Viva la Cornerstone

Following on from last year’s highly successful Scottish excursion, envoys of Essex Cornerstone Club resumed their International Tour, with a visit to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage in France.  Le Touquet is a renowned as a sophisticated holiday resort in northern France and is also home to Le Touquet Loge No 89.  Situated in the Masonic Province of Flanders and warranted under the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise, the origins of the Lodge are very much English (with strong Essex foundations)

Our welcome evening festivities commenced on Friday night as we joined members of Le Touquet Loge 89 in the plush ambiance of La Mahogany Bar at the Hotel Westminster. This was the perfect setting for us to find out more about the Lodge’s interesting history over a small bière or two. Of special interest was that the Lodge managed to survive a difficult period of non-recognition between UGLE and GNLF due to the tenacity of 10 die-hard members, affectionately known as ‘Les Dix Frères Fideles’ or ‘Ten Faithful Brothers’.

The next morning presented us with some free time to appreciate Le Touquet’s prominent local market and hunt down an obligatory Croquet Monsieur before heading back to prepare for the afternoon’s main event.

The meeting was held in the function suite of the Hotel Westminster.  It was evident how well regarded the Lodge and their Les Dix Frères Fideles are within the Province of Flanders. Several French Grand Officers attended the meeting including the Provincial Grand Master, DPGM and 2 APGMs. Although they fall under GLNF, the working of the Lodge is conducted in English and based on Emulation Ritual.  During the meeting we received an informative lecture by

W.Bro Ken entitled The Sceptre for the Trowel, which explored the Royal Family’s longstanding relationship with The Craft over the years. The festive board was a Champagne Reception which climaxed with a 7 course gourmet White Table Dinner from the hotel’s Michelin Star kitchen.

It was a marvellous weekend and definitely worth a visit for any Masons that wish to combine a Lodge visit with a pleasant weekend away in chocolate-box surroundings.  Such was the enjoyment it is possible the sound of petitions being requested could be heard.

Men at work!

On Saturday 7th April the Essex Cornerstone Club embarked on its first volunteering project of the year for Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme (CHESS). CHESS seeks to relieve homelessness, hardship and distress amongst single adults in Chelmsford and across Essex. They do this through the provision of support services and temporary accommodation that helps those in need move on with their lives.

The aim of the day was to assist with the clearing of gardens and driveways that had become overgrown at the head office and to help decorate and clear the gardens at one of the temporary homes in the centre of town. We quickly split into two teams and got to work!

Barbara Buxton, CHESS Business Support Manager, explained to the volunteers how volunteering for jobs like these helps save the charity money, money that can now be spend on more of the core services that they provide to the community.

Thank you to the 12 Essex Cornerstone members who gave up their time for this great cause, also a special mention to those Masons outside of the club who came along too. We’re hoping to do more volunteering in the future so watch this space for updates!

If you’re interested in volunteering for CHESS, hearing about their news and events please visit

Top Gun

On the 24th of March 2018 over 26 Essex Cornerstone club members and their guests attended a clay pigeon shot at the Essex Shooting Ground in Fyfield. 

Club members arrived and enjoyed a nice fry up in the form of a bacon roll, carefully prepared by club committee members Jack Saunders, Reiss Duthie and Jonathan McDonald. Breakfast provided an opportunity to network and get to know one another before the main event.

Shortly after breakfast we were greeted by Olley from the shooting club, where we went through the safety briefing with our instructors Darren, Phil and Rod. After going through our 20 practice shots from both traps, we moved onto a competitive round consisting of 30 shots. Bro Ian Graham taking the win overall with 26 shots out of 30 and our club Treasurer Jonathan McDonald finishing a very close second.

It was a fantastic day which also saw the attendance of Club Patron and DPGM Paul Reeves who provided guidance and moral support being a keen shooter himself. There was even talk on cards by some by some members of the creation of a Cornerstone Shooting club! We’re now looking forward to next year’s shooting event!

Thank you to all who attended and made our March event such a huge success.


