Header Image

History of the Lodge - The Centenary Story

Between the Wars

The 1920 Festival was mentioned in our minutes for the first time in December 1917.   Our Provincial Grand Master was to preside - it was for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution - and our support was asked for, with gratifying results.  Another fund was supported at this time on behalf of those brethren who were interned in Germany.

The only reference to our Jubilee is in a letter from Worshipful Brother Smeeth apologising for absence from that meeting.  The war was at its height, which may be the reason.   The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother John White visited the Lodge in 1919 and 1921 - always a welcome visitor.

An interesting use of the working tools was made when H.R.H Prince Arthur of Connaught laid the foundation stone of the Dover Patrol Memorial at St. Margaret's Bay.   Our level was used by him in the Ceremony and a note to that effect was subsequently engraved on the level.

The Masonic Million Memorial Fund for providing a central home for Freemasonry and for commemorating the many Masons who gave their lives during the war, was the subject of an appeal by the Grand Master in April 1920.  London led the response and enthusiasm gradually grew in the Provinces.  Our magnificent premises in Great Queen Street is the result.  To celebrate the return of peace a special meeting of Grand Lodge was held on Friday 27th June 1920 at the Royal Albert Hall.

The value of money was declining and in 1920 we had to raise out initiation fee from 7 to 9 guineas.  So far as one can see this did not affect the flow of candidates.   Emergency meetings were still frequent.

Modesty almost precludes mention of the unfailing charitable attitude of the Lodge, particularly towards the widows and fatherless children.  No deserving case was ever turned down and our minutes frequently record the gratitude of the recipients.  At the instigation of Worshipful Brother Sydney Ernest Board, a Life Subscribing Society was formed in connection with the Lodge of Instruction in March 1922.  This was to enable members to obtain life votes in the Masonic Institutions.  Later, in 1924, a benevolent association was formed in connection with the Lodge, the Chapter and Lodge of Instruction.

The years following World War I saw much masonic activity.  Our Lodge had an irresistible attraction for schoolmasters, many of whom have occupied the Chair.  The names of Everett, Whitehouse, Cooke, Burgess, Morrell, Twyman, Horrex and later Baxter, Langley, Wellden, Francis, Monks, Kendall and Brooshooft spring to mind.

Appeals for money were many.  We supported the Million Memorial Appeal and promised to become a founding lodge of the projected Masonic Hospital.  We also supported the Lord Mayor's relief fund in connection with the disaster in Japan and made generous donation to the Dover War Memorial Fund.  We even sent a contribution to the Restoration Fund of St. Paul's Cathedral.

In 1925 Worshipful Brother Edward Mowll Worsfold resigned his office of Charity Representative after 12 years service.  He received the thanks of the Lodge and was succeeded by Worshipful Brother Herbert Richard Geddes.   Worshipful Brother Smeeth was ill this year and at the Installation meeting a message of remembrance was sent to him congratulating him on the 57th anniversary of his initiation.