Paulinus Lodge No. 3957
1919 to 2019 Centenary
1919 to 2019 Centenary
Rt. W. Bro David Malcolm Wheeler
Provincial Grand Master
Masonic Province of Lincolnshire
100 years in Masonry doesn't sound long when you consider the history of Freemasonry in general. However, to have a continuous history of a Lodge meeting together with like-minded people in Lincoln is a great achievement. I am proud and delighted to be a Brother in Paulinus Lodge No. 3957 which, to me, has always been like an extended family.
A lot has happened in my 32 years of membership, both personally and in my Masonic life, and yet the happy, welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere at Paulinus Lodge has never changed. The Lodge continues to thrive with a good mixture of Brethren, both young and old, and long may this continue for the next 100 years and beyond.
I am honoured to be part of the special centenary celebrations of my mother Lodge. I congratulate everyone who has played their part over the years, in ensuring that the legacy of the special bond we share will carry on for as long as Paulinus Lodge continues to meet.
PAULINUS THE BEGINING
A little over 100 years ago, W. Bro Alfred Ernest Brunning stood up at a St Hugh Lodge meeting at the Mint St Rooms in Lincoln and proposed the formation of a new Lodge.
This proposal was not initially met with universal approval but as I now sit and write this introduction, Paulinus Lodge is celebrating a century of existence. Thanks to those former Brethren, we now still enjoy the fruits of their foresight.
Paulinus Lodge thrives due to the good men that it has attracted to its membership and still continues to do so today. Nearly 500 men have graced the ranks of Paulinus Lodge with new members awaiting Initiation and acceptance as joining members. Many more Brethren from sister Lodges and beyond seek out this Lodge on a regular basis for its warmth of fellowship and friendship
I am personally indebted to the late W. Bro Kenneth Burnett for his labours in researching and recording the first 50 years of our history and also to W. Bro Gordon Cooper for completing that history up to the 75th Anniversary.
The last 25 years has seen many changes for Freemasonry in general, however, for Lincoln Masons, a long held dream was to have a home of our own. This has now become a reality with the move after fifty years from the County Assembly Rooms to our new rooms on Nettleham Road at the former Nightingale Inn. Let us hope that wherever Lincoln Freemasons meet in happy accord in the future, that the Brethren of Paulinus Lodge will still be counted amongst the ranks of that Fraternal Brotherhood.
Here’s to the next 100 years...
W. Bro C. R. Foster PPrGReg Secretary
Alfred Ernest Evelyn Brunning 1872 – 1946
Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
Founding Member of Paulinus Lodge No. 3957
Lindum Lodge No. 5777
1st Worshipful Master of Paulinus Lodge No. 3957
THE STORY OF PAULINUS LODGE
After both World Wars, Freemasonry in this country experienced a notable expansion, both in the number of Brethren and in the number of Lodges. Released from the restraints, frustrations and bitterness of war, men turned, not unnaturally, to the Craft, and the Register of the United Grand Lodge bears witness to the resurgence of interest in Freemasonry which followed both wars.
It might, however, be an over-simplification to count Paulinus Lodge as one of those which came into being on this wave of interest which followed Armistice Day 1918. The first written evidence which has survived is a short and simple notice headed “New Craft Lodge” which states, “The Worshipful Master and Wardens of the Saint Hugh Lodge, No. 1386, will meet the Founders of the Proposed Lodge at the Freemasons’ Rooms, Mint Street, Lincoln on Wednesday next, the 26th inst. At 8 o’clock, at which your attendance is particularly requested.” From which, it can be deduced that plans for the new Lodge were already in an advance state only four months after the Armistice.
From this, too, can be drawn the implication that there were among the Freemasons of Lincoln at that time, men of vision and forethought who realised the need and were determined to do something to meet it. At that time, there were only four Craft Lodges in the city – Witham, St Hugh, Ermine and Excalibur. It was St Hugh Lodge which provided the impetus and the men, to formulate the plan for a new Lodge.
At this point, it is possible only to guess at the difficulties they must have faced. A long and terrible war was barely over; men were only just beginning to return to civilian life; it was a time of industrial unrest and uncertainty. It must have needed tremendous faith and resolute determination to carry forward the plan to launch a new Lodge.
But the hour and the needs of the hour are matched by the men, and this was certainly true of Paulinus Lodge. Outstanding among its Founders, and who served as its first Worshipful Master, was W. Bro. Alfred Brunning. Tall, dignified, always impeccable in dress, manner and deportment, he was a man who embodied all the qualities needed. He was a first class ritualist with a voice and a manner of diction which fitted so closely to the language and style of our Craft that his delivery of a Charge created the impression that this was not something carefully rehearsed and well remembered, but this was indeed Alfred Brunning speaking his own words in his own way. This was best exemplifies in the Final Charge to an Initiate. To stand before Alfred Brunning and receive this Charge was an experience that none ever forgot.
