‘The Madeira Connection’

WBro Jeff Rockliffe, PProvSGD the Secretary of Leverhulme Lodge No. 4438 has provided this interesting report on his unique connection with the beautiful Island of Madeira

Early this year, Jeff as frequent visit to the Island of Madeira received the ‘Madeira Blog’ which contained details of the re-formation of the Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 134 under the Grand Lodge of Portugal; the Lodge itself being English speaking and performing Emulation Ritual.

As a frequent visitor to the island, Jeff was very interested in attending the Lodge and so set about enquiring of UGLE via Provincial Office whether or not the Lodge came under UGLE’s auspices and if so could he have permission to attend.

With UGLE’s confirmation that it did recognise the Grand Lodge of Portugal and his permission to visit granted, Jeff set about contacting the Lodge Secretary WBro Stuart Condliffe with a view to meeting up with him in May whilst on holiday and to attending the Lodge’s Installation meeting in October.

The Britannic Lodge of Madeira No. 134 was closed in 1935 following the election of Antonio Salazar as President (Dictator) of Portugal, who along with Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany immediately banned Freemasonry.

Upon Salazar being elected, the British Government dispatched the heavy cruiser HMS London at full speed to Gibraltar to pick up Grand Lodge Officers together with a ‘mystery man’ and return them to safety; the identify of the ‘mystery man’ has never been revealed.  Sadly, the Lodge having never met again finally handed back its Warrant around 2005.

In March of this year the Lodge was re-consecrated with much pomp & ceremony. WBro Jeff was invited to become a ‘Country Member’ provided that UGLE agreed to him becoming a member under the Grand Lodge of Portugal.  Once again UGLE granted its approval and on 1st October, Jeff sat in as SW for the historic Installation as WM of RWBro David Pratt, PGM of Yorkshire, West Riding.

WBro Stuart Condliffe was the Installing Master, with RWBro Pratt becoming the Lodge’s first Master for 83yrs. In addition to presenting the address to the Master, Jeff was invested & appointed as the Lodge’s JD and will be looking after the Lodge’s first candidate for 83yrs on Monday 3rd December.  If there are any visiting Brethren on the island at that date, subject to the usual permissions they will be very welcome to attend.  Jeff can be contact at: dr.jwr@outlook.com   The plan is that he will assume the Master’s chair in two years’ time.

There is an open invitation for Brethren to visit the Lodge whenever they are on the Island.  It meets on the 1st Monday in October (Installation), December, February & April.  In addition, the Lodge Secretary, WBro Stuart Condliffe is also only too pleased to meet up with any brother whilst on the Island.  He can be emailed at: britannicmadeira@gmail.com

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