Posted on 12th June 2023 at 08:24
Over 300 members of the Order of Women Freemasons recently gathered in Cardiff for the annual Enthronement Meeting of the Most Worshipful Grand Master Zuzanka Daniella Penn.
Despite the national train strike members from all over United Kingdom attended and some flew in from South Africa. The weekend, as always, was a happy occasion where members met up with old friends and made new ones.
The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in the country with over 300 Lodges and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry. It was born as the Honourable Order of Antient Masonry in 1908 and on 5th June at a meeting in Notting Hill Gate eleven men and women constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge with Dr Reverend Cobb as the first Grand Master.
The Order’s first Grand Master, William Cobb, was the Rector of St Ethelburga-the-Virgin within Bishopsgate for over 40 years. He was an Anglo-Catholic and had a deep interest in the principles of natural law and equality. A controversial figure, he held services based on the revised 1928 prayer book and conducted marriages which omitted the words ‘obey’ and ‘serve’ and was willing to marry divorced people provided they were the innocent party. He worked on behalf of the women’s sufferage movement and in the field of marriage and divorce law reform. He became a co-mason in 1905 and was also a member of United Grand Lodge of England.
William Cobb served as Grand master for four years and was succeeded by Marion Halsey since which time all of our Grand Masters have been women.
Now in her 12th year as Grand Master, Most Worshipful Bro Penn continues to successfully guide the Order through the challenges of the 21st century.