This artifact is a precious part of the history of Lodge St. George in Bermuda.
The brethren of Lodge St. George were granted the Old State House in 1816 when the capital of Bermuda moved from The Town of St. George to the City of Hamilton. As per the document’s language, we pay an annual rent of one peppercorn. You may find several pictures from years gone by on this website showing the ceremony in which we provide the peppercorn on a silver platter and receive a receipt to prove that we provided full payment.
The Royal Bermuda Regiment arrive on parade and the Governor provides an inspection or the troops. The Regimental Band also provides music to help keep the attendees entertained during the course of events.
You will also find several members of the Bermuda Parliament in attendance of the ceremony. It is a bi-partisan event as the Freemasons are politically neutral and therefore members from both major political parties in Bermuda can be found observing the festivities.
Although it may seem by this description that this is an event that can only be attended by invitation, this is not true. This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. In fact, it is encouraging to the brethren of the Lodge to have as many visitors come out to watch them pay the rent. If you are a Freemason from overseas you should contact the Secretary of the Lodge before visiting. This will help him to inform the rest of the brethren of expected numbers.