History

In the Beginning

The Manor of Bexley Lodge was formed on October 29, 1943 when the Founders-Designate met at the Masonic Hall, Bexleyheath, to discuss the formation of a new Lodge in view of the growth of population since 1927, when the last Lodge was founded, from 24,000 to, in 1939, 80,000. With this increase, the three existing Lodges working in the Borough of Bexley were full so the formation of a new Lodge was of paramount importance.

In 1943 when the first of the meetings of the Founders-Designate took place Britain was at war with Germany nnd, Although it was never considered as such, was an act of faith in our ultimate victory by all concerned.

Due to nightly air-raids, the blackout, the uncertainty of travel facilities and other inconveniences some of the meetings took place on Sunday mornings and afternoons at Print Works House, Crayford, at the kind invilntion of Bro. Percy Stewart, a Founder-Designate. At the first meeting at this venue on December 5, 1943 at 3 p.m. the following items were discussed:

Name of Lodge

Number of Founders, limited to 30

Founders' Fee  6 guineas

Initiation Fee/Joining Fee, 20 guineas/5 guineas

Annual Subscriptions, 4 guineas

Ritual to be worked.  Strict Emulation

Banner (question to be deferred until after the War!)

Lodge Committee

Dress at Meetings (due to clothing rationing, evening dress was considered inappropriate)

Place of Meetings.  Bexleyheath Masonic Hall.

At a meeting of the Founders-Designate held at the same venue on Sunday December 19, 1943 at 3 p.m. the name of the Lodge was proposed by W. Bro. S. A. Jenkins, P.P.S.G.D. as "The Manor of Bexley Lodge". This was seconded by W. Bro. L. L. Lonsdale, P.P.S.G.D. and carried unanimously. Bro. Wicks and Bro. Buckland were thanked for the suggestion and research. The Lodge takes its name from the Manor of Bexley whose Charter was granted in the year 814 by Cenulph, King of Mercia, to Wilfred, Archbishop of Canterbury, for the use of Christ Church.

The place of meeting to be the Masonic Hall, Bexleyheath, on the fourth Saturday in March (Installation), April, May and September. It was decided that the number of Founders be limited to 25 by a majority vote. The Ritual to be worked Emulation. Gavelkind Lodge No. 4266 was to be asked to be the sponsoring Lodge due to the fact that the majority of the Founders-Designate were members of that. (This that Lodge did in true Masonic spirit. W. Bro. H. C. Ward, the Worshipful Master of Gavelkind Lodge proved to be a very good friend and his gift of the Worshipful Master's and Wardens' Collars and Jewels was very much appreciated.)

The Brethren were asked for nominations for Master-Designate and after W. Bros. E. S. Downes, L.G.R. and L. L. Lonsdale, P.P.J.G.D. had declined, Bro. F. Shallcross proposed and Bro. W. C. Brentnall seconded W. Bro. M. D. H. Garrett. This proposition was carried unanimously, as was the proposition to nominate Bro. G. F. Baker for Senior Warden. However, two names were submitted for the Office of Junior Warden - Bro. A. Gleeson and Bro. P. J. Stewart. A ballot was taken and Bro. Stewart was elected by a majority of 12 to 6. The rest of the Officers to be appointed by the Worshipful Master.

On May 13, 1944 the Acting Secretary, Bro. G. G. Adams, dispatched a letter and the Petition to W. Bro. F. J. Bryan, the Provincial Grand Secretary, stating the reasons for the Petitioners' application for another Lodge in Bexleyheath.

In October 1944 Bro. Adams was able to send out a statement that the Manor of Bexley Lodge No. 5977 was to be Consecrated at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London W.C. on Thursday, November 23, 1944 at 2.45 p.m.

As Suite 17 at Freemasons' Hall had accommodation for only 150 it was confidently anticipated that every seat would be filled. This proved to be correct - the total number attending was 13 Consecrating Officers, 21 Founders-Designate and 119 visitors -153!

