Back to school for Freemasons

Craig Bunday
Craig Bunday

History and tradition play an important part in Freemasonry, and for the Lodges that follow special interests within the Province of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire. There are Lodges for members who have an interest in music, dancing, fishing, shooting, the scout movement, motor racing and even motor biking, writes Craig Bunday from the Peterborough Freemasons.

As students in Peterborough have now gone back to school this month for the beginning of a new academic year, so the Masonic Fraternity have returned for the beginning of a new masonic season, and it is not just there that the similarities end. Those known as ‘School’ Lodges can refer back to their original connections with academia.

In Peterborough, we have two such Lodges which are linked to those with associations to The King’s School and the Thomas Deacon School or Thomas Deacon Academy. Both Lodges meet regularly at Ellindon Masonic Centre in Bretton, Peterborough.

The Thomas Deacon Lodge dates back to 1982, when a group of 22 Freemasons in Peterborough who had attended the Thomas Deacon School decided to form the Lodge. Thomas Deacon was a wealthy local wool merchant and made provision for the education of twenty-five poor boys in the parish of St. John in Peterborough. The school was originally founded in 1722, and was initially located within the Cathedral Precincts, moving to Deacon Street (now Queensgate Shopping centre), and finally moving to the location in Queens Gardens.

The lodge was founded in the school hall at the Queens Gardens location on 27th October 1984, and the first master of the lodge was Ron Pywell, who for many years was in charge of public relations at Peterborough Motors and subsequently TC Harrison. Interestingly, the design of the Lodge banner is taken from the school’s armorial bearings which were designed by the College of Heralds and presented to the school on their 250th anniversary by the Parent Teacher Association.

These Lodges are always interested in enquiries from those associated with the schools, past or present. For more information visit www.northants-huntsmasons.org.uk or call the Ellindon Masonic Centre on 01733 331948.