituary – the Reverend Dr Michael Hinton

Obituary – the Reverend Michael Hinton

It is with great sadness that we need to inform you of the passing of one of DGSB’s former Headteachers, the Reverend Dr Michael Hinton. Reverend Hinton was a much respected and well-loved leader of the school between 1960 and 1968 and successfully saw a generation of students through what was a very turbulent decade, always doing so with the boys’ best interests at heart. The sincere condolences of everybody at Pharos Lodge and DGSB go to Michael’s family and friends at this difficult time.

October Meeting

Wootton Hall
The hall prepared for the meeting

As the Dover masonic centre remains closed, brethren from Pharos Lodge met instead at Wootton Village Hall on Saturday the 17th October for the their normal regular lodge meeting.

Special dispensation had been granted from the Province of East Kent to hold the meeting at a non-masonic venue, and all Covid 19 regulations were followed.

The Worshipful Master was able to hold a ballot of members present to award grants of £50 to the Dover Grammar School for Boys, and £100 to each of our charities –  The Pilgrims Hospice, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and The British Legion.

Thanks go to WB Arthur Hornby for all the hard work he has undertaken to make the necessary arrangements to enable this meeting to take place. Thanks also to United Industrious Lodge No 31 for the loan of some of their masonic furniture.


August Newsletter 2020

Newsletter from the Pharos Secretary


Brethren, I hope you are still keeping safe and well.

Recently you will have had email from me regarding the Founders and Past Masters Jewel’s for sale on eBay. I was amazed at the speed of response from members offering to not only contribute to the purchase, but the fact that some were prepared to foot the cost in full. With agreed contributions from the first 10 of £10 each, W Bro Steve Davies secured the items on the lodge’s behalf.

On behalf of the lodge I have written to all those who helped, or offered to help, expressing gratitude for the return of part of Pharos History.

These days nearly all secretarial work is carried out on computer but in the past much was hand written or typed (thank you modern technology for making my life a little bit easier!). A couple of years ago I thought it would be a good idea to copy as much of the lodge’s history as possible in a digital format for future generations. I suppose the most recent, about 2 years ago, was to copy the photos of our Past Masters from our photographic record. Whilst several of our founders occupied the Chair of King Solomon in Pharos, only a couple referred to their lodge status at the consecration.

So who were our Founders?
Where did they come from (Lodge wise)?
What was their initial role in 1950?

Here’s what I found:

Name Mother Lodge Office
The Rev. Llewellyn W. C. Langley, B.Sc., P.M., P.P.G.Chap. 1208 Master
Edward F. Prescott, P.M., P.P.S.G.D. 199 Secretary
W. Wilton Baxter, M.A., O. d’Acad., P.M., P.P.G.Org. 1208 Almoner
George R. Plater, P.M. 1208 DC
Frank L. Kendall, M.A., P.M. 1208 Treasurer
Francis J. Ryeland, P.M. 3356 No Office
Sydney H. Morris, W.M. 1436 ADC
Alfred H. Gunn. 1208 SW
Frederick G. Ryeland. 199 JW
Archibald S. Lewis. 1208 SD
Dan H. Smith. 2195/1208 JD
H. Arnold Stanway, B.A. 199 IG
Edmund Crush, M.C. 199 Stwd
Reginald G. Holloway 199 Stwd
Edwin Goldfinch. 199 Stwd
Leslie W. H. N. Hookham. 199 Stwd
Eric W. Pudney. 199 Stwd

From Senior Warden down to Stewards, only 3 never attained the chair, the most interesting being Francis Ryeland, Past Master of lodge 3356. That’s not 3356 in the United Grand Lodge of England, but the District of Rhodesia where he was District Grand Tyler 1957-57, promoted to District Grand Superintendent of Works in 1958. He remained a member of the Pharos Lodge until his resignation in 1970.

Returning to my ‘That which was lost is found’ narrative, I, along with WBro Steve Davies, have been giving some thought as to where some of the 17 Founders Jewels, of which we have 2, and 10 Founders Past Masters Jewels of which we also only have 2, may be?

2025 marks the 75 anniversary of the Consecration of the Pharos Lodge 6967, and I think it would be a fitting memory to those that founded the lodge, and those that followed, if we could get a display cabinet giving our history ready for this date. The time will pass quickly and some of us may not even be around to see it, so if you know of the whereabouts of any of these Jewels, or any Past Masters Jewels, please let me know so the lodge can attempt to encourage the holders of them to ‘let them come home’.