The luncheon prior to the Consecration was at the Connaught Rooms at 1.00 p.m. and consisted of:

Creme Persanne

Venison Jardiniere

Macaroni

Potatoes

Apple Pudding

Coffee

and cost 25 shillings inclusive of wines, beers and gratuities!

On Sunday, January 14, 1945 a further meeting of the Founders was held and the following gentlemen were interviewed for proposed membership of the Lodge: Messrs. A. W. Bragg, Dr. Charles Morgan, O. C. Stevens, A. E. Fowler-Tutt and R. P. Dunwoodie. It was unanimously decided that they be" recommended to the Lodge for membership.


The Early Years

The first meeting of the Lodge after the Consecration was an Emergency meeting and held at the Masonic Hull, Bexlcyheath, on Saturday February 10, 1945. Twenty-one Founders and 14 visitors were in attendance to witness the Initiation of Mr. Ronald Pearson Dunwoodie. (A footnote on the summons read: "Owing to the uncertainty of the Candidate's movements due to service at sea the Worshipful Master proposes to use his prerogative under Rule 160 B. of C") He was the second Candidate to be proposed at the Consecration and a Marine Engineer with the Blue Star Line - and we were still at war!

So we come to the first Regular meeting of the Lodge on March 14, 1945 when Mr. Arthur William Bragg, the first Candidate to be proposed at the Consecration, was Initiated. Our first Joining Member, Bro. Ralph Fergus Linklater, was warmly welcomed into the Lodge.

A report on the By-Laws was also discussed. A Proposition by Bro. S. G. Russell, Senior Deacon, seconded by Bro. G. F. Baker, Senior Warden, that all the Consecrating Officers be elected Honorary Members was carried with acclamation!

(Four days earlier on March 20 the Lodge Committee had discussed the By-Laws and some alterations made to the original wording. It was then proposed and seconded and carried unanimously that they be recommended to the Lodge. It was also proposed and seconded and carried that in response to a request from the Province, W. Bro. S. A. Jenkins, P.P.S.G.D., be appointed to act as liaison for the 1950 Festival.)

The second Regular meeting saw the ceremony of Passing on Bro. A. W. Bragg and the Initiation of Dr. Charles Morgan. A Notice of Motion having previously been given, the proposition to sanction the Lodge ol'Instruction was unanimously carried. Bro. W. E. Wicks, the Treasurer, gave Notice of Motion that a Lodge Benevolent Association should be formed. W. Bro. W. Noble, O.B.E., R.A.F.Regt., P.G.D. and W. Bro. H. C. Ward, Worshipful Master of Gavelkind Lodge No. 4266, were proposed as Honorary Members of the Lodge.

Due to the Bexleyheath Masonic Hall not being available on our stated day, the third Regular meeting was held there on June 23, 1945 - the first meeting in peacetime. It was also the first time that three Degrees were worked on one afternoon.

The attendance was 23 members and 15 visitors.

The Degrees were worked by W. Bro. A. J. Mills - Raising, W. Bro. P. E. Newble - Passing and the Initiation by the Worshipful Master W. Bro. M. D. H. Garrett. The Charge after Initiation was delivered by Bro. G. J. Lay, who received the congratulations of the Worshipful Master on having been elected Worshipful Master of Bcxleyheath Lodge No. 4918.

On July 25 another Emergency meeting was held to Pass Bro. R. P. Dunwoodie, which was carried out bv W. Bro. A. J. Mills.

The fourth Regular meeting was held on September 22, 1945 at which ballots for three Initiates and one Joining member were taken, all of which proved unanimous in their favour.

In addition a Ceremony of Raising, an Initiation, the election of next Worshipful Master, Treasurer, Tyler, members of the Lodge Committee and the Audit Committee! At this meeting also Rt.Worshipful Brother Colonel Sir John Laurie, P.G.W., late Lord Mayor of London, presented Lodge Furniture made by Bro. G. 0. Adams from wood from the Guildhall, London, which had been damaged by enemy action, and recalled scenes during the evening attack on the City in 1940. He also congratulated the Lodge on receiving gifts from its members and others:

Volume of the Sacred Law from W. Bro. K. B. and Bro. R. M. Jones.

