Friday, September 19, 2014

‘A Scots Lodge in England’

RW Trevor Stewart presenting the 2011
Wendell K. Walker Lecture at The Players.
With results of Scotland’s plebiscite expected momentarily, and having just gotten home from The Old Lodge, the Wendell K. Walker Lecture of 2011 is an apt choice for today’s Flashback Friday. None other than RW Bro. Trevor Stewart was chosen to present the lecture to Independent Royal Arch Lodge No. 2, highlighting a great evening at The Players. I just wish I could remember what he said.

The lecture is an annual tradition, and this one was part of the 250th anniversary celebration of “Old Number 2.” It is named for a notable figure in the world of Masonic learning. MW Bro. Walker was one of the forces who made the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library the world renowned institution we know today, and who helped launch The American Lodge of Research in 1931. And what better lecturer to bring to the podium than Trevor? The then Right Worshipful Master of Sir Robert Moray Lodge No. 1641 in Edinburgh is no stranger to the First Manhattan District. He came, as he phrased it, “to make announcements of small discoveries that I have made that make a contribution.”

Unfortunately, that quotation is the extent of my notes from the night of March 24, 2011 to have survived to this day, and I have that little notebook page thanks only to a phone number on the back, although I don’t know now whose number it is. So I apologize for this anti-climactic conclusion, but all I remember for certain is that Trevor told us how Robert Moray’s initiation into Freemasonry not only predates Elias Ashmole’s by almost six years, but also that the event bears the bizarre significance of it being the work of a Scottish military Masonic lodge at labor on English soil at Newcastle, while the Scottish army was besieging that city. There were other very odd circumstances at work, but I cannot remember with any accuracy what Trevor shared with us. That’s no reflection on Trevor’s research or delivery, of course, but simply is my own failing. (Trevor, if you happen to see this and care to e-mail me your lecture, I’d love to share its salient details here.)

So, on that disappointing note, have a nice weekend. Oh, the 2015 Wendell K. Walker Memorial Lecture is scheduled for Thursday, March 19. Details TBA.

The other memorable event that evening was the arrival of New York's Bravest, prompted by the accidental triggering of the establishment's fire alarm. Sadly, The Players had to kick us out and lock up for the night, by order of the Fire Marshal. There's Trevor in the foreground, trying, I think, to use his considerable powers of persuasion to keep the party going.

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