The standards which he imposed upon himself, he expected from others – and obtained them! The reputation which Paulinus Lodge speedily acquired of attaining a high standard of work was due in no small measure to the way in which he carried out his duties for many years as Director of Ceremonies and in 1924 his work for the Craft in general was fittingly recognised by the conferment of Grand Lodge rank.
But no Lodge can be the product of one man’s labour – as Alfred Brunning would have been the first to admit. He gathered round him men of equal determination and dedication. One of his most able supporters was W. Bro. Herbert Brader, the first Secretary of Paulinus Lodge. In some ways, he was the counterpart of Alfred Brunning. Where one was formal and dignified, the other was informal; while Brunning exerted, without conscious effort, tremendous authority, Brader would quietly and with a twinkle in his eye, wield a different kind of influence. When Brunning proposed or responded to a toast, it sounded like an oration, but Brader made a speech sound like a piece of delightful conversation. But in his work as Secretary, there was nothing informal or careless.
In the hands of Herbert Brader, the organisation and administration of the Lodge was as meticulously efficient as were its ceremonies under Alfred Brunning’s direction.
Herbert Brader held a senior position on the old Great Northern Railway (the forerunner of the LNER) and it was natural that Paulinus Lodge should have among its members a strong contingent of railway officials. Indeed, there was traditionally a ‘railway table’ in the supper room at Mint Street. To be invited to sit at the table was an honour in itself. One greatly-loved Paulinus personality to whom the honour was accorded was W. Bro. Henry Allison, a man of lively wit and sparkling humour. It was said, perhaps somewhat unfairly, that he was made an honorary member of the ‘railway table’ because, as a chemist, he was able to dispense the restoratives needed the following morning! Herbert Brader’s successor as Secretary was Franklin Leigh, another railwayman who also combined charm with efficiency.
The success of the Lodge was due to its capacity to attract men of ability and sound Masonic qualities. Among these must be numbered W. Bro. George Gilbert, younger brother of another distinguished Lincoln Freemason, W. Bro. Charles Gilbert. Brother George Gilbert, through his own connection with the Royal Naval Air Service in the First World War, provided a direct link with the Daedalus Lodge at Sleaford, which was formed a little more than a year before Paulinus and took its name from HMS Daedalus, the RNAS station at Cranwell. There was a regular interchange of visits between the two Lodges for many years and when, owing to the exigencies of the Service, Daedalus Lodge found itself in difficulties because men were posted or absent on duty, it was not at all unusual for Paulinus brethren to fill the gaps.
Another outstanding Paulinus personality was W. Bro. the Rev. Canon John Kaye, Rector of St Paul’s Church Lincoln, who served the Lodge for many years as its Chaplain.
Of W. Bro Kaye, the Dean of Lincoln said at a memorial service in St Paul’s Church, on April 21st 1940, “His personality was so strongly marked, so much his own, as to be in some ways unique. I confess that I have never known anyone quite like him. He was not an ordinary man, most certainly not an ordinary parson, and not even an ordinary saint. The ordinary saint, unless I am very much mistaken, is not the kind of person who would be known to hundreds of people by an affectionate rendering of his Christian name – ‘Dear Johnnie’.”
Later, the Lodge was admirable served in the office of Chaplain by the Rev. A.O. Jones, who became an honorary Canon of Lincoln Cathedral, but remained our beloved “Ossie”. He made the annual Paulinus service at St Mark’s Church a memorable event in the Lodge year. Another devoted servant of the Lodge was W.Bro W.R. Scarborough, who was the organist for many years. He was an accomplished musician who could make the old organ at the Mint Street rooms sound like a musical instrument! Then there was Bro. J.W. Phillips, for many years Tyler of this and other Lodges, a natural guardian of Masonic protocol and correctness. A look, without so much as a word of reproof, from Bro. Phillips was sufficient to remind any carelessly wayward Brother of what was expected of him.
These were the men – and others like them, too numerous to mention individually – who helped to create and shape Paulinus Lodge, to set its standards and, if our more senior Sister Lodges will forgive us for saying so, to give a new impetus to the Craft in the City of Lincoln.
Over the years, Paulinus Lodge has been, through its members, closely identified with the life of the city and community. It has provided two Mayors of the City of Lincoln. WJU Preston and WJ Bell; no fewer than nine holder of the office of Sheriff of the City – C. Nelson, Dr G. Lowe, R.C. Minton, George Wright, W. Goodlet, C.H. Gilbert, L.R. Grantham, W.J. Bell and S.P. Williams.
