This month, with the help of 22/23 Master Phil Robinson, we throw the Spotlight on to a very active South Gloucestershire Lodge – Tyndall Lodge 1363.
It is often said that the day a Freemason first joins the fraternity is the most memorable but for Phil it was actually his Installation – a night where a Freemason becomes Master of his Lodge and leader for the year ahead. Phil was originally scheduled to reach this venerable post on his 60th Birthday, this would have led to him Installing his successor on the even more auspicious occasion of Tyndall Lodges 150th Anniversary; as with many best laid plans of 2020, it was to be delayed until 2022.
Tyndall Lodge 1363 have enjoyed a tremendous year with Phil at the Helm. Kicking off with a Turkey and Tinsel weekend in Torquay, a fun weekend, raising a fantastic sum of money for local charities. The unexpected cancellation of its Gloucestershire Christmas was the first big challenge of the year. Not to be disheartened, the Lodge members partners set about raising additional funds by replacing Christmas cards with donations to Phil’s chosen charity, facilitating the donation of £200 and a bag of Easter eggs to the Filton Food Bank.
Charity clearly at the Heart and events back on track, the Ladies night In March at the Grange Winterbourne raised over £1500. Quickly followed in April by a St George’s day lunch which raised over £500. All told the Lodge raised a tremendous £7500.00 during their 2022/23 season.
At 37 members Tyndall lodge may not be the largest in Gloucestershire but it does appear to be one of the most popular and well supported with 402 visitors in the year, the Lodge averaged an attendance of 44.8 per meeting. Tyndall are also well know for travelling in numbers, it is not unusual to see 10 or more Tyndall members at other lodges around the county.
November saw Phil handover to his successor Harry Havard. Reflecting on his year Phil says “I attended 76 Masonic functions throughout the year; these included a Freemasons ladies function, a visit to Grand lodge to see an Initiation attended by 720 members, as well as visits to Wiltshire and Somerset Lodges. The year ended on a somber note with the passing of our Almoner Malcom England. Malc was one of our lodges’ characters and our Masonic Hall Manager. Malcom provided me with valuable guidance and he will be missed by me and the members who attend and visit Downend Masonic Hall.”
Phil goes on to mention a South Gloucestershire Phenomenon that is the ‘Lodgie Ladies’
“Ending my comments on a high, I need to explain our wonderful ‘Lodgie Ladies’, this is a group of Freemasons partners that all started on a visit to Ireland in May 2017. The ladies asked ‘why should the men have all the fun’, so they promptly formed the ‘Lodgie ladies’. This is not a just a Tyndall based initiative as this formidable group are made up of Downend, Stapleton and Chipping Sodbury Masonic halls members. They meet once a month on Tyndall night at a local pub for a quiz. They are keen fund raisers for good causes, and for me personally these ladies have been invaluable with help and guidance on setting up our calendar of events during my year, and the support they give to all Lodge Members.”
It’s quite clear that after 150 years Tyndall is still a well loved, thriving lodge that contlines to use the fun they have to remain an outstanding contributor to local communities.
Charities Supported 2022/2023: Filton Food Bank £200, The National Arboretum £1000, Paul’s Place South West £2000, St Peters Hospice £2000.
We thank Phil Robinson for his Article contribution and Photos