On the 2nd of March 2023, Royal Lancashire Lodge No. 116 received a very distinguished visitor, who had kindly agreed to deliver a lecture to the Brethren. The subject matter was highly appropriate, being entitled “March 1723-a very important month in the history of English Freemasonry”, three hundred years almost to the day since the publication of Andersons Constitutions, the “blueprint” for Masonry as we know it today. WBro Powell took his audience on an intellectual journey from the earliest signs of speculative, rather than operative Masonry, through the structuring of the Third Degree and on to the Royal Arch. Moreover, he utilised the Lodge’s own original copy of the Constitutions, dated 28th February 1723, to expand and clarify some of the points he had made. He also showed the brethren a copy of the first engraved list of lodges by John Pine, also published in March 1723, and discussed its significance. All this, including the questions and answers at the end of the talk, was delivered without notes of any kind and displayed a mastery of his subject far above and way beyond the ordinary. That a great deal of the conversation in the Festive Board revolved around information which Brethren had received earlier, was a testament to the interest which had been generated and the grateful thanks of all those present are owed to WBro Powell.
Chris Powell was born at Lyme Regis, Dorset, and educated at the universities of Sheffield and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He taught in the University of Cambridge for five years before moving to Cardiff where for twenty-five years he was on the staff of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the National Conservatoire of Wales, where he held a number of senior academic and administrative posts and was a member of the academic board and governing body of the college. Chris is a Freemason in the Province of Derbyshire and in Yorkshire West Riding, a PM of Royal Brunswick Lodge No. 296 and a PZ of Chapter of Loyalty No. 296, both based in Sheffield, and a member of other Masonic bodies in England and Scotland. In 2009, he was awarded the Norman B. Spencer Prize and the following year elected a full member of QC lodge. He is the author of numerous papers published in AQC as well as papers in other Masonic journals, including those of the Manchester and Bristol Masonic research associations. He is also the author of Easy Lodge Music – a collection of familiar music for lodge use.
Trevor M Thomas