Members of the Lodge who have been honoured with Awards and Decorations include A. Ramsey and A.S. Gee, OBE; W.H. Birks, S. Bramhall and W. Daughton, MBE; H.T. Gravells, DCM; G.R. Gregory, Territorial Decoration.
It has been said that among our Founders were men of vision and foresight. Paulinus Lodge, with its growing numbers, was among those found conditions in the old Mint Street Rooms too cramped and confining. Indeed, there was a foretaste of coming events when in 1928, the Regular and Installation Lodge was held in the County Assembly Rooms. Four years earlier, the Lodge and particularly W.Bro. Brunning had tried to gain acceptance of the idea that Eastcliffe House on Greetwell Road, should be purchased to provide a larger home for the city lodges.
Unfortunately, the idea did not find favour. The asking price was said to be as high as £2,000! When the Lodge was formed, the rent of the Mint Street Rooms cost the Lodge £8 per annum, plus £26 per annum for the Tyler’s Fund. Against such figures, the capital outlay of £2,000 probably appeared not only excessive but wildly extravagant.
Evidence of the growth and strength of Paulinus Lodge was the fact that after only 20 years, members of this Lodge were taking a leading and active part in the formation of another Lodge. Lindum Lodge, No. 5777, received its Warrant in February 1939. Twelve of its Founders were members of Paulinus Lodge – Bros A. E. Brunning, G. Gilbert, F. Leigh,
G. Wright, W.M. Shaw, W. Holmes, W. Daughton, F. Patman,
H. Richardson, J.T.F. Tingle, J.W. Boulds and R.G. Fleming. Despite the initial handicap of being a new Lodge when once again the world was plunged into war, Lindum has thrived and has become a potent force in Lincoln Freemasonry. Paulinus Lodge has watched its progress with pride and affection.
It was ironic that the 21st anniversary of Paulinus Lodge which was founded so soon after the end of “the war to end all wars” should have been held on 29th May, 1940, the very day on which the British Forces in Europe began the withdrawal at Dunkirk. The candidate for that 21st Anniversary Lodge was serving in the Forces and the minutes record that he was unable to be present because he was unable to obtain leave of absence!
There is no formal history of Paulinus Lodge; it is simply the story of how the Lodge began. It is, happily, a continuing story and we who have the privilege of belonging to, and serving, the Lodge are still forming its history. May we be ever mindful of the words familiar to us from the Ceremony of Installation...
“And as this Association has been formed and perfected with so much unanimity and concord, long may it continue; may Brotherly Love and Affection ever distinguish us as men, and Masons.”
The story of Paulinus Lodge so far was recorded for the Golden Jubilee on 29th May 1969 by W. Bro. Kenneth E. Burnett, who was a journalist by profession. It is to him that the Lodge is indebted for the former John Burnett Memorial Fund, which was set up in 1973 in memory of his son, John Burnett, who was tragically killed in a road accident, aged 24 years.
This fund stimulated Mrs Haddrell to make a bequest in her will in memory of her late husband W. Bro. Arthur John Haddrell, the 50th Jubilee Worshipful Master. Unfortunately, at around the same time, W. Bro. Arthur Sydney Proud passed away and also left a bequest in his will for the setting up of a memorial fund.
Sydney Proud was noted in the Lodge for his work as Charity Steward, an office he held for very many years. It was a personal challenge to him to keep the Brethren in line with the spirit of Masonry and ensure that our Charitable Contributions were kept to a very high standard.
An outstanding personality of the Lodge at the time of the 50th Golden Jubilee was W. Bro Harold Clay. He held the Office of Secretary for 18 years. During which period he instigated Brethren to donate items for Lodge Property, which has resulted in Pauline Lodge having almost a full set, of very high quality. This is an achievement for which he was justly very proud, and would no doubt have completed had he not died. His son, Ronald Clay, was made an Honorary Member after 50 years’ membership. Ron lived nearly all this time away from Lincoln otherwise he would have been equally as active in the Lodge as his father.
Harold Clay’s successor in the Office of Secretary was W.Bro Steve Smith who continued with the same high standard of secretarial work for 14 years.
Reference has been made earlier in the story of Paulinus to the high standard imposed by W.Bro Alfred Brunning when he was Director of Ceremonies. This was certainly maintained by W.Bro Charles Clifford. He was a man of short stature with a powerful voice which he used to full effect when demanding a higher standard of work for the ceremonies. He was also a stickler in preserving order at the Festival Board and prohibiting the waitresses being present during our more private times. His outspoken manner will never be forgotten by those who heard him, more especially those to whom his remarks were intended.
Charles Clifford’s understudy was W.Bro Dudley Dolan who continued maintaining the high standard of work in the ceremonies for which Paulinus Lodge is justly very proud. Their combined length of service in the Office of Director of
Ceremonies, was, at the 75th anniversary, 41 years; a remarkable record in the Lodge’s 75 year history.
