Fitzroy London 2016


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Visit to Fitzroy Lodge No.569, The Honourable Artillery Company, London


At the kind invitation of W Bro John Hawkins, a Past Master of St Dunstans Lodge no.7973 in Glastonbury, but also a member of 569, our Worshipful Master, W Bro Chris Kelly and myself, attended the April Meeting of Fitzroy Lodge no 569 last Friday evening. John had another guest from Somerset, W Bro Peter Yusen.


We all stayed overnight in the “Barracks” which made for a relaxed evening.


This historic Lodge was formed by members of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) and was consecrated in December 1849, and has, as one might expect a rich history and culture.


Their meetings are held at the highly impressive Headquarters of the HAC in City Road, Finsbury, London, which from the road resembles a Castle, and on this occasion we were in the “Long Room” which boasts much atmosphere and pomp with striking portraits of former Captains- General/Colonels in Chief, such as King George V and George V1 and former Prime Minister, Edward Heath, as well as one of Her Majesty the Queen who is the present Captain- General.


The whole premises are very impressive and are steeped in history with one room dedicated to the Medals won by some of the very many HAC distinguished forbears, and there is an extensive Museum filled with fascinating memorabilia.


 About a third of the Brethren present were in Mess Dress or No I uniforms with Miniatures, and this made for a colourful ceremony particularly for those brethren present such as me, who have no Military history.


The change of meeting date from the usual Monday to Friday meant that several Lodge Officers were unable to attend, but this did not in any way detract from the quality of the floor work or ritual, which was of the highest standard throughout, including a fascinating long and highly illustrated version of the second degree tracing board, with historical maps to which we paid rapt attention.


It was a shame that only just over 30 brethren attended this meeting, which was a Masonic treat in fabulous surroundings!


After a break in the bar, proceedings were concluded with a dinner in the equally imposing “Queens Room”, with portraits of several Monarchs Past and Present, and silver service amidst much finery and interesting military table settings.


The meal was excellent, the company most affable, and the HAC wines and HAC port were an excellent accompaniment to a super meal, during which not only the usual Masonic toasts and fire were observed, but several toasts were also enriched by unique Regimental fire which certainly kept us on our toes!


We had all enjoyed a splendid Masonic occasion in special surroundings. When may we come again?


Mike Waterman, PPrJGW,


Almoner/Asst Secretary, Royal Naval Lodge no.2761  

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