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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Letter from Neil H. Johnstone – Provincial Grand Master – East Kent.
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/
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.
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
December 2019 saw the staff and boys at Dover Grammar School for Boys celebrating almost a hundred years at their current site.
The School on the Hill is due to be replaced in 2021, and the staff and boys were joined by retired staff, Old Pharosians and Members of Pharos Lodge to work with the boys producing work that drew on the memories of these past members of the school.
A drone was also engaged to film some of the arial views.
This second film shows an artist’s view of what the new school might be like.