Another Officer with a notable length of service was W.Bro Charles Long, who held the Office of Chaplain for 22 years. He too was of short stature with a deep voice which was so effective in the ceremonies, especially Ecclesiastes in the Third Degree.
On Friday 27th April 1990, the Lodge was visited by Brethren of the Arabian Lodge No. 882 under the American Canadian Grand Lodge within the Grand Lodge of Germany. They gave a demonstration of the Master Mason’s Degree which was very dramatic and long remembered by the Brethren. The visit was organised by W.Bro Reg Brittan who had worked in Saudi Arabia for many years. W. Bro Brittan has in fact gained high recognition in their Grand Lodge, serving as Grand Master. To mark the visit, they presented the oriental coffee set and the engraved firing glasses to Paulinus Lodge.
Paulinus Lodge has a further overseas connection with W.Bro Charles Lowery, whose brother Fred lived in New Zealand. W.Bro Fred Lowery was the Worshipful Master of his Lodge in New Zealand in their Centenary celebrations and has presented Paulinus with a silver salver, a Maori decorated gavel and a Perfect Ashlar which rests on the Senior Warden’s pedestal.
A gift from not so far away, but still from over the water, is that of the Irish shillelagh presented to W.Bro Dudley Dolan on his initiation, by his father, who was a keen Mason in Ireland.
When the 50th Jubilee Story was prepared, the important Office of Almoner was not included. There is also that of Charity Steward which was created in the 1960s. The Lodge is indebted to all who undertake these duties which involve considerable time and effort.
Mention is therefore made of W.Bro Bill Richards, W.Bro John Neild and a dearly loved and missed Brother, W.Bro Geoff Watson who held these offices in recent times. Our thanks go to them for their hard work in these Offices and to the Lodge in general.
Many others have served the Lodge with dedication in their various Offices and a special mention is made of W.Bro Frank Bullard, W.Bro Jack Parish, W.Bro Doug Collis, W.Bro Tom Howard, W.Bro Geoff Green and W.Bro George Hutley, who were very active in the Lodge around the time of our 50th Jubilee. It is to these men of distinction and all the others who have already been named, that Paulinus Lodge is indebted for their loyal service and hard work and making Paulinus a Lodge of which we are all very proud.
It necessarily follows that when recording the Story of Paulinus Lodge, not everyone can have a special mention for the part they play or have played. May we be ever mindful of the Address to the Brethren in the Installation Ceremony and in particular, the following words...
“Brethren will be of too generous a disposition to envy them in their preferment.”
The Story of Paulinus has been brought up to date for the last 25 years and has been told so that at future quarter of a century intervals it can be continued for the benefit of our descendants to come.
1919 - The formation of Paulinus Lodge
Having had the opportunity to look through the records of St Hugh Lodge No. 1386 leading up to the formation of this Lodge, it was interesting for me to note, that the idea of forming a new Lodge did not instantly find favour with everyone. Fears were expressed that it would weaken the membership of St Hugh Lodge and assurances had to be given that the founders of the proposed Lodge would not abandon their membership of their Mother Lodge. Therefore, in accordance with a Notice of Motion given at the previous meeting, W. Bro Brunning proposed that in view of the great increase in the number of candidates offering in Lincoln and the large membership of St Hugh, that it was the opinion of the Brethren that steps should be taken to found a new Craft Lodge in order to cement and consolidate Freemasonry in the City.
It was also noted, that the membership of St Hugh at the time was 101 and consideration should be given to the length of time that it would take the younger Brethren to reach the Master’s Chair.
One long-serving Brother took exception to W. Bro Brunning’s estimate of how long it would take the present Initiate to reach the Chair under present conditions and also expressed concerns from a financial standpoint. He was afraid that this scheme might cause friction and entail a weakening of St Hugh Lodge and expressed a desire that the whole business should be deferred to a later date for further consideration. The Worshipful Master, in his summing up, agreed that a new Initiate would have a considerable wait before reaching the WM’s Chair. He also agreed that the main bone of contention for some Brethren was of a financial nature. However, after careful consideration and reflecting on his year in the Chair, the Worshipful Master felt that whilst there may be some weakening of finances for a few years for St Hugh, he was now of the opinion that the
formation of a new Lodge could only be beneficial to Freemasonry in Lincoln.
Prior to any vote being taken, the Worshipful Master asked the Brethren to consider the proposition before them from this standpoint - was a new Lodge necessary and would it benefit the Mother Lodge and Freemasonry in the City?
