John Carpenter Lodge 1997

Review of 2011

2011 was an eventful year for the John Carpenter Lodge welcoming an initiateJason Cohen (left) and two joining members
The open meeting in February was an informative and enjoyable gathering. Following a presentation on the history and traditions of the order in general and the John Carpenter Lodge in particular, guests had the opportunity of discussing masonry with the members at a reception in the Grand Officers' robing room of Mark Masons' Hall.

The dinner was held in the stained glass splendour of the main dining room and neither the fare nor the (respectably short) speeches disappointed. The headmaster, David Levin, responded to the toast to the visitors and, uniquely, Head Boy Ed Stroud responded to our toast to the school. As well as non-mason Old Citizens, the brethren's wives (and the Master's mum) we were joined by some of the widows of past members. The Lodge is grateful to the benefactors for making such an evening possible and toasted their memory in the usual fashion.

At the May meeting Mark Jacobs (71 - 79) installed his younger brother Leslie (76 - 82) into the Master's chair with an extended version of the ritual rarely seen and we admitted two joining members Dany-Joel Maquenhem from one of our French sister Lodges, and frequent visitor Don Johnson.

During the Summer we were all saddened by the death of Leon Israel (31 -38) and tribute to him may be found elsewhere on this site. He set exemplary standards of lodge work as well as public and domestic virtue and is missed by his brethren.

On our return from the summer break we initiated one of the guests at the open meeting, Jason Cohen.

Jason was conducted by O.C. Dennis Bartlett-Arnot (82-89) and first received by his proposer Mark Schreiber (77 – 82). Tony Odling (60 – 65) enjoyed his debut as Director of Ceremonies due to the ongoing world travels of Brian Gold (49 - 58) and the standard of work showed that we remain in safe hands.
Sir Neil Thorne then presented a certificate to Maurice Mander (45 - 49) marking 50 years of membership of and service to the order. Despite commuting from Bogner, Maurice continues to arrange the dinner seating for each meeting with a calm efficiency.

That evening Sir Neil replied to the toast to Grand Lodge and all of the expected toasts and wine takings ensued. Perhaps the strangest was the wine tasting that was booed, with the Old Citizen who was a visitor singled out. Paul Baxter (78 – 83) is a member of the Friendship Lodge 9138, an old pal of the Jacobs brothers through Old Cits' fives, Paul will be joining the Lodge in 2012. Leslie announced that his chosen charity for the year will be the Make a Wish Foundation, giving special experiences to young people with serious illness. Funds raised last year were given to a bursary scheme at Southbank University set up in memory of O.C. Edmond Robinson (77 - 79) and we were proud to hear from Esmond's mother that this has enabled a second person to receive post graduate qualification in Addiction and Drug Counselling.

At the February 2012 meeting Leslie will be initiating his oldest son, all OC Freemasons, as ever, most welcome to join us. Any Old Citizen interested in freemasonry, and OC masons who want to catch up, are invited to contact Mark Jacobs


Open meeting 11 February 2011
At our February meeting we are inviting non-masons (of all genders) to join us. We will be giving a tour of the lodge room explaining what we do at our meetings and the duties of the various officers.  This will last about 45 minutes and will be followed by a reception and supper.  
We look forward to welcoming not just our own partners and widows of past brethren, but also representatives from the school and the Esmond Robinson fund. Anybody wishing to know more about Freemasonry will find this an enjoyable way of finding out.
Any OC non-mason interested in coming along should email Mark Jacobs for details.

December 2010

The brethren of the John Carpenter Lodge showed their hardy side last Friday (10th December) when over sixty attended the December 2010 meeting - three members and three guests travelling from France and Graham Southall coming over from the USA.

JCC Lodge Dec 2010
The meeting opened to the sad news that Keith (Kim) Morrell, a member since 1951, had passed to the Grand Lodge above earlier in the week. Kim was at City in the 1930s before volunteering for service on his eighteenth birthday. Kim’s demob was delayed to 1947 due to a parachute failing to open in a training exercise jump from a tethered balloon, which also cut short his boxing and other sporting activities.
He spent his working life in the Twickenham area, where he was also a local politician and earlier this year he was in attendance when the Council planted a tree in his honour outside the town hall (see members' news).
His funeral and memorial service will be held in Kew and Richmond on 20th December – further details available from Tony Gordon-Smith – please email
John Lauder, and Old Mercer member of the lodge was presented with a 50 year membership certificate by Col Sir Neil Thorne, former GM Essex and John Carpenter Lodge’s longest serving member.Two Jacobs and Schreiber Senior
Simon Clark was then Initiated into the order, thus we are delighted to be able to maintain our recent record of a new Mason each year and long may this continue.
The Almoner, Humphrey Ball, brought us up to date on the health of those unable to attend and particularly the widows of brethren.
We are hoping that some of the widows will be joining us, our partners, the Headmaster, Head Boy and Karen Sage at our next meeting on February 11th. This will be a brief presentation designed for non-masons to show what we do, followed by a reception and supper.
Any Old Citizen, particularly non-masons, will be most welcome to this – please email Mark Jacobs ( for details and or to confirm your place. The cost of the reception and meal will be met by the lodge.
Any Old Citizen freemason is welcome to that or any other meeting of the lodge.

