A day to remember !!!

Published on by Allan Sanders

sign outside

 

Brethren, those of us who were in Tours yesterday will never forget the it. What a day ! What an experience ! What joy and happiness to return to real masoning after 30 bloody long months of crisis.

 

Like Levallois Perret in December and the Paris Docks in February, up at a totally un-Christian hour for a bloody long drive. But this time it was more than worth it. Who cares about the driving rain, the wearying effect of the windscreen wipers, who cares about 7 hours behind the wheel in a day, who cares about a lot of insignificant details ! One important detail : no riot police anywhere, no Gorillas Incorporated at the door.

 

A totally different atmosphere. The same faces as 5 and 3 months ago. But this time there were large smiles. We all knew the page had turned. The crisis is behind us. A new era began yesterday. The road before us is still long and there will be numerous surprises at every bend, not all of them good ones, but yesterday was a fantastic start to a new journey.

 

The De Vinci Conference Centre auditorium can seat 1500 and there wasn’t a vacant seat in the house. 1500 Brethren from all over France, including the Carribean, Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, observers from a small number of international Grand Lodges (there will be many more over the coming months), and a number of English Brethren, formerly of GLNF Lodges, now GL-AMF, their French not too hot, but the Fraternity fantastic.

 GL-AMF audience

A very tight programme, 8.30 a.m.  start for the A&ASR Rite House Convent: Approval of the Statutes, election of our Assistant Grand Master, Charles Tordjman and his 2 deputies

 

Then the GL-AMF Association General Assembly. Approval of the Statutes, Budget voted, President-grand Master, Alain Juillet elected.

 

I forgot the standing ovation the first time Dominique Moreau used the expression “Grande Loge Maçonnique Française”.

 

Lunch, juggling briefcase, food and glass of wine, chatting with the delegate from the GL of Greece whose sister lives in Melbourne, my home town. “When you come to Athens, I’ll look after you.” “Efharisto !” I recruit an English Brother for my Mother Lodge, David d’Angers. I meet up with my sponsor of 12 years ago and a Brother I sponsored 10 years ago. Obviously a photo ! All over the conference centre similar encounters were going on. Joy in our hearts !

 

The tight programme continues. A consecration ceremony we’ll never forget. Simplicity and dignity. When I entered Masonry 12 years ago I would never have thought that I would participate in the consecration ceremony of a Grand Lodge in France, a once in a lifetime experience.

 

Highlights, a totally subjective selection :

 

3 Consecrating Lodges, “L’Anglaise 204”, the oldest Lodge in France, consecrated in 1732, just 15 years after 4 Lodges met in the Goose & griddle in London to form the first ever Grand Lodge, “La Persévérance Ecossaise”, consecrated in 1863, and “Théba” founded in 1901.

 

18 Founding Lodges representing more than 250 petitioning Lodges for the creation of the GL-AMF.

 

More than 3000 Brethren already enrolled in the GL-AMF and registered in its computer and more than that number of envelopes still unopened on the dining room table of the GL-AMF Grand Secretary (Thank you, Michel, for 30 months of dedication, all so often overlooked !)

 

The long white hair of the Worshipful Master of “L’Anglaise 204”, virtually symbolising the rich history of that Lodge;

 

The Assistant Grand Masters of the 6 Rites of the GL-AMF, Ancient and Accepted Scottish, French, Rectified Scottish, York, Emulation and standard Scottish

 6 AGM

A Master of Ceremonies, Marc Boyeau, who controlled the ceremony from go to whoa with a military precision (Thanks, Marc, a great job !)

 

AJ & MB

Thierry Perrin, former Provincial Grand Master of Val de Loire Province, the 2nd to rise after Claude Seiler on December 4th, 2009 and qstruck off the next day. Yesterday he was the Consecrating Installing Officer. As ever, totally from memory in the finest tradition of the Emulation Rite. Thanks Thierry, no-one does it better than you !

 

AJ & TP

Not a blue apron to be seen. Just the aprons of the 3 Rites and a simple red collar indicating Grand Officer.

 

The speech by our new Grand Master, Alain Juillet, a masterpiece of determination to move on, to put the crisis behind us and to return to the fundamental values of Regular and Traditional Freemasonry. A recognition of our desire to take our rightful place in the chain of Recognised international Freemasonry. And at the same time a determination to not forget the crisis, but to learn from it and to rebuild our Temple on the foundations of the experience. A translation of the speech will be available within the next 48 hours.

 photo nlle république

1500 Brethren standing to sing the “Marseillaise”.

 

      Coming out of the carpark opposite the convention centre in the morning, rain pouring down, red light blocking the pedestrians. A Brother clad in a raincoat, carrying a briefcase stops beside me. It's Alain Juillet. I've done articles and translations for him over the past months, we've corresponded, but we've never met. I introduce myself. A firm grasp of my hand, a spontaneous smile, "We've got work to do together on international Recognition." The light changes and we cross. No bodyguards, no armoured car with smoked glass. Times have changed !


