From Fermoy to Cork – Fermoy Freemasons – Sixty Years On
Harmony Masonic Lodge 555 marked the completion of its diamond jubilee year of meeting at The Masonic Hall, Cork City by holding its annual excursion to Fermoy and Kilworth in north Cork.
On December 7th last, Harmony Masonic Lodge 555 marked the completion of its diamond jubilee year of meeting at The Masonic Hall, Cork City by holding its annual excursion to Fermoy and Kilworth in north Cork. The lodge had previously met in Fermoy for over 150 years, from 1801 until 1953.
The afternoon commenced with a festive lunch at The Grand Hotel for 30 brethren and guests of the lodge. This was followed by a walkabout in old Fermoy, viewing the former lodge room behind ‘Batavia’ on the Rathealy Road, courtesy of Mr Michael Glavin. This room, formerly Fermoy Assembly Rooms, was where the lodge met from the 1860s until the 1950s. The next stop was at Christ Church Fermoy, where Mrs Hazel Baylor arranged access to view the Lodge 555 Masonic brass plaque and the communion rails, dated 1885 in memory of The Revd Canon Hill, rector of Fermoy and for many years secretary to the lodge.
The brethren and their guests then drove to the former Kilworth Church (now The Village Arts Centre), where Desmond Corban-Lucas gave a talk on the churchyard and its history. The grounds, kept impeccably by Mr Jim Nash, were much admired and appreciated by all. Following the talk, this year’s Worshipful Master chairperson] of Lodge 555, Drew Ruttle, laid a wreath at the headstone of John Bible, who served an incredible fourteen years as Worshipful Master of Lodge 555, between the years 1808 and 1834 – to his memory and to that of all the brethren of Fermoy who served Lodge 555 so faithfully during the years the lodge met in the town.
The Masonic stained glass window in the church porch was then unveiled by Dr David J Butler, chairperson of Lodge 555 during 2012, when the lodge conceived the idea of its restoration, holding a series of events that ranged from a musical evening at The Masonic Hall Cork, to book sales and excursions and raising the €3,000 required. Once inside, local historian and author, Mr Bill Power, gave a presentation on Fermoy district, its military and Masonic heritage, which concluded the afternoon’s proceedings.
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