W. Bro Brunning replied on a number of these points and stated that the proposition could only emanate from one Lodge, but that the IPM of Witham Lodge was fully behind the scheme, bearing in mind that the use of the Mint Street Rooms was, at that time, managed by Witham Lodge. After ascertaining the manner in which the Brethren were desirous of voting, the Worshipful Master asked for a show of hands of those in favour and declared the proposition carried with a majority.
At a later meeting it was agreed that this new Lodge should be called ‘Paulinus’; however, all of my research and that of fellow Secretary W. Bro John Hassall of St Hugh Lodge, has failed to find any records of that committee meeting and until any new evidence emerges, will have to remain in the dark as to why that name was chosen. In a letter to our first Secretary, Herbert Brader, accepting the invite to attend the Consecration of this Lodge, W. Bro Dixon, Librarian of Witham Lodge, states the following, “Paulinus lives in History, although his connection with Lincoln is somewhat mythical”.
The Consecration of Paulinus Lodge took place at the Baptist Lecture Hall next to the Masonic Rooms on Mint Street Lincoln on Thursday 29th May 1919. The ceremony was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire, Rt. W. Bro. Rt. Hon. the Earl of Yarborough, a Past Grand Warden of England. He was assisted by his Provincial Officers.
At the conclusion of the Consecration Ceremony, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Installed W. Bro Alfred Brunning as the first Master of this Lodge. The remaining officers were then invested, a committee was appointed to draft the new By-Laws and the Lodge representatives and Tyler were elected.
There were 92 Brethren present at the Consecration, of whom, 66 were visitors, including Bro Alfred Thomas Davies who was at that time the Member of Parliament for Lincoln.
Although the Consecration Ceremony was well attended, a large number of apologies were received, due in the main to the vagaries of the local train timetable! It would appear that many Brethren living outside of the City were totally dependent on the train as their mode of transport, something that we may too easily forget in this age of the car. Attending the banquet was out of the question for several of the attendees, as the last train out of Lincoln for many of the outlying towns and villages was 6.00pm. However, tea was laid on at the Mint St Rooms for these Brethren prior to the banquet.
At 7.00pm that evening, following the Consecration, approximately 70 Brethren attended a banquet at the Saracen’s Head Hotel on the High Street in Lincoln.
The order tickets for drinks taken at this meal still exist and it is clear that a reasonable quantity of ‘J. Goulet’ Champagne was imbibed on this occasion. However, it would seem appropriate that the banquet should take place at this ancient Inn as it is recorded in the Register of Grand Lodge that in 1730, the first Lodge in Lincoln, Lodge number 73, was consecrated at the Saracen’s Head Hotel.
Until the arrival of the railways, the Saracen’s Head was a main stop for coaches to and from London, Peterborough, Hull, Manchester, Leeds and York and for many years; the hotel was the headquarters of the local Tory party.
On the opposite side of the street, at another inn now lost to us, was the Reindeer, which was the Whig party stronghold and where Witham Lodge originally held its meetings.
Sadly, the Saracen’s Head no longer exists as a hotel at it closed in 1959 and was subsequently redeveloped as shops.
At the first Regular Lodge meeting held on 1st October 1919, a ballot was taken regarding those Brethren who had been proposed as joining members at the Consecration meeting.
Amongst those named was Bro G.E. Gregory, the great, great grandfather of the current Junior Warden, Bro William Gregory. A second ballot was held to elect the first Treasurer and Bro Gregory was unanimously elected to that office, a post he held for the next 19 years.
Sadly, at this meeting, the Worshipful Master had to announce that two of the founding members, W. Bro W. Moore and W. Bro G. Goddard had passed away during the summer recess. W. Bro Brunning pointed out that both of these eminent Brethren should be seen as patterns for all Freemasons and that their work for the Craft would live long after them.
At the 1920 April meeting, the Worshipful Master is recorded congratulating his Senior Deacon Bro A. Ramsay on the honour conferred on him by his Majesty the King, that of being made an Officer of the British Empire. It was noted that the Brethren expressed their approval in the usual manner.
At the Installation meeting in October 1922, W. Bro Brunning presented a banner, which was given to the Lodge by W. Bro F. Ratcliffe, Past Grand Warden of Egypt. The cost of the banner was £42 2s. 2d. No records exist as to where the banner was made, or by whom, but the craftsmanship employed in its design certainly bears closer inspection.
An extra meeting was held in October 1922 and it is recorded that in the period between these two meetings, the Worshipful Master had to regretfully advise the Brethren of the death of another founding member, W. Bro F.P. Watson.
Also announced was the sad loss to W. Bro Brunning of his son. Although letters for the same were obviously exchanged, nothing remains in our archive to throw any light on these losses.