Embroidered Cushion from Bro. H. Lein.

Working Tools from Bro. F. W. Butler, S. G. Russell and H. Lein.

Wands presented by Bro. F. W. Butler

Tracing Boards and Candidates Clothing Bro. G. J. Lay.

Alms Box, made from wood from Canterbury Cathedral, Bro. W. E. Wicks

Reading Desk, made from wood from House of Commons, W. Bro. M. D. H. Garrett

Tyler's Sword (worn by and presented by) W. Bro. E. S. Downes, L.G.R. Poinard, German dagger "captured" during War from Bro. W. J. Vennils, Tyler Worshipful Master's and Wardens' Collars and Jewels, W. Bro. H. C. Ward, Hon. Member Rough Ashlar, stone from Coventry Cathedral from Dean and Chapter of Cathedral Perfect Ashlar, stone from House of Commons W. Bro. M. D. H. Garrett.


 

Manor of Bexley Lodge No. 5977 

 

 50 YEARS

 

1944 - 1994

 


THE FOUNDERS OF THE LODGE

 

                                                         Lodge                           Rank

 

M. D. H. Garret                              4266                              W.M.

 

G. F. Baker                                      4266                              MM.'

 

P. J. Stewart                                   4266                               M.M.

 

W. E. Wicks                                   4266                              M.M.

 

G. G. Adams                                   4266                              M.M.

 

E.  S. Downes, L.G.R.                    3510                              P.M.

 

S. G. Russell                                   2980                              M.M.

 

W. C. Brentnall                              1382                             M.M.

 

P. E. Newble                                   125                              P.M.

 

W. I. Cowan                                   4266                             M.M.

 

R. M. Jones                                    4266                             M.M.

 

F.  Shallcross                                 1908                             J.W.

 

R. W. Harrison                               125                              M.M.

 

F. Buckland                                    2041                             M.M.

 

F. W. Butler                                   4266                             M.M.

 

S. A. Jenkins, P.P.S.G.D.              4918                             P.M.

 

A. J. Mills                                      2469                             W.M.

 

G. J. Lay                                        4918                             J.W.

 

F. E. Wren                                     4266                             P.M.

 

H. R. C. Lein                                  1743                             M.M.

 

S. E. J. Jensen                               4040                             M.M.

 

K. B. Jones                                   4266                             P.M.

 

M. G. Goodman                            4266                             M.M.

 

W. H. Denning                             2622                             P.M.

 

 


 

The following Brethren subsequently withdrew from the list:

 

L. L. Lonsdale, P.P.J.G.D.

 

H. E. Laws

 

E. S. Tanner

 

E. R. Clarke

 

A. G. Williams

 

G. H. Joy

 

A. Gleeson


 

THE FIRST OFFICERS

 

W.M..................................................... W. Bro. M. D. H. Garrett

 

I.P.M.................................................... W. Bro. K. B. Jones

 

S.W....................................................... Bro. G. F. Baker

 

J.W....................................................... Bro. P. J. Stewart

 

Treasurer............................................. Bro. W. E. Wicks

 

Secretary............................................. Bro. G. G. Adams

 

D.C....................................................... W. Bro. E. S. Downes, L.G.R.

 

S.D........................................................ Bro. S. G. Russell

 

J.D........................................................ Bro. W. C. Brentnall

 

A.D.C................................................... W. Bro. P. E. Newble

 

Almoner.............................................. Bro. W. I. Cowan

 

Organist............................................... Bro. R. M. Jones

 

Asst. Secretary................................... Bro. F. Shallcross

 

I.G........................................................ Bro. R. W. Harrison

 

Stewards.............................................. Bro. F. W. Butler

 

.............................................................. Bro. F. Buckland

 

Tyler..................................................... Bro. W. J. Vennils


 

SECRETARIES OF THE LODGE

 

Foundation 1946                        G. G. Adams

 

1946 - 1951                               M. D. H. Garrett

 

1951 - 1978                               G. G. Adams

 

1978                                         D. W. Rush

 

