For about £5 a week for a couple of years you, your lodge, or a fellow Freemason could be part of Louth’s new Freemasons’ Hall for ever.
He said the pressure to complete the work had eased, with the likelihood of having no meetings until next year. However, progress on the building was being hampered by the gradual return to normality. Said Ian: “The people who could do the work are busy with getting their own businesses up and running, and those of us that are available are getting a bit old for the heavy work!” Nevertheless, block paving will be completed outside the building, and there will be a disability access path around it.
Members of the team behind the building project are looking forward to its consecration. “We don’t yet know when that will be, but we’d very much like it to be during 2021, when people are allowed to be there in larger numbers than we can have at present!,” said Ian.
There are 100 bricks on the Founders Wall, with a number having been spoken for. Ian said: “Members have been so generous. We were making £500 a month before lockdown, but all of that stopped, and the income was lost to us. It would be wonderful if members who are able would share with us some of the money they’ve saved by not being able to attend meetings in the normal way.”
The Founders’ Wall is similar in its concept to the way Freemasons Hall was funded after WW1, with the names of lodges whose members put money into its creation recorded in the building and on jewels worn by their WMs. Ian said: “Our offer isn’t extended only to individuals. We have widows whose husband’s names have been added; we would be happy for a lodge to have its name included, or individuals might want to record the names of Freemasons particularly important to them – perhaps a proposer, a mentor, or a particular friend. There has been a good uptake so far with the number increasing now that we’re moving to the fitting out stage, but we can still accommodate more.”
PGM Dave Wheeler and his Deputy John Crutchley visited Louth to see progress first hand. Dave said: “The progress on the new building has been tremendous, and the team there have been working extremely hard to continue the building work during lock down. There are no dates for any official opening, but Ian Casteldine is hopeful that meetings may be held in the centre before the end of the year.”