INSTALLED MASTERS LODGE 1409.
Brethren, the idea of forming Lodge of Installed Masters for the Mark Degree of Worcestershire first came to light at a meeting of PGL held at Kings Heath in June 1972. The PGM, RW Bro Frank Clifford, suggested that an Installed Masters Lodge be formed in the Province.
The RW PGM suggested that the proposed Lodge meet perhaps 3 times a year in different locations within the Province and that one of the meetings be held about a month before the annual meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge and be considered a General Purpose Committee meeting of the Province. He suggested that it would be desirable for as many Past Masters as possible to join the proposed Lodge in order that all Lodges would be well represented. He also proposed that the fees and subscriptions be kept to an absolute minimum in order to encourage as many members as possible.
Following this initial suggestion and some ideas being passed around the Past Masters of the Province, In fact a letter was sent to all Past Masters inviting them to join, it wasn’t until 18 November 1972 that a meeting was held at the Masonic Hall Dudley to discuss the formation of an Installed Masters Lodge. The PGM opened the meeting by welcoming the Brethren present some 33 present including the PGM and DPGM. I do have a list of all the Brethren who attended but I won’t bore you will all the names, all of whom have now passed to the GL above. Some of the names that I recognise are W Bro’s WH Green, MA Trace, DW Handley, W Bro Ted Hanson. (Ellard Hanson), W Mack who was the ProvSW when Mike Homer received his first appointment as ProvJW. I’m sure some of those names are familiar to many of you as well.
The PGM suggested, and it was agreed by the Brethren, a list of bye-laws that should be adopted by the Lodge.
- The Lodge to be called the Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge
- The Lodge be based at Worcester but by dispensation move from place to place within the Province.
- Three meeting per year
- Meetings to be held in the months of March June and October. (March, May, November)
- The meetings to be held on the first Saturday of those months (May is now last Wednesday)
- One meeting per year to be a General Purposes Committee meeting. The PGM was anxious that Past Masters of the Province participate in the ruling and governing of the Province. GPC now in January?
- Annual Subscriptions to be £3.00
- Joining fee to be £1.50
- Dining fee to be fixed by the Lodge committee and stated on the summons.
- Candidates to be elected in accordance with the B of C
- Ballots to be 2 black balls exclude.
It was also agreed that the following Brethren should constitute the committee with respect to the arrangements for the formation of the Lodge.
Prov G Secretary
Provincial Grand Treasurer
It was also agreed that the founders fee would be £5.00 and that the first Officers should purchase their collars and present them to the Lodge and that other Lodge equipment should be borrowed for each meeting.
It was suggested that the petition for the formation of the Lodge be presented through the Lechmere Lodge being the oldest Lodge in the Province and that they should be invited to act as sponsors of the new Lodge.
The final Petitioners list contained 58 names including those who were present at that committee meeting in November 1972. A Couple of more names I recognise are those of Bro KVR Heaven, who I think our PGM is familiar, HW King, a certain G Winfield who I am sure we all remember with fondness. There was also a RW Bro J Hughes, a member of Cheltenham Keystone Lodge No.10 who was the PGM for Glouc and Herefordshire.
Following much form filling and phone calls the date was set as the 19 June 1973 at I think Kings Heath.
The PGM performed the Consecration assisted by the DPGM. The Consecrating team comprised of:-
W Bro HA Nock….SW
W Bro E Ashley….JW
Bro Rev AD Catterall…….Chaplain
VW Bro Weatherhead…..Sec
W Bro EF Hanson…….DC
W Bro J Moore………ADC
Bro AH Woodall……Organist
W Bro B Taylor…….IG
Bro EJ Davies…….Tyler.
Following the Consecration of the Lodge by the PGM, the DPGM assumed the chair. The Master designate, VW Bro PH Gough was presented to the Installing Master by the ProvDC W Bro EF Hanson and was duly installed as the first WM of the Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge of Mark Master masons No 1409. The WM then Installed his Officers,
W Bro WH Turner as SW, W Bro S Willis as JW, W Bro GE Minshaw as MO, W Bro D Brooks as SO, w Bro J Rowe as JO. W Bro HW King became the Organist. W Bro FR Dean served as the first Secretary for the first 5 years handing over to W Bro TW Grounsell whom I think many of you will remember.
Besides the 58 Founders there were 13 joining members including the PGM, DPGM, ProvSec and the ProvDC. I guess they never became Honorary members.
The Lodge has continued to serve the Province in the capacity for which it was founded, in which there have been lectures and demonstrations at most meetings. Of course, all of the Founders have now passed to the GL above, but many distinguished Brethren have taken their place and helped the Lodge to succeed. Our Present WM, W Bro Peter has had to undergo unprecedented times with our present situation and will, to date, be the only Master to have served in Office for more than one term. Thank you, Peter, for being our current figurehead and leading us through this lock down with distinction and aplomb.
I think that the most senior past master of the Lodge who is still a subscribing member is VW Bro Brian Scoffield, although Dr J White and Stuart Edwards are now Honorary members. Of course RW David Rawlins was a member also.
Our present PGM will well remember his first Installation meeting of the Lodge in 2015 when giving the Address to the first Master, W Bro Bill Patey, when in the middle of the address somebody tried to call the new WM who had left his phone turned on and in his pocket.
VW Bro Jeff Whiteley PGJO, DPGM