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.