Not my usual Newsletter, but I hope you have found it interesting.

Stay safe, stay well.


W.Bro Arthur Hornby,
Secretary of the Pharos Lodge 6967

Past Masters and Founders Jewels

Masonic Jewels
Founder and Past Master Jewels

We became aware that a founders jewel and PM jewel were on the auction site eBay, so the lodge decided to purchase them – if we could.  Happily we were successful and they now have become part of our lodge history again.

Below is a little of that history researched by WB Arthur Hornby our secretary.

W Bro Leslie William Henry Norman Hookham

Photo of the WM in 1961
W Bro Leslie William Henry Norman Hookham

W Bro Leslie William Henry Norman Hookham was already a member of the Peace and Harmony Lodge (199) in Dover when it was decided to found the Pharos Lodge on 29th April 1950.

As a founder of the lodge he first took on the office of Steward, which he held for two years, progressing to Junior Deacon in 1954. After what appears to be a short break he resumed that office in 1957, progressing to the Chair of King Solomon in 1961 as Worshipful Master.

In 1971 he received the Provincial Honour of Past Provincial Deputy Grand Registrar, no doubt from the work he had done in his mother lodge as well as in our own. From 1976 to 1986 he was the Library and Museum representative.

WBro Leslie passed to the Grand Lodge Above  on the 6th of March 1989.

Covid 19

Letter from Neil H. Johnstone – Provincial Grand Master – East Kent.
Dear Brethren,
It is with great personal regret that I write to you now to reiterate the communication from the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, issued at midday today, (17th March 2020) that all Lodge meeting under the United Grand Lodge of England are suspended with immediate effect for a period of four months.
This includes Lodges of Instruction, Committee meetings and I have extended the suspension to all Masonic social activities within the Province.
This causes me, and I know all of you, enormous disappointment. How we proceed at the end of the suspension period is yet to be clarified but you will be advised at the earliest opportunity.

The primary responsibility we all now share is the welfare of our Brethren, and their families. Whilst it is in normal circumstance the Almoners role, in this current situation, we are all Almoners. We must all share that responsibility and be aware of and react to the needs of our Lodge members particularly those who we know are more vulnerable. Unfortunately personal visits are precluded, but phone calls, email or any other form of communication, I am sure, will be welcomed by the recipient.

This is the opportunity for the true spirit of Freemasonry to shine through and I have no doubt that you will all continue to support your Lodge and Brethren in these troubling times.

Neil H. Johnstone
Provincial Grand Master/
Grand Superintendent

Hail and Farewell

On 29th of February the Pharos Lodge held its annual ‘Hail and Farewell’ social, saying goodbye to our present Worshipful Master, WBro Roger Gabriel, and welcoming Bro Craig Collins as Master Elect.

These days the falling attendance seen at many lodge meetings is also reflected in the social activities they hold with a decrease in numbers at many events, often resulting in cancellations. It is important therefore that when we are lucky enough to have younger men join us we do our best to provide suitable entertainment for them.

Birthday boy
The “Birthday Boy” (on the right) with his wife Josie and guests

With our latest Brother having ten guests on his table alone, added to the regular supporters we were halfway there. We also had the good fortune that one of our ‘younger’ brethren decided to use the occasion to celebrate his 20th (yes, I did say 20th ) birthday,  such are the pitfalls of being born in a leap year on the 29th of February!

Apart from the birthday cake for Dai, the lodge secretary took the opportunity to present a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ for all the hard work Dai has put in as Almoner for many years.

With a total of 21 in his party we had a total of 67 sit down to a cracking meal in the Masonic Centre at Dover and then danced the night away to a disco.

As always Charity was at the heart of what we do. With the profits from the evening totalling over £600.00, the social committee is adding funds to allow £1,000.00 to be given to the 2025 Festival. Our thanks to WBro Steve Davies for taking on the role of MC for the evening, Bros John Cockram, Bob Duffy and Mark Pitchers for their help with the Raffle etc, and our Caterer and his staff for a wonderful meal and excellent service, but mainly to all of those who came and supported the occasion.


Look our for details of our summer BBQ at Wootton Village Hall