In 1924, proposals were made regarding the need for new and larger accommodation and W. Bro Brunning was again at the forefront of this initiative. Obviously, for some Brethren, the idea of raising and spending upwards of £2,000 on a house, however large, was out of the question, considering the low rental fees for each Lodge at the Mint Street Rooms.
The ornate collar worn by the Worshipful Master was purchased in 1925 and was first worn by W. Bro John Preston during his year in the Chair in 1926. Closer inspections of the silver adornments reveal several different hallmarks ranging between 1922 and 1925. It shows that the supplier must have had these various parts made and ready for construction prior to any purchase being made, and in order for a Lodge to create its own unique design. A few added embellishments such as the interlinked P & L make this collar unique to Paulinus Lodge. When looking at the photographs of our early Masters, many of them have a myriad of Masonic Jewels appended to the Master’s Collar. This is no longer common practice and a maximum of four Jewels attached to the breast pocket is now usually considered acceptable.
The 250th anniversary of the founding of Grand Lodge and the installation of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent as Grand Master were celebrated on 27th June 1963. A commemorative medallion to celebrate that anniversary is worn on the Worshipful Master’s collar.
The first Paulinus Past Master’s Collar jewel, worn by W. Bro Brunning, which is hallmarked 1919, is still in the Lodge archive.
In February 1928, W. Bro Brunning presented Paulinus Lodge with an illuminated Roll of Honour to contain the signatures of each successive Master from 1919 to 2019. The final signature to adorn that document and to set a seal on a century of Masonic fellowship will be that of the current Worshipful Master, Bro James Russell Greaves.
At the 21st Anniversary meeting on Wednesday 29th May 1940 there were five founding members present and the Lodge was also honoured with the presence of The Lord Bishop of Lincoln, V. W. Bro Rt. Rev Nugent Hicks, Past Grand Chaplain of England. As mentioned earlier in this history, the candidate for that evening’s ceremony, Bro George Gamble, was not in attendance due to not being able to obtain leave of absence from his unit, due to ‘there being a war on’. However, the Worshipful Master expressed a wish that the ceremony should continue with another Brother acting as the candidate. Special arrangements had been put in place due to this being the 21st Anniversary of the Lodge and the various chairs were filled with Past Masters of the Lodge.
Two of the founders took the following offices, Worshipful Master - Alfred Brunning, Inner Guard - Herbert Brader and acting as Senior Warden, W. Bro W. Ryder, who joined Paulinus at the first Regular meeting,
Before the closing of the Lodge, W. Bro Brunning addressed the Brethren by saying that he felt it was fitting to express his thanks to the Worshipful Master for being allowed to occupy the Chair of the Lodge on this special occasion, and on behalf of the other Brethren who had taken these offices that evening. He said that it had been a graceful gesture that had been much appreciated.
W. Bro Brunning continued by saying that he was, and always would be, very proud of Paulinus Lodge and of its continued and continual success, due undoubtedly to the happy circumstance of having acquired to its membership, Brethren of great Masonic quality who have given of their best in the service of the Lodge.
W. Bro Brunning thanked W. Bro Brader who had assisted him in the formation of the Lodge and who, throughout the 21 years had acted as, and continued to act as, Secretary, with an enthusiasm that carried all before him. He concluded his thanks by saying, may Paulinus have him as their friend and Brother for many years to come. Sadly, our first Secretary W. Bro Brader passed away a few months later.
1994 – 2019
In order to bring the history up to date, I must first reflect on the passing of a number of those Brethren who have been lost to us during the last 25 years.
W. Bro Dudley Dolan, who continued in the Office of Director of Ceremonies from 1994 to 1996 and who was later presented with a 50 year Certificate and then honoured by the Brethren with Honourary Membership for his services to this Lodge.
W. Bro Geoff Watson, former Charity Steward and much respected Brother.
W. Bro Henry Newsome who served in the Offices of Chaplain & Treasurer and who presented the Lodge with some fine examples of his handiwork such as our charity collection box which is used at every meeting.
W. Bro John Brown who was our Chaplain for 12 years until 2002.
W. Bro Ian Smith who took on many roles during his time with us such as Chaplain, Organist and Director of Ceremonies.
Many changes have taken place over the last few years and one of these being the move from the County Assembly Rooms in Lincoln after 50 years, to our new home at the former Nightingale Inn on Nettleham Road in Lincoln. W. Bro Brittan was a driving force with regards to acquiring a home of our own and whilst a number of locations were explored for their potential, most were found to be unsuitable for the needs of Lincoln Freemasons.
Eventually, the opportunity arose to purchase the former public house, The Nightingale, on Nettleham Road in Lincoln. For the next two years, work was carried out in order to convert the building into the Masonic rooms that we occupy today. Week after week, a number of committed Paulinus Brethren were at the forefront when it came to demolition and labouring duties; however, without the help of numerous brethren from our sister Lodges, partners and family members, the costs to Lincoln Freemasons collectively, would surely have been higher.