1979 - 1980                               K. J. Powell

 

1980 - 1989                               G. W. Wade

 

1989                                        D. W. Eastop


 

TREASURERS OF THE LODGE

 

Foundation - 1964                             W. E. Wicks

 

1965 - 1969                                         A. L. Byrne

 

1969 - 1970                                         J. H. Faulkner

 

1970 - 1983                                         W. C. Brentnall

 

1983 - 1992                                         H. A. Broome

 

1992                                                      D. F. Gallagher

 

 

 

PAST MASTERS OF THE LODGE

 

+        1945                      W. Bro. Montague Garrett, PPSGD

 

+        1946                      W. Bro. George Frederic Baker

 

+        1947                      W. Bro. Percy John Stewart

 

+        1948                      W. Bro. Gustavus George Adams, PPJGW, PZ

 

+        1949                      W. Bro. Stanley Groundwater Russell

 

          1950/86                 W. Bro. William Charles Brentnall, PPJGW, PZ

 

+        1951                      W. Bro. Richard William Harrison, PPAGDC

 

+        1952                      W. Bro. Frederick William Butler, PPAGDC

 

+        1953                      W. Bro. George James Lay, PAGDC, PPGReg. PZ

 

+        1954                      W. Bro. Henry Richard Charles Lein

 

+        1955                      W. Bro. Stanley Walter Aspin

 

+        1956                      W. Bro. Arthur John Mills, PPGReg. LGR, PZ

 

+        1957                      W. Bro. Herbert William Fry, PPAGSuptWks.

 

*        1958                      W. Bro. Evan Thomas Morgan

 

+        1959                      W. Bro. Albert Leslie Byrne, PPJGD, PPGReg(Devonshire), PZ

 

+        1960                      W. Bro. John Henry Faulkner, PPJGD, PZ

 

+        1961                      W. Bro. William Edward Eastley, PPAGDC, PZ

 

          1962                      W. Bro. Ashley William Coombes Johnson, PP G SuptofWks

 

*        1963                      W. Bro. Robert Henry Russell, PPAGStdBr.

 

*        1964                      W. Bro. John Fisher Charles

 

+        1965                      W. Bro. Thomas John Charles

 

          1966                      W. Bro. Robert William George, PP G SuptofWks, PZ

 

*        1967                      W. Bro. Derek William George Johnson, PZ

 

          1968                      W. Bro. Alfred James Williamson, PPGStdBr, PZ

 

          1969                      W. Bro. Frank Arthur Redwood, PPSGD

 

*        1970                      W. Bro. Francis Alfred Cozens

 

*        1971                      W. Bro. Kenneth John Powell, PPJGD, PDJGW, (S.Af.W.D.), PZ

 

          1972                      W. Bro. Henry Oscar Colin Knight, PPAGStdBr, PPAGDC(Worcs.)

 

+        1973                      W. Bro. Leonard Stanley Barrett, PPSGD, P.Z.

 

+        1974                      W. Bro. Ronald Empson, PPGStdBr.

 

+        1975                      W. Bro. David Edwin Blaxill, PPGStdBr,

 

+        1976                      W. Bro. Denis Wilson Rush, ProvGStwd, PZ

 

+        1977                      W. Bro. Herbert Donald Tidy, PPGStdBr., PZ

 

          1978/89                 W. Bro. George William Wade, PPS G.Swd.B.

 

+        1979                      W. Bro. Phillip James Renwick, PPJGD, PZ

 

          1980/90                 W. Bro. Cyril Charles Tarling, PPAGDC

 

+        1981                      W. Bro. Herbert Arthur Broome, PPJGD, PZ

 

          1982                      W. Bro. Alan Frederick Cheaveau, PPAGDC, PZ

 

+        1983                      W. Bro. John Borrett Galliford, PPAGStdBr

 

          1984/91                 W. Bro. Desmond Francis Gallagher, PPAGReg PZ

 

          1985                      W. Bro. David William Eastop, PPAGReg, PZ

 

          1987                      W. Bro. W. L. Mills, PPGSwdB LGR, PZ

 

