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Lancaster, Near Lisbon

The Province of Cheshire’s Light Blues Club paid an official visit to Lancaster Lodge which meets in Estoril near Lisbon.


Over the weekend of 9th-11th June, the Province of Cheshire’s Light Blues Club - the Masters’ and Masons’ Forum - paid an official visit to Lancaster Lodge which meets in Estoril near Lisbon.

Lancaster Lodge is one of the four Lodges which meets under UGLE’s jurisdiction in Portugal. There are also three Royal Arch Chapters.

Freemasonry in Portugal has had a difficult time over the years. After the 1933 revolution, the dictator Salazar banned the Order. It was not until more recent times that it has begun to revive. There is the Regular Grand Lodge of Portugal (Legal) which is recognised by UGLE and also the Lodges and Chapters governed directly by Great Queen Street under the Grand Inspector, Robert Levitt.

Cheshire’s MMF members are actively dedicated to improving themselves masonically and in the world at large. They are led by Chairman, Michael Shiels, Past Assistant Grand Standard Bearer, and his deputy, Mike O’Brien. 

The visit by the Cheshire MMF arose from a chance conversation more than two years ago at a conference for Light Blue clubs. It is a great example of how engaged and switched-on younger masons are really helping to shape the future of Freemasonry.

Lancaster Lodge is named in memory of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. He was the fourth son of King Edward III and established friendly diplomatic and trading relations between England and Portugal. These quickly became so good that King Edward III and King Fernando I of Portugal signed the Treaty of London on 16th June, 1373. It has never been rescinded. Thus, England and Portugal are the oldest diplomatic allies in the world with an unbroken history of 650 years of friendship. The Cheshire MMF visit was designed to mark and emphasise this deep amity.

The highlight of the visit was on the Saturday afternoon when everyone assembled in the room at the Clube do Lago which the Lodge uses for its meetings. The Lodge being opened, Cheshire MMF demonstrated a very informative ceremony entitled The Preparation of the Candidate for the First Degree. The candidate was one of MMF’s newest members, Leon Williams-Imazenobe, who is originally from Nigeria but now lives with his wife and children in the North West. He is a member of Townfield de Tatton Lodge.

After the meeting, we had a celebratory Festive Board at the Intercontinental Hotel, joined by our partners. Aside from the great food and service, this had a really impressive and productive, yet relaxed, atmosphere. 

The whole event cemented the bonds of masonic friendship between Portugal and England and in his speech, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire, Judge Simon Medland, Kings Counsel, Past Grand Sword Bearer, had great pleasure in extending an invitation to Lancaster Lodge for the ‘return leg’ next year in Cheshire. 

Cheshire MMF will also be extending the invitation to the Master and Wardens of Lodge of the Oldest Ally which meets in Daventry, Northamptonshire. Several of the Lancaster Lodge brethren are also members of that Lodge and – as its name implies – it specifically celebrates this unique international bond of friendship which our two great countries have. 

Cheshire’s Light Blues Club visiting Lancaster Lodge near Lisbon with their families


Cheshire’s Light Blues Club visiting Lancaster Lodge near Lisbon


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