George W. Thornton 1900, Harry Perry 1901, William W. Kebble 1924, Peter Meldrum 1925
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Article by WBro.P.R.Hawksworth, PProvJGW I recently took up an offer in First Rising to join a Solomon Zoom meeting where the Grand Master of one of the Female fraternities was to speak. It turned out to be a most informative and enjoyable forty-five minutes in an interview format. The interviewee was Zuzanka Daniella Penn, the Grand Master of The Order of Women Freemasons the oldest of the two women’s freemasonry orders. She was engaging, cheerful, and informative. The first surprise was that they are “BROTHERS” for, as she explained, it is a Brotherhood, they use exactly the same ritual, the same collars, and the same aprons as the men do. The only difference is that they wear a white surplus similar to that which a chorister would wear. When the matter of the Initiation ritual was raised she answered with a light laugh that a suitably low cut dress would suffice. They also operate similar side degrees to Men’s Freemasonry, but the progression is slightly different in that once a Master Mason of a certain length of time the men can join the Royal Arch or Mark. In the women’s form the progression runs Master Mason > Mark > Royal Arch. Grand Lodge is based in a listed building on Pembridge Gardens in Notting Hill Gate in London where they administer some 4,000 members in about 400 Lodges worldwide. They work closely both with our United Grand Lodge and the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasonry (HFAF). Although there are no joint meetings between any of the three organisations they meet in each other’s buildings, and work together in charity events. They also support each other in publicity, and recruitment events, including white table events and particularly a scheme operating in universities. As both organisations Lodges are widespread, the two women’s Lodges work closely together to find a convenient lodge for a new candidate, but as Lodges only meet a minimum of four times a year it can likely take twelve months for a candidate to be admitted viz. proposal, ballot, initiation with an installation thrown in for good measure. At the present time it is taking considerably longer in many areas, because of the long waiting lists. The nearest Halls of the OWF are Hyde and Manchester and that of the HFAF is in Chorley. One of the nice things that was done by them all during lock-down was taking the 9 o’clock toast each night.. The origins of OWF date back to 1908 when it was a joint venture with both male and female members, many of whom were suffragettes, but from the1920s no more men were admitted and by 1935 it was 100% female. The HFAF was established in 1913 and there are no plans for an amalgamation. The HFAF Grand Lodge presently operates from a Lodge’s Hall as the building where they usually operate from is under offer for sale. The Order of Women Freemasonry operate their charity contributions in a different manner to ourselves. Any money raised is split 50/50 between their own Masonic Charity and the nominated charity, this latter portion of the money then goes to their Grand Lodge for approval and payment. Further interesting reading can be found at and respectively. Be careful to include the uk suffix on the first one as without it you finish up on a climate change site. I have often wondered about the female side of Masonry and I found this most interesting. I shall certainly visit the Solomon site in the future, the next edition being on Tuesday 16 th November. I also incidentally found out where the term ‘Festival of St. John’ came from. It just shows that even after over 30 years in the craft you never stop learning.