Ramsgate Freemason bequeaths £114,000 to Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School

Receiving the cheque at Ramsgate's Masonic centre

A Ramsgate Freemason has bequeathed £114,000 to the town’s Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School.

When the Old Ruymian Lodge of the East Kent Freemasons informed the school they had £114,000 to donate, the staff and students were delighted. The incredible sum had been left by the late Norman Poole, a former member of the Old Ruymian Lodge who was keen to support the education of future generations.

A delegation of 12 students from Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School, along with the head of the sixth form Craig Lowis and the school’s business manager Chris Freeman, arrived at the Masonic centre in St Lukes Avenue, Ramsgate, on December 15 to receive the cheque from the Master of the Lodge, Johnny Symaka.

Speaking at the presentation, Mr Symaka said: “We trust the donation would be instrumental in improving the educational experience of students at the school. The values of charity, friendship, integrity, and respect that are central to freemasonry, and (Norman) pledged the continued support of the Old Ruymian Lodge to the school and its students”.

Mr Freeman outlined some of the ways the money would be used, including an investment fund to support bursaries for underprivileged students who wished to attend university, as well as purchasing a new minibus to replace the aging existing one and updating equipment in science and other departments.

He added: “This generous donation from Ramsgate Freemasons will help ensure Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School can continue to provide the highest standard of education for generations to come.”

Chatham House School was founded in 1797, and Clarendon House School opened its doors in 1905. The schools amalgamated on the 1 September 2013.


  1. please explain a little further robert , i am interested in your views , and i notice how the money went to grammar schools ?

      • Not a secret society but a society with secrets. Spend some time looking on line and you will see the many millions of Pounds we give to charities every year.

    • East Kent Grammars don’t compare with other grammar schools in Kent or nationally.

      Our grammar system promotes social mobility as they still have selection 100% on ability.

      I’ve been very proud to both work at CCGS and be a product of it.

      Do I care that the money has come from Freemasons; not at all because I know it’s going to give East Kent students the best chances they can to excel academically and personally.

  2. On the level or, on the sly.

    Free Masons for many of us appear to exist in a murky secret world. In which we are led to believe that they are decent honest people. Who are happy to favor their fellow members above all others based on a funny handshake which is no way at odds fairplay.

    Sad that it’s necessary for a school funded by the taxpayer to feel it too necessary to go cap in hand, and dignify a secret society, which has its roots in medieval.

    • Margate Bloke – Can you read? If you read and understand the article, the amount of money was a bequest to the school. Nothing to do with going cap in hand !,

      • Yes,FedupB to your question, however normally the executor of a will, complies with the deceased’s requests and then informs the beneficiaries.

        Generally there is no need for recipients to attend theatrical settings of the local Lodge.

        The problem for normal people is that they don’t feel the need to be in some mysterious cult group of well, we don’t know do we, maybe it’s just middle-aged men, doing good deeds, perhaps it is all business deals done on the nod or people in the twilight of there years caught up in some weird ancient cult.

        Let us hope the School feels free to discuss, the pros and cons of Secret societies and why non-members feel uncomfortable about them.

      • John Mathew – I thinks his thoughts come from lower down the body towards the rear! Regarding where handover of benefits occurs, what has is got to do with your views on Masonic activities. He should be happy that school has benefited. I have just completed ,after 22 months, my duties as Executor of a seven figure sum. I followed exactly the instructions I was given regardless of my personal thoughts especially donation s in excess of £300000 to four charities, two of which I would have donated £1 to!

  3. There are more business deals done in the freemasonry world than in any boardrooms, golf clubs are number two on the list.
    If you are in business and join one of those and be a decent person your business will grow I know that is for certain. These places do not have a waiting list to join for nothing.

  4. Robert yes I fully agree freemasonry is like the mafia in certain respects however those who reach the top of their tree by dodgy going’s on have a long way to fall. I have been asked twice over the years if I would be interested in joining the Freemasons by two different people and twice I’ve given the same response “ no thank you”

    • Well done, Bill. Freemasonry is secretive and corrupt. Why the secrets? Why the corruption through favouritism placing other masons before non-masons?
      Did you know masons call non-masons the “profane”?

        • Nick, I am educated and I am familiar with the machinations of freemasonry. There is a freemasons’ museum in Canterbury but it is all a show without substance. So-called “open days” are of the same nature.
          So why all the secrets and only being a Mason improves your character? Why are non-masons referred to as the profane?
          You can hide behind all this charity work but the very nature of freemasonry is one of exclusivity, concealment, corruption, all clothed in allegory to bamboozle the “profane”. Open days are a mere sham. The Mafia nature of it remains at the core.

  5. As an aside, the article mentions a Mr. Chris Freeman, the school Business Manager. I am just wondering, when did a school become a business?

  6. Its true Freemasons and their lesser known relatives the Buffalos do have hidden influence, especially when it comes to promotions, I know that affected my career decades ago

Comments are closed.