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Gönderen Konu: Marion Lindsay Halsey (1861 - 1927)  (Okunma sayısı 2039 defa)

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Mart 21, 2017, 04:19:29 ös
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Born Marion Lindsay Antrobus in 1861, she was the eldest daughter of Hugh, a banker who became the senior partner and then Chairman of the prestigious Coutts Bank in London. She was also the grand-daughter of Sir Edmund Antrobus, 2nd Baronet and great-great-grand-daughter of James Linsday, 5th Earl of Balcarres and Crawford.

She married firstly Captain Henry Gerard Leigh, by whom she had a son and three daughters. Her eldest daughter Diana joined the Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry (HFAM), of which her mother was head. Diana married Herbrand Sackville, later 9th Earl de la Warr, the son of another member of the same Order - Muriel, Countess de la Warr.  Captain Leigh died in 1900.

Marion Lindsay Leigh was initiated into Lodge Golden Rule No. 1 in April 1909. In April 1910 Mrs Leigh became the Honourable Mrs Reginald Halsey, her second husband being a younger son of Sir Thomas Halsey, Baronet, and Deputy Grand Master of United Grand Lodge from 1903 to 1927.

In October 1911 she was installed in the Chair of Lodge Golden Rule No. 1 and the same year became Deputy Grand Master of the Order. Having only been in the Honourable Fraternity for two years, Halsey still wore the light blue collar of one who had not yet attained the honour of Grand Rank, with its dark blue collar. Dr. Cobb’s resignation from the HFAM was accepted in March 1912 and Marion Halsey was voted Acting Grand Master. At the Quarterly Communication or assembly of the Honourable Fraternity of Antient Masonry in the following June she was elected Grand Master.

She devoted her life henceforth to furthering the interests of Freemasonry for women. Her successor said of her: ‘There has rarely been combined in one individual, in the same degree, all the qualities of a great lady.  Nobility of character, simplicity, independence, quiet insight, understanding, high ideals, wide culture and great qualities of leadership, which won for her the affection, admiration and respect of all those who had the privilege of knowing her’.

Highly educated, she was very much inclined towards mystical and esoteric traditions. As well as being a Freemason she belonged to the Stella Matutina, one of several secret, magical societies in existence at the end of the nineteenth century. This studied the philosophical, spiritual and psychic evolution of humanity and members learnt the principles of occult science and of western philosophy and magic.

During the First World War, Halsey proposed and financed the foundation by HFAM of a female teacher’s training college, specifically for teachers of ‘continuation classes’ (modern day-release). This was an innovative project and a feminist initiative. With this and other war work particularly in mind, the HFAM felt that recruitment would benefit from recognition by the men as a bona fide Masonic organisation. They therefore petitioned UGLE to that effect in 1919 and Halsey wrote a covering letter in justification. The Petition was refused in 1920.

When the freehold of 27 Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill Gate was donated to the Order in 1924 as a headquarters, Halsey underwrote the cost of alterations and of building a Masonic Temple in the garden space.

Halsey was Grand Master for seventeen years and during that period she totally dominated the Order. She was aristocratic, wealthy, highly educated, charismatic and had the networking and contacts to bring her plans and projects to fruition. In her last few years she had bouts of illness and in May 1927 her husband Reginald died.  Halsey passed away soon afterwards on 27 December 1927 at her London home and was buried at St Michael and All Angels, Withyham, Sussex.
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