During our member’s dinner at The Ivy last night the club announced a few changes to the Essex Cornerstone Club committee. Firstly a new President was welcomed in, Riess Duthie, who will be replacing Founding President James Tyrrell. Secondly, we said goodbye to Founding Chairman Elliott Chevin with Jack Gilliland taking over in that role.

Elliott and James have been pivotal in forming this wonderful club for young Essex Masons and thank them for everything they’ve done during their time. We know that we’re in good hands with Jack and Riess who will continue the good work started and look forward to their leadership and ideas during their time at the helm!

Providing Christmas cheer 

A tradition dating back over 23 years, the annual boars head meeting of Seven Kings Lodge, no. 2749, held at The Square, Upminster, was a spectacular like no other! With members and guests coming to support this wonderful meeting. After an excellent double initiation ceremony, the Brethren sat down to a special Festive Board, including a boars head!
The truly wonderful part of the whole day is that members and guests are asked to bring a donation of a children’s toy, which are then given to various children’s wards in hospitals across Essex, to bring a smile to the children who have to stay in over the festive period. 
The evening specifically supports the 

The Michael Charles Adams MBE Memorial (MCA) Trust that aids and assists local children with brain related cancers. In partnership with Queens hospital, Romford, they grant children with brain related cancers a special wish, or donate a piece of equipment to help make their lives a little easier or special.
So many gifts were donated that the team were able to host an extra party for some of the other less fortunate children. 
The meeting was very well attended, including by our Provincial Grand Master, RW Rodney Bass, many of his Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and also members of the Essex Cornerstone Club. The Brethren were very happy to have the opportunity to talk with the PGM afterwards and discuss Freemasonry and all the good work involved. They even got a chance to pose for a photograph! 
We are sure that next year the tradition will continue and be more successful than ever! We send our congratulations to all those involved in its set up and running. 
If you would like to find out more about the MCA Trust, or make a donation, go to

Quarterly Communication 

The opportunity of visiting Grand Lodge is always one too good to turn down, and December’s Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England was one such occasion. 6 Master Masons In the Essex Cornerstone Club were present as the MW the Pro Grand Master Peter Lowndes addresses the Brethren and a Report of the Board of General Purposes is heard. Freemason’s that meet in Provinces all over the country attend to hear the latest developments and the future of Freemasonry under United Grand Lodge of England.
Part of the meeting featured the “our yesterdays” item, a presentation by VW Bro. John Hamill, Deputy Grand Chancellor, and VW Bro. Graham Redman, Deputy Grand Secretary. The talk was an interesting look back at the proceedings of Grand Lodge in 1816 and 1817, including the standardisation of our ritual and is dissemination to all Brethren around the country. This presentation was the last featuring both distinguished Brothers, a staple of the agenda for the last 10 years. 
Our club chairman, W. Bro. Elliott Chevin, was on active duty as Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, and was part of the Grand Procession. 
Many other New & Young Masons clubs were present too, including the Colonnade Club (South Wales) and Mon Light Blues Club (Monmouthshire). It was great to link with other younger Brethren and build on our national connections. 
Afterwards we dined at the Hercules Pillars and shared many laughs over a few beers!
We look forward to attending again next year, and hopefully taking a few more Brethren with us as they become eligible after taking their 3rd Degree.
More information on New & Young Masons Clubs (NYMC) can be found at

Young Essex Masons cross the border!

The Essex Cornerstone Club announced in September that we were heading north of the border for what was possibly our most ambitious event to date, a weekend trip to Scotland.

On Friday 24th November the time finally arrived when 5 young masons flew into Edinburgh Airport and after a slick transfer we soon found ourselves in the William Wallace pub. A traditional Scottish bar steeped in history and overlooking the William Wallace Memorial.

On Saturday we attended the Installation of the new Worshipful Master R.W.M Bro. Andrew Preston at Lodge Zetland 391.  The warmth of the welcome given by the Lodge was reflected by how well attended the ceremony and festive board was.  It was great to see a number of other masons from the Province of Essex who had made the trip north for this special occasion. The ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Essex, Paul Reeves. There certainly appeared to be a ’work hard and play hard’ ethos at Lodge Zetland judging from the high calibre of the ritual carried out and the Festive Board which concluded in a disco.

