The Travelling Gavel was up for grabs at the Theale on Holybrook Lodge Meeting in Newbury on Thursday 5th March 2015. It was a close run thing between Tylehurst and Aldermaston Lodges with Tylehurst winning.
The gavel is claimed by the visiting lodge who has the most members present (as a percentage of their year book listed membership). For members of multiple Lodges it is worth noting that when the scoring is done it is based on the Lodge Number the visitor entered in the book when they signed-in.
The new competitive Travelling Gavel scheme gives smaller Lodges just as much chance to be able to claim it as the bigger ones: The Gavel will be secured by the Lodge which goes to the meeting with the greatest percentage of their members [as recorded in the current Masonic Year Book]. For example a lodge of 22 members with 5 members at the meeting will win over a lodge of 50 members who have 10 at the meeting.
Since April 2013 The Travelling Gavel has covered the length and breadth of the Province of Berkshire. On the 18th December it returned home when its founding Lodge, Ingham Clark, reclaim it from the Lodden Bridge Lodge at Sindlesham (below) prior to a total re-launch of the scheme in January 2015.
The Travelling Gavel was created to promote inter-Lodge visiting and provide the opportunity to meet new friends, visit different Lodges and Centres and see different rituals. That has worked well but to add a new vibrancy to the scheme The Travelling Gavel was re-launched in January in a totally different, more competitive, format for 2015:
The new rules and regulations can be downloaded here but in summary:
- The holding Lodge will place the Travelling Gavel in clear view in the Lodge and the proposed transfer will be an agenda item for that evening.
- The Summons for the meeting will be sent to all Lodges in Berkshire and the Gavel will be claimed by the visiting Lodge with the most members attending as a percentage of their membership.
- The Lodge number the member enters in the signing-in book that evening is the Lodge that will be counted.
- The claiming Lodge must then offer the Gavel for transfer within a month of having received it.
To coincide with the re-launch there is a new procedure for both handing over the Travelling Gavel in the Lodge and explaining both the Gavel itself and its purpose.
As the Gavel continues its travels in 2015 it will carry with it the hope and expectation that many more brethren across the Province of Berkshire will experience the pleasure of inter-Lodge visiting and the fulfilment of meeting and sharing different experiences with new friends.
The Travelling Gavel started the year at Ingham Clark Lodge, Wallingford, on Thursday 22nd January 2015 when it was claimed by Theale on Holybrook. It passed to Tylehurst Lodge on Thursday 5th March.
For more information about the Traveling Gavel email Trefor Williams