October 2010

Our October 2010 meeting was the first working meeting for the new Master, Mark Jacobs. The meeting opened with the marking of the death of the Senior Warden Norman Ziman who passed to the Grand Lodge above on September 11th after a long and tough battle with cancer.  His brother Lawrence, also an Old Citizen, had returned home to the USA so could not be with us to present the eulogy, which was received with fond memory and sadness.

JCC Lodge. Norman Ziman, closest to camera, whilst Senior Warden. He was to have been this year’s master
Before standing in silent tribute to departed merit we also heard a eulogy on the life of John Balls, who died in June. A Liveryman of some note, John was initiated into the lodge in 1959 and served as Master in 1972. John Lauder, an Old Mercer, was due to receive his 50 year membership certificate from Col. Sir Neil Thorne, but John was at home with a cold so this is postponed.
Col. Sir Neil, initiated in the lodge in 1955, was Grand Master of Essex so we have been lucky enough to boast a Right Worshipful brother in our ranks for some time. He is now joined by David Williamson, the Assistant Grand Master. David taught at City of London School before training to become an airline pilot. He came to the January meeting when he became an honorary member. David Williamson to left of WM 2009/10 David Agate
Mark Jacobs then raised his youngest brother Sammy Jacobs to the third degree. The chant from Ecclesiastes 12 was beautifully delivered by Jon Pentel and Peter Woolf-Skinner presented the tools in his usual entertaining fashion.
At supper the Worshipful Master announced that his chosen charity was the Esmond Robinson Memorial Fund. Esmond was at City of London School in the '70s and the fund, set up by his mother after his death, provides a bursary for a Ph.D. place training community drugs counsellors at South Bank University.
Mark Schreiber (Senior Deacon) Les Jacobs (Junior Warden) Rags Smith (Secretary) Keith Stent (Junior Deacon) David Agate (Immediate Past Master) Mark Jacobs (Master) Robin Whiteland (Senior Warden) Jon Pentel (Assistant Director of Ceremonies) Dennis Bartlett-Arnot (Inner Guard) Barry Jacobs (Any Job Going) and Stan Heylin (Chaplain)After the usual toasts and wine takings, the WM curtailed his post match revelries, leaving in the pub those brethren who were not participating in the OC Fives Wood Plate the next day (he needn’t have bothered).
The next lodge meeting will be Friday 10th December when we will be carrying out an initiation. All OC freemasons are warmly welcome. Email the Secretary Rags Smith at

March 2009

Maurice Mander and Humphrey Ball (Old Mercer)
The Old Boys' Lodge met at Mark Masons' Hall in March 2009 when the members enjoyed the company of their guests for an entertaining and enjoyable afternoon and festive board.
The Lodge was consecrated in 1883 for old boys and JCC ties are still the encouraged neckwear at meetings, along with those of the Old Mercer's Club. We amalgamated with the (Old Mercer) Honor Deo Lodge 3562 in 1995, as an eventual consequence of the closure of Mercer's School in 1959 - no school, no old boys!
The Worshipful Master, Dick Thatcher (CLS 51-59) opened the Lodge in the customary fashion, first lighting a memorial light to Old Citizens and Mercers who gave their lives in the two World Wars.
Leon Israel and Rags Smith
One of our own Grand Officers and Lodge Mentor, Maurice Mander (45-49) then took the chair and passed Paul Ray (76-83) to the Second Degree in impeccable fashion.
The ceremony was enhanced by the long presentation of the apron by Jon Pentel (64-70) and an the explanation of the tracing board by Mark Jacobs (73-79).
The biggest delight for all those present was the return of Leon Israel seen here with Rags Smith. Leon was accompanied by his son, Howard, and as a former Preceptor and Director of Ceremonies his very presence kept us all on our toes.
Dick Thatcher replies to the toast to the Worshipful Master
This was an additional meeting to our normal calendar of four, with 27 members joined by 14 guests in the Grand Temple.
The Lodge has initiated three candidates in the past two years, two of them members of the John Carpenter Club, so the ritual is starting to show signs of practice - no little thanks to Brian Gold (49-58) and his work as Lodge of Instruction Preceptor. The brethren were saddened to note that he could not attend the meeting. Whereas it appeared that he was prolonging a cruise in South America, Brian had been taken seriously ill, and we were all happy to see his recent return to the command of LOI.
Top table, in festive mood, JCC ties a plenty
The charity collection for the evening was given to the Make a Wish Foundation, a charity dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of young people with grave illness, via the Junior Deacon, Leslie Jacobs (77-82) who chairs one of their main committees.
After a suitable debrief in the bar a fine supper was enjoyed by all when we were brought up to date on the Arthur Manly Sixth Form Bursary for a boy at the school.
Peter Woolf-Skinner, Sammy, Barry and Mark Jacobs
The lodge is always delighted to welcome OC Freemasons - just contact Robin Whiteland ( to arrange.
Similarly any Old Citizen looking for further details on Freemasonry could find no better place to start.