Making History in Canterbury

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Freemasonry was forced out of Romania during the first half of the twentieth century and continued to be excluded throughout the second half, when the country became part of the communist ‘Eastern Bloc’. Now the National Grand Lodge of Romania has been constitutedand formally recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.

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Adrian Ruse (centre) is flanked (L to R) by John Grumbridge, George Ruse (his father) WM Les Caney and the Romanian National Secretary, Dan Tanasie


On the 23rd March 2009 thirty nine Romanian Freemasons visited the St Augustine Lodge No.972, a member of the United Grand Lodge of England Universities Scheme, to witness the Passing of Bro Adrian Ruse, a young Romanian Entered Apprentice who is attending Canterbury Christ Church University and hopes to become a joining member of the Lodge. This was the first visit of Romanian Freemasons to a Lodge in the English Constitution for seventy five years!

The party included the Romanian Grand Secretary, the Director (Editor) of the “Masonic Forum” (Romania’s Masonic magazine), Bro Adrian’s father, and the Worshipful Master of his mother Lodge, the Mihail Kagolniceanu Lodge No 65, who meet in East Bucharest.

WBro John Grumbridge, who has responsibility for the introduction and management of the Universities scheme in the Province of East Kent, made an official visit in his capacity as Assistant Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by the Senior and Junior Provincial Grand Wardens.


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The Ceremony of Passing was conducted by the Worshipful Master, WBro L.D. Caney, supported superbly by his Senior Deacon Bro S.A. Hopkins. The Charge after Passing was delivered by WBro R.J. Masters, and an explanation of the Second Degree Tracing Board was given by WBro R.D. Goodwin.

 A special vote of thanks was given to W.Bros Jim Flower and Richard Seath, who were principally responsible for the organisation and logistics for the visiting Romanian brethren. W.Bro Jim also acted as the Assistant Provincial Grand Master’s Escorting Director of Ceremonies.

 Members of the Romanian party asked for the following short message to be recorded: “Iubiti Fratt, va multumesc tutoror pentru vizita in Anglia.”.

 It was a truly historic and very memorable evening. The Province of East Kent in general and the St Augustine Lodge No.972 in particular, were very proud to have hosted the momentous occasion and to have extended a warm hand of welcome to our Romanian Brothers.



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