Shanghai Tuscan lodge has a rich and varied history (not least geographically, as the name
attests…!). It was founded in Shanghai in 1864 and has now made its way to London. However,
despite the members’ best efforts in recent years, membership has been falling. There remains a
good core attendance and the lodge is in a sound financial position. This makes the lodge suitable for
takeover as part of the Universities Scheme. Indeed, the lodge itself has asked Met to consider this
The Metropolitan Grand Inspector, Russell Sollof, together with the VO, Stephen Turner, is putting
together a takeover team to help bring Shanghai Tuscan into the Universities Scheme, and is looking
for volunteers to be part of the future history of this lodge. Being part of such a team is a great way
to get involved in the running of a lodge and to contribute not only to Met, but to keeping alive a
valued lodge in a way which benefits new members for years to come.
The aim is to get a team of highly motivated and talented masons who can effect a takeover of the
lodge – essentially joining as subscribing members and holding all the offices of the lodge. New
members would come through the Universities Scheme, and over time the takeover team would
help the new members into office, and gradually step back from the running of the lodge such that it
will become a self-sufficient Universities Scheme lodge. After an initial commitment of 3 years or so,
the takeover team would then become honorary members of the lodge, and can enjoy seeing the
The current timescale is to have the takeover team in place by the Installation meeting of Shanghai
Tuscan lodge in May 2021. To this end, there will be an initial planning meeting on 1 April 2020 from
5pm at FMH. All those interested in taking part are asked to let Russell or Stephen know as soon as
possible (contact details below) and to come along to this initial meeting.
At the meeting, a representative of the Universities Scheme, Jeff Bennett, will join Russell, Andrew
Manasseh and David Swain in providing more detail and beginning the process of formalising the
team structure and logistics.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Yours sincerely and fraternally
Russell and Stephen
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