In a significant historical event, a blue plaque was recently unveiled in York city center to honor the shared history of a notable building. The Eboracum Freemasons, who convene at the Eboracum Masonic Lodge in St Saviourgate, invited Lee Probert, the Principal of York College and University Centre, to reveal the new plaque on August 8th.
The building, once occupied by the Institute of Popular Science and Literature from 1846, later became York College, now situated in Tadcaster Road. The Eboracum Masonic Lodge, founded in 1876, moved into the former institute building in 1883.
Principal Lee Probert expressed his privilege in reconnecting with the original history, linking the college café to the heritage by renaming it ‘Café 1827’. The Lodge’s Grand Master, Dr. David Chambers, emphasized the Freemasons’ goal of education, stating that it makes good men better.
David Bowman, the secretary of the Eboracum Masonic Lodge, highlighted the presence of over 100 Freemasons in York. The Freemasons’ emblem, reminiscent of medieval stonemasons, symbolizes their mysterious origins. The lodge hosts various meetings, including initiation ceremonies, Grand Master installations, lectures, and social gatherings. An annual charity evening, usually attended by the Lord Mayor of York, is also part of their tradition.
The blue plaque in St Saviourgate stands as a testament to the rich history and shared heritage of the building, connecting the past with the present and honoring the contributions of the Freemasons to education and society.