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1870 W. Webb

W.Bro. A.E.Fridlander  (1840 – 1928)

     Alfred Emmanuel Fridlander came from a prominent Jewish family. His grandfather had been a Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University and his father, a successful Birmingham businessman, was a pillar of the local Jewish community there.

     He himself served as  Hon.Secretary of the Coventry Jewish Congegation for many years and was its President on several occasions. After attaining a leading position in the watchmaking industry, he later developed other commercial interests, becoming a director of the Triumph Cycle Company, which he helped to found, and Deputy Chairman of the Leigh Mills Company.

     He was initiated into Faithful Lodge No 473 (Birmingham) but joined  Trinity Lodge in December 1864, becoming its W.M. in 1868 and 1869.  He was only aged 29 when first appointed to  Provincial Grand Lodge as acting Provincial Grand Pursuivant in 1869. He was promoted to Provincial  Junior Grand Warden in 1874, was appointed Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies from 1880 to 1884 and finally attained acting Provincial Grand Senior Warden in 1887.

     He was in 1876 one of the founders of  and later W.M.of St. Michaels Lodge No.1630; in 1900 he was a founder of St. John’s Lodge No.2811; and he also became an honorary member of Stoneleigh Lodge No.725.

     He was a generous supporter of masonic and other charities and was rewarded with the craft Grand Rank of 1902.

     He achieved a similar Grand Rank in the Royal Arch, having been in 1871 a founder and the first Second Principal of St. Michael’s Chapter No.1630 (formerly known as Trinity );  the founding  First Principal in 1894 of the new Trinity Chapter No.254; and in 1914 the founding First Principal of Abbey Chapter No.432. He was also appointed Third Provincial Grand Principal (Warwickshire) in 1879.

     His public works included serving as a Liberal Councillor on Coventry City Council from 1863 to 1868 and as a Justice of the Peace for 28 years. He was an early supporter of the Coventry Fire Brigade, a founder of the Coventry Thespian Club and a longserving member of the Technical Education Committee.

     At his funeral at Witton Cemetery in Birmingham in 1928 the Brethren present dropped sprigs of acacia on his coffin while a warm personal tribute was delivered by Colonel W.F.Wyley, the then Provincial Grand Master. The Chief Rabbi of Birmingham, Dr. A.Cohen, in his address of commendation affirmed that “ it was upon the solid foundations of brotherly love, relief and truth that he raised the column of his career, inspired not merely by the faith of Judaism, but inspired also by the teachings of Freemasonry.”  

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