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Vulcan International

The Origin of “Vulcan International”

The term “Vulcan International” refers to an informal group of Lodges throughout the world that is named “Vulcan” and is recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England. Every Lodge named “Vulcan” that has so far been discovered has been contacted, with the object of promoting exchanges of Masonic information and views, inter-Lodge visiting, fraternal Brotherhood, and the development of friendships between Brethren and the families of Brethren.This idea began in 1962 when the then Master of Vulcan Lodge 4510. Middlesbrough, in the Province of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings. W. Bro. Ernest G. Pipe met Bro. Norman Heaviside of Vulcan Lodge 5757. Blackhill, County Durham, whilst on one of his visits to other Lodges, and it was suggested that it would be an occasion if their respective Lodges were to have an exchange fraternal visit. The event took place on 17th September 1962 in Middlesbrough and fraternal exchanges between these two Lodges have taken place every year since that time.In 1995, the Master of Vulcan 4510. Middlesbrough, at that time, W. Bro. Charles Rogers, and one or two of the Brethren in the Lodge, wondered whether there were any other like-named Lodges in the English Constitution. Another Vulcan Lodge was located in Derbyshire and the “Vulcan Triangle” was formed between Vulcan 4382, Alfreton, Derbyshire, Vulcan 5757, Blackhill, County Durham, and Vulcan 4510, Middlesbrough, with their first meeting at Alfreton, Derbyshire on the 27th October 1995.Spurred on by this success, further research was carried out that identified a fourth Vulcan Lodge 3181 in London, and W. Bro.Charles Rogers made the arrangements for their inclusion into what has now become the “Vulcan Square”.

Vulc_int(L to R George Buckberry, David McGeorge, Jim Sutcliffe and Eric Blackwell)
The four Vulcan Lodges met together for the first time on 18th September l997 at a meeting hosted by Vulcan 5757 in Blackhill, County Durham. 119 Brethren were present on that most memorable occasion.The visitors included: 7 from Vulcan 3181, London, 22 from Vulcan 4382, Alfreton, and 21 from Vulcan 4510, Middlesbrough.The second “Vulcan Square” was formed in September 1998 at Mark Masons’ Hall in London, with Vulcan 3181 as hosts.For the September 1998 meeting of the “Square” and at his own suggestion, W. Bro. Charles Rogers arranged for each of the four Vulcan Lodges be presented with a ceremonial Toasting Cabinet containing four “tot” glasses, each engraved with the Lodge logo, and a mini decanter with the logo of each Lodge engraved on it’s four sides, enclosed in a polished wooden cabinet in the form of a book - bound in craft blue leather. It is now the popular custom at each meeting of the “Square” for the reigning Masters of the four Vulcan’s to toast each other collectively with the “tot” glasses and again collectively, to toast all other reigning Masters and then all the Masons present on the occasion.Curiosity led to further research and another six Vulcan Lodges were identified, 5 in the United States of America, and 1 in Canada. More recent and more accurate information revealed that two of the Lodges in the USA had amalgamated with other Lodges and one had “disappeared” without trace.W. Bro. Rogers, with the approval of the Grand Lodge of England contacted the Grand Lodges concerned and through those Grand Lodges the remaining three North American Vulcan Lodges:-Vu1can Lodge No. 74, in Vulcan Alberta, Canada registered under The Grand Lodge of Alberta.Vulcan Lodge No. 229, in Walnut, Kansas registered under the Grand Lodge of Kansas.Vulcan Lodge No. 498, in Bristow, Iowa registered under The Grand Lodge of Iowa.The “Vulcan Square” continues to meet annually, the venue rotating between the four Lodges. The twelfth meeting was held in Middlesbrough on 19th May 2008 and the accompanying photograph shows the four Masters of London, (George Buckberry) Blackhill, (David McGeorge [SW] – The WM’s representative) Middlesbrough (Jim Sutcliffe) and Alfreton (Eric Blackwell) toasting from those “tot” glasses in the now traditional manner. (Suitably filled of course with an amber fluid of Scottish origin) Who knows, one day we may all meet as “Vulcan International” – “The Magnificent Seven”