Victoria Rifles – Circuit of Service Lodges support Ukraine

In the Lodge, WM Lt Col Stephen Braden (Ex RE) and also Chairman of the Circuit of Service Lodges since 2015, welcomed Banner parties escorting their WMs of Royal Naval Lodge No 59 and Royal Engineers Lodge No 2599 (the joint 50th lodges) and Vectis Lodge No 9969, the 52nd Circuit Lodge.

Pipers from London Scottish Rifles Lodge No 2310 piped the massed parade of Circuit Lodge Banners to receive the new Lodges.

At lunch, attendees bid at auction for several prizes, including a tandem parachute jump with the Parachute Regiment’s Red Devils. The auction was in aid of the MCF Ukrainian Relief Fund, and serving Master Stephen Braden had begun preparations by asking for donations from the 52 Circuit Lodges and 152 Individual Members at his Installation meeting last November. This led to generous pledges in the thousands of pounds, particularly through an online Donations Page set up by Charity Steward W Bro George Wady, ex RAMC. George says, “There can be no better way for a Services Lodge and Association to show our sympathy for those displaced in this war than by joining with the MCF in its assistance in raising Relief Funds for Ukraine”.

This was all the more significant on the day of the auction as W Bro Lou Myers was made Master Elect. Lou served in WW2 from 1941 in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, reaching the rank of Sergeant during the Italy Campaign before continuing his service after the end of the War. Lou is also a member of Ubique Lodge No 1789.

Lou says, “To be asked to lead this wonderful Installed Masters Lodge is the best thing I could ever have wished for. At the age of 96 I will probably be one of the most senior to be placed in King Solomon’s Chair, I hope Brother Stephen doesn’t push me back too hard”.

Treasurer W Bro Chris Huxtable is still receiving donations and has grown a few grey hairs keeping pace. His last estimate for the gross donation was “In excess of £11,400, but it could be more”.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 52 August 2023 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 52 here.