A large number of SMS and messages on my mobile phone from Brethren who couldn’t be in Tours, all wanting to have details of how it was.

 

Brethren, it was Rudyard Kipling who put it best :

 

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: …

… you'll be a Man, my son!”

 

GL-AMF logo (2)

Comment on this post

Tim Reynolds 05/02/2012 18:25

You should remember that the red REAA/GLDF apron was admitted by exception to GNLF in 1965 when so many GLDF brethren moved over to GLNF. This was so that they did not have additional expense to
buy blue aprons. However the condition was that as new members joined the lodges they should be equipped with blue aprons so that the red would gradually disappear.This is apparently a documented
fact, but was ignored with impunity by REAA brethren on the grounds that the REAA apron colour (inherited from GLDF who have the same aprons) is red.

Allan Sanders 05/04/2012 08:20



Who cares what colour the apron is ? What counts is the brother who's wearing it !



Stephen Burrough 05/01/2012 22:04

Maître de Roxanne might have come across a sort of red apron in use in the UGLE, which doesn't upset anyone: Grand Steward's. It is the same sort of red, actually, more "burgundy" than red.
(burgundy colour is "bordeaux" in French!) And it is not for an apron but only for the collar, while the apron remains that of a simple master mason (with the levels) even for GM himself.
Wonderfully simple and sober compared with the extravagance of the now banished blue and gold braid stuff we were used to.
I have no misgivings or drawbacks whatsoever about the newfound spirit of brotherliness and uprightness that glows throughout all our relationships in the new French Grand Lodge Alliance.
Stephen Burrough

Alfred de Talebonjour 05/01/2012 17:37

My dear brother,
Are you member of the UGLE ? Therefore you may have notice of the following informations :


"From: MetGSec [mailto:groupmail@metgl.com]
Sent: 30 April 2012 16:03
To: g.dawber@sky.com
Subject: Administrative Matters - 30 April 2012

To: Secretaries of all London Lodges
Cc: MetGL Executive, MetGInsps, other MetGL Officers, SVOs and VOs, MetGL
staff and volunteers

Dear W Bro

(...)

6. FRENCH MASONRY
The Grande Lodge National Francaise [GLNF] has some internal issues and many
other Constitutions, in Europe and beyond, have withdrawn recognition. UGLE
suspended relations. In short they cannot visit us and we cannot visit them.

This is about to change.

A new obedience in France is due to be consecrated this weekend. It is
unlikely that this new French Grand Lodge would be recognised by UGLE in the
near future. The new obedience also admits in its blog that recognition may
well take some time.

What this means?

If a French Lodge leaves the GLNF and joins the new obedience then any
member of that Lodge, who is also a member of a Lodge under UGLE must choose
between the new unrecognised French constitution and UGLE. He cannot be in
both. It is - one or the other.

If that French Lodge decides join the new unrecognised French constitution,
a mason who wishes to stay with UGLE must resign from that French Lodge.

(...)

Sincerely & Fraternally,

Stuart

Stuart Henderson
Metropolitan Grand Secretary
020 7539 2930

Please do not reply to this email it is sent from a un-monitored address"

___________________________________________________________

"This is about to change", says the Grand Secretary.
Well, in which sense ?
Are you involved ?
Fraternally yours,
Alfred

Allan Sanders 05/01/2012 21:40



I am not a member of the UGLE. However, I was aware of this communiqué. The UGLE position makes it quite clear, a member who decides to join the GL-AMF must
resign his UGLE membership. That is why numerous English Brethren are in such a quandary. They want to join the new GL but don't want to sever their English ties. Let's wait a few monthe, I
suggest september, and see how things evolve. This question is not the most important priority for the leaders of the new GL-AMF. They have far more pressing administrative tasks to be dealt with
at present. I know international recognition must be addressed and it will be fairly shortly. And I am also sure that the UGLE won't be the first cab off the rank.


 


But the "things are about to change" message from the UGLE Grand secretary suggests they are observing the situation closely. Only time will
tell.



Maitre de Roxanne 04/30/2012 19:01

Who on Earth had the idea of using the colour red for the aprons and collars of the new Grand Officers? The introduction of red aprons in 1965 marked the beginning of the end of Masonry as we know
it in the GLNF. The beginning of the idea that "lower" Brethren should not question the decisions of "higher" Brethren. Just look at their starting point: an Apprentice may not speak or vote! Blue
is the traditional colour, but yellow, green or anything other than red should have been chosen.

Allan Sanders 05/01/2012 21:31



Perhaps the decision was taken to mark a distinct break from what came before. And who cares what colour is chosen ? What is important is the simplicity and
humility, Master Mason's apron according to the rite of the brother, a red collar, the only difference from one Officer to the another being the jewel defining his function.