Paulinus Lodge had the honour of holding the first Regular Lodge meeting at the new rooms on Wednesday 4th September 2013. There were 37 members and 48 visitors present.
To record the service and achievements of all of the Paulinus Brethren past and present would fill several volumes. However, it was a great honour for the Lodge and the Brethren of Paulinus when it was announced that one of our members, W. Bro David Malcolm Wheeler was to be installed as the Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Lincolnshire on 12th July 2018. David was initiated into Paulinus Lodge on the 4th February 1987 and was proposed by his father, W. Bro Philip Wheeler and seconded by his brother Alan Wheeler. Rt. W. Bro Wheeler was Master of Paulinus Lodge in 1995 and First Principal in Hugh of Avalon Chapter in 2007. In 2002 he was appointed as Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.
In 2008, David was promoted to Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden and in 2014, Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. David was the Provincial Membership Officer and received Grand Rank appointments in 2015 to Past Grand Standard Bearer and 2018 Past Senior Grand Deacon.
A long standing member of this Lodge, W. Bro Neville Storey received high honours in Mark Masonry when he was installed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 2017. W. Bro Storey is also active in a number of side degrees and orders and has served as the Director of Ceremonies for this Lodge for a total of 15 years.
W. Bro Reginald Brittan also deserves mention for his commitment to Freemasonry. W. Bro Brittan has held high office in a number of Masonic orders achieving the great honour of serving as Grand Master of the American Canadian Grand Lodge within the Grand Lodge of Germany in 1994. W.Bro Brittan, who had worked in Saudi Arabia for many years, was a member of Arabian Lodge No. 882 under that Grand Lodge.
Reginald Leslie Brittan
In January 2019, W. Bro Brittan was presented with his 50 year certificate and our Liaison Officer W. Bro Robert Holland gave an excellent oration outlining the service history of our Brother, Reg Brittan. He said that the extensive history of W. Bro Brittan’s involvement in the Craft & Holy Royal Arch Freemasonry should also viewed alongside the number of other side degrees and orders that Reg holds high office in and also his involvement with the American Canadian Grand Lodge of which he was the Grand Master for a term of two years. It is some measure of him as a man and a Freemason, that on returning to this country, he relinquished the honours that that high Office would have been due to him and started at the bottom again, taking the Chair of this Lodge twice.
W. Bro Holland read aloud the Certificate signed by our Provincial Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro David Wheeler and then read out David’s personal letter to Reg.
“Reg Brittan has always been a role model both to me and many other Freemasons in Lincolnshire. He was a very good friend to my late father, Philip, both at work and in Masonry over many years. Reg’s enthusiasm for Freemasonry has never dimmed. In fact, it is probably stronger now than it has ever been. His encouragement and support inspired many of us to work that little bit harder at our ritual. His passion for our Craft is an example to all. I am proud to count Reg as a brother and a friend. I am sorry that I can’t be present to share this special milestone with Reg but I hope to be invited to his 60th anniversary where I will be happy to buy him a pint of Theakston’s Best Bitter!
Congratulations Reg, you deserve all the accolades you will no doubt receive this evening in our Lodge, Paulinus Lodge
No. 3957 Yours, sincerely and fraternally, David”.
W. Bro Brittan was also presented with a 50 year Certificate from the American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL) and a personal letter from the present Grand Master of the ACGL.
W. Bro Brittan received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the Brethren which lasted for several minutes.
As part of the process of updating the history of Paulinus Lodge, Brethren were asked for a few recollections regarding their time in Freemasonry or of Brethren no longer with us.
W. Bro Brittan offered the following:
My earliest recollection of Paulinus Lodge was the day of my interview, the Master and a number of Past Masters grilled me for what seemed hours, due to my age, I was in my mid-twenties. One member of the committee, who I, along with many other, feared, was W. Bro Charles Clifford, the DC. He was a short stout gentleman, somewhat like Captain Mainwaring in the BBC television sitcom Dad's Army. In fact, he ran Paulinus Lodge like a platoon commander.
His favourite pleasure was to stand at the door of the Lodge Room and inspect your gloves and woe betides if they were dirty because he would not let you into the meeting. He would simply say “Tell your mother to clean your gloves before the next Lodge Meeting”. In short, simply one look from W. Bro Clifford would put the fear of God in you.
During those heady days I was travelling the world for Ruston and Hornsby, the largest engineering company in Lincoln. I remember being dispatched to Japan which was a two-day flight in those days. I used the flight time to learn, what I feel, is the most meaningful charge in the first degree, ‘The North East Corner’. On my return, I made a mistake. I asked W. Bro Clifford, the DC, if I could do the North East Corner charge at the next Initiation Ceremony! His reply was not expected, informing me, in no uncertain terms, that W Bro. Frank Bullard had been doing that piece of ritual for the past 18 years, and he Bro Bullard would be very upset and probably resign if he the DC agreed to this request.