On Sunday we had the good fortune to receive a private Masonic Tour of Rosslyn Chapel by Geoffery W Spence who is a Past Master of Rosslyn St Clair Lodge (606). As well as giving an overview of the history of Rosslyn, he gave an enlightening presentation of the Chapel’s links with the Knights Templar and walked us around the Masonic Symbolism crafted by our operative forefathers.

After the tour, we took a short walk to Rosslyn St Clair Lodge (606) where Geoff explained the antiquity of his lodge and some of the unique features of Scottish Lodges in general. You have to admire the dedication of Scottish Masons when 18 regular meetings a year, with two years in each office is commonplace.

It was an unforgettable weekend that we hope to arrange again next year!

Ian Graham

Earl of Dartmouth Lodge, 3279.

Meet the President!

The Essex Cornerstone club is extremely pleased to announce that Bro. Reiss Duthie, of St Laurence Lodge, No. 5511, is our new club president. After successfully serving as our founding secretary Reiss takes on the two-year role as President with immediate effect. He is looking forward to his new position and continuing his hard work with the running of the club.

Founding President, James Tyrrell is standing down after completing his two-year tenure. The club and its members are extremely grateful for James’ exceptional hard work and contribution during his tenure.

We are also delighted to announce that James has been given the honour by the Provincial Grand Master, of Provincial Grand Steward at the March Provincial meeting.

Taking over as club secretary is Bro. Jon Glynn, of Goodwill Lodge, No. 7904. Jon has recently joined the committee team and worked alongside Reiss assisting with events and the membership. As an active member of the club since its inception, we are sure Jon will continue to do an excellent job and contribute to the clubs success! — with James Tyrrell and Jonathon Glynn.

Music to our ears 

The Essex cornerstone club was very pleased to attend Sibelius Lodge, no. 9448 at Hutton Masonic hall for a special first Degree ceremony featuring two young candidates! 
This double Initiation was carried out to a very high standard in a sincere and solum fashion. Both candidates expressed how enjoyable and interesting the ceremony was and looking forward to taking their next regular step. 
The lodge has many more candidates lined up for the next few meetings and looks very strong for years to come! The members are very proud of the lodge and the hard work they put into the work showed, but also demonstrated how to have fun with it!
Thank you for inviting us and we hope to attend again as you welcome more new Brethren into Freemasonry!

Freemasons get locked up! 

The September event for The Essex Cornerstone Club promised to be something truly amazing. In association Dedham Vale Lodge 8901 they were given a fantastic opportunity to attend The Tower of London to witness the oldest military ceremony in the world, The Ceremony of The Keys. Tickets for this event were made available to Cornerstone members and sold out within minutes!   

Those in attendance gathered outside entrance which was directly outside the ‘Middle Tower’ ready to be collected by an extremely knowledgeable and charismatic tour guide. Once ready, guests were escorted into the grounds and were given a detailed, whistle-stop tour on the history of this World Heritage site, its noble residents and bloody history. After a breath-taking 45 minutes of touring the courtyards and chapels where many Kings and Queens had once graced, guests were taken to the Yeoman Warders Club, aptly named ‘The Keys’, for Beefeater Gin (of course) and some wonderful fish and chips.


Members and guests departed the Yeoman Wardens Club at 9:45 pm to watch the main event and anticipation was building! The congregation gathered on the cobbles just outside ‘The Bloody Tower’ where, at 9:53 pm exactly the Chief Yeoman Warder approached with Queen Elizabeth’s keys to pick up his escort to lock up the Tower for the night. This short ceremony has been unbroken for 760 years and the Essex Cornerstone Club and it’s guests were lucky enough to there witness this historic event.  


This was another truly successful event where young masons from every part of the Province of Essex were able to come together to share in this brilliant evening.    


If you’d like to attend this ceremony yourself, you can book here.