Were you aware that there is a Masonic Lodge associated with the School ?

The formation of a School Lodge was first considered in 1938/39, again in 1945/46 and finally the Lodge was eventually consecrated on 12 January 1965 in Gundulph Masonic Hall, Rochester, by the Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master of Kent, The Right Hon. The Lord Cornwallis. On the 26th April 2015, the Lodge celebrated its golden anniversary with a special luncheon in the historic Cobham Hall.

Tradition says that a Lodge had met at the Goose and Gridiron pub near St. Paul’s Churchyard for decades and had initiated Sir Christopher Wren in 1691. In the evening of the 24th June 1717, a group of freemasons met there to create the world’s first Grand Lodge and in 2017, the Craft marked this special anniversary with many events to celebrate its tercentenary. By 1730, the Grand Lodge met regularly and had over one hundred Lodges under its authority and had constituted Lodges in Spain and India.  Due to some disagreements, in 1751 a rival Ancients Grand Lodge was formed claiming that the original 1717 Grand Lodge had departed from the ancient landmarks of the order. These two Grand Lodges continued their rivalry for sixty two years with some Brethren belonging to both. HRH The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) had been Grand Master of the premier Grand Lodge since 1791 but becoming Prince Regent in 1813, he resigned and was succeeded by HRH The Duke of Sussex. The Duke of Athol also resigned as Grand Master of the Antients Grand Lodge and was succeeded by HRH The Duke of Kent. The two brothers soon had Articles of Union drawn up and with great ceremony on the 27th December 1813, the United Grand Lodge of England was formed.

In 1874, HRH The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was elected Grand Master and held that office until succeeding Queen Victoria as King in 1901. Successive members of the Royal family have participated in our Lodges and of course, our present Grand Master is the Duke of Kent.

Every year, members of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) donate over £30 million pounds to charity, over half of which goes to support non-Masonic causes. Caring for people less fortunate than themselves has been from the earliest times a principle of the Order. Freemasonry is spread all over the world and providing support where natural disasters and crises happen at home and abroad is an important part of Masonic charitable giving – over the past five years over £600,000 had been donated. To celebrate the Tercentenary, an additional £3 million pounds was given to 300 charities operating in England and Wales. Another milestone was also reached as Freemasons have provided over two million teddy bears and soft toys to A&E Departments for medical staff to give to distressed children.

The Old Roffensian Lodge is in good heart and is open to embrace men who do not necessarily have a connection with the School and who can appreciate the ethos of a school founded in 604 AD and the charitable aims of Masonry.    The past two years have seen three initiates and three joining members to boost our numbers. The Lodge meets four times a year in October, December, March and the Installation of the new Master takes place in June.

For the future the Lodge needs new members, both young and not so young, who with perseverance and fortitude will uphold the Masonic principles of care and charity and take the Lodge into its next fifty years. Those who are over 21 years of age and fulfil the criteria above may apply.

If anyone is interested in joining the Old Roffensian Lodge please contact the Secretary, Robert Edmond, 12, The Grange, Shepherdswell, Dover, Kent, CT15 7QB.

David Littlejohn (OC 1959 – 1964) OR