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Published
Tuesday 30 October 2018

W Bro Duncan Temple a Special Freemason


lan Duncan Temple (known as Duncan) was initiated into the Alexandra Lodge No. 985 in Long Sutton in September 1959. Nothing special about that, you may say?

But there is, as Duncan went on to become (so far) the only Mason to be Installed into the Chair of King Solomon in the Saint Mary Lodge No.7898 in 1971 and the Alexandra Lodge No. 985 in 2000, both of whom meet at Long Sutton. Duncan is also a Lewis, his father Allen Dodds Temple having been through the chair of Alexandra Lodge in 1958. The Warrant was issued to Saint Mary Lodge in March 1963 and Duncan so wanted to be a founder member. Unfortunately, he had not been a Mason for the requisite time and so became the first joining member at the very first meeting of Saint Mary Lodge.

The records show that the Saint Mary banner, which hangs so proudly in the Lodge Room and was approved by Grand Lodge, was designed and made by Duncan’s father, Allen Doods Temple! Duncan progressed through the Saint Mary chair in 1971 and had no thoughts of doing the same in Alexandra – respecting the unwritten rule that Brethren did not go through both chairs. Very unfortunate circumstances meant that a decision had to be made in Alexandra at very short notice and it was agreed that Duncan had all of the qualities necessary to take the chair at this difficult time.

Throughout his Masonic career, Duncan has been a great supporter of Masonic Charities, both in the Craft and in the Mark Degree and, as a result, he has gathered a large collection of Charity jewels to go alongside his two Craft Past Masters jewels; his Past Master jewel from the Mark Degree and his Past First Principal jewel from the Edward Albert Chapter.

From the mid 60’s, until he went into the Saint Mary chair, Duncan was Secretary of Alexandra Lodge. He also audited all of the Long Suton Lodge’s accounts until failing eyesight and ill health prevented him from continuing. Now residing in a care home in Holbeach and ably supported by his wife, who continues to live in the family home not 400 yards away, Duncan and Gillian decided that the best thing to do with his collection was to present it to the Long Sutton Masonic Hall and the Trustees thereof. To this end, the jewels have been professionally framed and the photographs attached show them being presented by Gillian to W Bro John Grimwood, Chairman of the Trustees.

W Bro Grimwood expressed the delight of the Trustees at such a generous act and was able to recall from his early years as a junior Mason, ordering in a particular tipple ( Newcastle Brown ) especially for W Bro Allen Temple!

The framed jewels are now on display in the Masonic Hall at long Sutton for all to admire. Thanks must go to W Bro Derek Bontoft, who was most helpful when it came to identifying many of the jewels.