We were recently contacted by W Bro Paul Miller from the Elvetham Lodge No 4013 in Basingstoke, Hampshire. He contacted us because he had come across a masonic case containing items relating to our lodge. Specifically, the case contained documents relating to one of our first initiates, Bro Thomas Charles Hutchinson. Bro Paul generously donated these items to the lodge for their safe keeping, for which we are very grateful.
Brother Tom was initiated in 1936, the year after the lodge was consecrated. He was Master in 1946, the lodge organist in 1954, treasurer from 1959-1963 and Chaplain from 1969-1970. He sadly died in 1972. Ron Hutchinson, his son, was Master in 1970.
In the case were three Master Mason rosettes, a 1908 Taylor’s ritual book, a declaration showing that W Bro Tom was a Life Governor of the Royal Masonic Hospital and his Grand Lodge Certificate.
W Bro Paul Miller noticed that the name of our lodge was spelt incorrectly on the certificate, with a ‘w’ instead of a ‘u’ in the name ‘Laurence’. Goodness knows how that happened and why it was not corrected!
As can be seen above and below, the text on the left hand side of the certificate was repeated in Latin on the right hand side in those days.
This practice has now ceased which is a pity. Note also that under W. Bro. Tom’s signature the words ‘Ne Varietur’ appear, meaning ‘never to be varied’.
The ritual book in the case shows signs of heavy use, indicating that Bro Tom indeed tried to make a daily advancement in masonic knowledge.
The book was priced at 7 shillings (35p) when W Bro Tom received it, sometime in 1937.
Below is a declaration which shows that W Bro Tom was a Life Governor of the Royal Masonic Hospital which sadly is no more. Its eventual sale in 1992 was inevitable as fewer and fewer brethren wanted to journey to West London for their medical care.
It is good to have these historical items in our archive for future generations of St laurence Lodge to view and again, we are very grateful to W Bro Paul Miller for donating them.