What Charles Clifford didn’t know was that W Bro. Frank Bullard was within earshot of the conversation. In fact, W Bro. Bullard was overjoyed that I had asked to do it. He took Charles Clifford to task over his treatment of me, and after some face saving, he agreed to let me do it – but only after I demonstrated my ability to do so before the Past Masters.
The day arrived and it coincided with an official visit by the Provincial Grand Master, Rt. W. Bro. Col. J.G.T. Eccles and his Team. Following the ceremony and prior to the Festive Board, I was having a quiet drink somewhat pleased with my performance, when the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies summoned me to follow him. It was a long walk down the corridor to the VIP’s bar. I did not know if I was to be admonished or congratulated. Rt. W. Bro Eccles then came over to me and congratulated me on an excellent rendition of the North East Corner, when immediately from nowhere; W. Bro Clifford appeared and informed the PGM that it was his new policy to allow younger members of the Lodge to perform ritual work in our ceremonies. I am sure I observed the PGM’s eyes roll as he said, “W Bro. Clifford, I have been advocating that practice for years”.
W. Bro Neil Storey reflects on his time with Paulinus Lodge:
I have been around and involved with Freemasonry and Paulinus Lodge in particular for as long as I can remember. I came to Ladies’ Nights as a teenager before I was old enough to join. I had always been interested in Freemasonry and had wanted to join as soon as I was able.
As a Lewis (the son of a Mason), I considered joining at 18 but as I went away to university, I decided to wait until I could dedicate the time to it properly. I have always thought of Paulinus as a particularly friendly and welcoming lodge. For me, it has a special family feel and I firmly believe that this is one of the reasons that we have been so successful in attracting and keeping new members.
I have had some very special occasions in Paulinus; not least my father taking the chair for all three of my degrees and then installing me in the Chair of King Solomon as Master.
Receiving an active Provincial office as a first appointment was also an honour for me.
My wife Lucy’s Ladies’ Evening was also very special with a great toast from our now Provincial Grand Master and then having the Ladies’ Song sung by W. Bro Dudley Dolan.
There is still something exciting about standing up in lodge and delivering ritual and I hope that continues for a long time to come.
W. Bro Nick Brown, Lodge Mentor, added:
As the Paulinus Lodge approaches its Centenary, we are given an opportunity to reflect on Masonry in general, this Lodge in particular, and ourselves. I am a Lewis, my father being a member in the Province of West Yorkshire. I joined at the age of 24 and, to date, have been the youngest Worshipful Master of this Lodge.
So why did I join? I knew a little of the Order due to my father’s involvement. After arriving in 2001 to live and work in Lincoln, I was actively seeking a Lodge to join. Coincidentally, at the same time, I was learning to drive, and having spent a long time with my driving instructor and upon learning that he was a Freemason, he invited me to a December social evening with my then girlfriend. I joined the following April in 2002 and passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft the following month.
What I found was a warm welcome and a new and wide circle of friends, bound together by fascinating ceremonies and very enjoyable festive boards. I have made some friends for life and from such diverse walks of life; I don’t think I would ever have met them under normal circumstances.
My life has been richer for me knowing them. I extended my Masonic circle by joining the Holy Royal Arch and completed my journey in Pure and Antient Masonry and I have now been a Freemason for just short of half my life.
I am still enthralled by the ritual, the messages, symbols and the lessons contained within. I have visited Lodges across the county and beyond, each time learning something new and making new friends and contacts. On a work related visit to Hong Kong, I visited several Lodges and was received warmly and looked after by the brethren of the Lodges that I attended. Masonry has certainly fostered my curiosity and, I hope, made me a better person.
In 1969 at the Golden Jubilee meeting, the then Rt. W. Provincial Grand Master J.G.T. Eccles, in his closing remarks, said the following:
“You, the Brethren of this Lodge should not forget the devotion to duty and the part played in establishing this Lodge by those who have now laid down their tasks. Their unselfish work is now the inheritance of the present members. I have no doubt that you will carry on that work in the future, ever remembering the value to mankind of Brotherly love, relief and truth.
May the Paulinus Lodge go on from strength to strength teaching its members to lead a simple, useful, full and happy life. May its aims be to put the teaching of Masonry into men, as well as putting men into Masonry and may success attend you and those who follow you.
May the Great Architect prosper, direct and counsel you in all your undertakings”.
List of Members 1919 - present
F-Founder J-Joined E-Excluded R-Resigned RJ-Rejoined