Shlomo Argov Unity Lodge – Historical Events

SAUL Visit to St Albans Organ Museum

Report by Valerie Trevor


A group of our members had a most enjoyable visit to the St Albans Organ Museum which was both informative and entertaining. We learned about the history of the various instruments and heard a lively programme of music demonstrated on each one. The largest theatre organ was a Mortier made in 1923 – it was about thirty feet long and unbelievably it was taken apart and reassembled as it went to dances held in enormous tents around Belgium. Most of the organs were made in Belgium and our two guides, Michael and Peter, told us how the organs worked and demonstrated with music from Glen Miller to Clair due Lune listened to by the attentive audience. Michael even gave us a chance to hear him playing a Wurlitzer and a Rutt organ which had both been cinema organs. He demonstrated how the Wurlitzer could accompany silent films with the sound of horse hooves or a train whistling and coming down the track. We could imagine how the music added to the drama in the silent film era.


The museum was started by Charles Hart in the late 1950’s when he saw the mechanical organs lying idle and being destroyed in Belgium. Similar to fairground organs, they are automatically operated and they are controlled by perforated music books (similar to a piano roll). Mr Hart had a builders’ yard in St Albans and his collection was kept there. He added musical boxes, pianos and other musical instruments and enlarged the premises to taken in the very big organs he had acquired. By 1978 he asked that a charitable trust be formed to look after his collection. After his death in1983 the St Albans Musical Museum Society was firmly established and running the museum. It is run entirely by volunteers who are all keen enthusiasts.

Many thanks to Doris Waxman and Irene Kessler for arranging this most enjoyable and interesting outing.



Report by Doreen Wolf

On a beautifully warm and sunny afternoon on 7th June at Aldenham Golf and Country Club, 54 members and 3 past members of Shlomo Argov Unity Lodge celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a lovely tea of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, finishing off with a delicious and special 30th anniversary cake. Also in attendance were guest speaker Susannah Kraft, BBUK National President, Eve Swabe and her husband, Tony, BBUK Treasurer, Tony Etherton and Malcolm Factor.

Monitor, Doreen Wolf, gave a welcome speech followed by BBUK Secretary, Pamela Gold (one of the Lodge’s founder members) who spoke about the early days of SAUL. On 28th April 1985 a charter was granted for a Lodge to be known by the name and title of “Shlomo Argov Lodge” No. 3234 (later to be known as Shlomo Argov Unity Lodge (SAUL).

Pamela then introduced the speaker, Susannah, Assistant to the General Secretary at the Actors’ Benevolent Fund and Secretary (Scribe) to the Grand Order of Lady Ratlings, a ladies’ show business charity and a Trustee of SAUK (Scoliosis Association UK) and Sphinx Theatre Company. She gave a most interesting talk about her background and in what she had been involved during her life, including her term as Queen Ratling.

Monitor Doreen Wolf, cut the anniversary cake which was then served to everyone at the end of tea. The rest of the afternoon was spent socialising on the sunny patio of the Golf Club, enjoying the sunshine and the magnificent views over the golf course. In all, this was a very successful and enjoyable afternoon.



Report by Doreen Wolf

Saul’s Chanukah Quiz, held on the 7th night of Chanukah in the Café Area of the Bushey Centre, was a great success. 56 members and guests enjoyed a finger buffet supper catered by Shirley Lever which was followed by Geoff Wolf lighting the Chanukah candles.

Following the candle lighting, the Quizmasters, Valerie and Gerald Trevor, set the questions based on the seven ideals represented by the B’nai B’rith Menorah, i.e. “Light, Justice, Peace, Benevolence, Love, Harmony and Truth.”

During the interval, raffle tickets were sold and tea, coffee and doughnuts were served. Monitor, Doreen Wolf, presented Anita and Ernest Simon with a flower arrangement to celebrate their 60th (Diamond) wedding anniversary.


The evening raised just under £700 from ticket sales and the raffle and will be distributed to B’nai B’rith and other charities.

Flo Kaufmann’s talk for “Women in Judaism”

Report by Wally Leaf

When my wife Joella sought a BB ‘Women’s Week’ speaker at Shlomo Argov Lodge, my response was a near-reflex action. Having worked with Flo Kaufmann JP for thirty years at the Deputies, I didn’t hesitate. Happily, nor did Flo! Although involved in many causes, she at once agreed: subject A Woman in Jewry.

Flo’s well-attended September talk at Bushey Golf Club – chaired by Joella and with Mission Statement read by BBUK Joint Co-Ordinator Valerie Melnick – fascinated Lodge members and the


many special guests, like Barbara Nathan, Joint Organiser of B’nai B’rith Weeks of Jewish Heritage and Culture, with husband Brian (ex-National Executive); and Arnold Phelops, Immediate Past National President of AJEX, there with his wife Yvonne, Rotary Movement District Governor. They were clearly not disappointed!

You have to admire Flo. I helped run her successively successful campaigns for Hon Treasurer, and then Vice-President, of the 250-year-old “Jewish Parliament,” and worked under her Chairmanship at the International Division, and as a fellow-Member of the Executive, till she “moved upstairs,” when elected Treasurer of the European Jewish Congress and Chairman of its Board of Governors. Yet it all began very humbly. She struggled through school after her mother’s early death, and left with humble grades. But her husband Aubrey encouraged her into Open University, and her true vocation. In eight years, the busy wife and mother graduated. And never looked back: especially making a superb success of the charity Emunah.

Reviewing women’s progress – or lack of it – over the centuries, Flo mentioned some women who had defied the trend, yet, “in Jewish politics they were largely an adjunct to their menfolk, raising money for good causes.” But the 19th century influx of Russian Jewish refugees led, she said, to “Brady Settlement, Toynbee Hall and others. Lady Rose Henriques and Miriam Moses were active. Miriam became a London mayor. As did Ruth Winston Fox. Contemporaries [at the Board] were Ros Preston, June Jacobs, Jo Wagerman and Eleanor Lind – all formidable. Now Gwyneth Paltrow wants to join our ranks!”

So what holds many others back? The answer was forthright. “Women have been constrained by society and convention. Today, many men in public life tend to be bullies. I’ve been amazed at how their wives put up with their chauvinism!” Still although, as Flo admitted, “We’ve had a woman PM, and a Home Secretary who would make a marvellous Prime Minister,” she added: “But not a woman leader of the UJIA, CST, JLC, or many other communal organisations. Nor any prospect of one. There has been a woman President of the Board of Deputies,” and Flo believes, “There will be one again.”

So, how to get there? “My advice is don’t be too pushy, abrasive, or strident!” Well Flo should know.

Charm, enthusiasm, a willingness to listen and to learn, and a full measure of energy plus compassion have taken her above and beyond ambition. Plus, no doubt, the patience and care she showed in answering a full quota of questions, before and after the teacups. She also accepted with obvious delight from past president Marilyn Rose on behalf of the Lodge a framed certificate testifying that a substantial donation in her name has been made to feed the hungry immigrant families of Israeli township Qiryat Gat.