          1988                      W. Bro. George William Elson

 

          1992                      W. Bro. Graham Keeble

 

          1993/94                 W. Bro. Terence George Russell, Prov.G.Stwd, PZ


 

PAST MASTERS IN THE LODGE

 

+          W. Bro. G. F. Murray, LGR, PZ Lodge No. 4200


 

 * Resigned      + Deceased

 

 

 

 FIRST HONORARY MEMBERS

 

Rt. W. Bro. The Rt. Hon. The Lord Cornwallis, K.B.E., M.C., J.P.,

 

P.G.W., Provincial Grand Master. Rt. W. Bro. William F. Blay, P.G.W.

 

W. Bro. Capt. Arthur Halsey, C.B.E., R.N., P.G.D.

 

W. Bro. Wing-Commander Bertram Wilfred Noble, O.B.E., R.A.F., P.G.D.

 

W. Bro. Rev. Arnold Richard Bradshaw, Prov.S.G.C.

 

W. Bro. Albert George Parsons, J.P., P.A.G.D.C.

 

W. Bro. Francis James Bryan, P.G.D.

 

W. Bro. Arthur Atkinson, P.A.G.D.C.

 

W. Bro. Daryll James Branson, Prov.D.G.D.C.

 

 W. Bro. George Selby Boothroyd, Prov.G.Org.

 

 W. Bro. Wyndham Jesse Sebbern, Prov.A.G.Sec.

 

 W. Bro. Isaac Hunter, Prov.G.Purst.

 

 W. Bro. Harold Charles Ward, W.M. 4266.

 

 

 

NAME                            RANK                      YEAR         PROMOTION           YEAR        GRAND RANK 

 

M. D. H. Garrett             Prov.G.Stwd.             1949             PPSGD                                 

 

 A. J. Mills                      Prov.G.Stwd.             1954             Prov.SGD                1956

 

                                      PPGReg.                   1975

 

 G. J. Lay                      Prov.A.G.Reg.            1955                                                                   PAGDC 1963

 

 F. Shallcross                PPAGDC                    1955            

 

                                     PPGReg.                    1961            PAGDC1963

 

 G. G. Adams               ProvAGDC                 1957            PPSGD                      1965

 

                                     PPGReg.                   1970            PPJGW                       1974

 

 R. M. Jones                Prov.DGOrg.               1959            PPJGD                        1964

 

 W. C. Brentnall*          Prov.AGDC                 1960                                                                                    

 

 R. W. Harrison            ProvAGDC                  1961            PPGReg/PPJGW      1974/1984

 

 F. W. Butler                 PPAGDC                    1962

 

 H. W. Fry                    PPAGSupt.Wks           1967

 

 A. L. Byrne                  Prov.JGD                     1969            PPGReg.(Devon)

 

 J. H. Faulkner            Prov.JGD                       1970

 

 W. E. Eastley              PPAGDC                      1972

 

 A. W. C. Johnson        Prov.AGDC                 1973            PPSGD                         1985           PPG Supt.of Wks 1994

 

 R. H. Russell            PAGStd,Br.                   1974

 

 R. W. George           Prov.AGDC                   1976            PPJGD                           1986          PPG Supt.of Wks 1994

 

 A. J. Williamson      PPAGPurst.                    1978            PPGStd.Br.                    1988

 

 D. W. Rush              Prov.G.Stwd.                 1978

 

 F. A. Redwood        PPAGReg.                     1979            PPSGD                              1989

 

 K. J. Powell              Prov.JGD                      1980           PDJGW(S.Africa, W.D.)                             

 

 W. I,. Mills               PPSGD                          1980           PPGSwd.Br.                      1989               

 

 H. O. Knight            PPAGStd.Br.                  1981           PPAGDC(Worcs.)                                        

 

 L. S. Barrett             PPAGReg.                    1982            PPSGD                             1990               

 

 R. Empson               PPGStd.Br.                   1983

 

 D. E. Blaxill             PPGStd.Br.                    1984

 

 H. D. Tidy                PPGStd.Br.                   1986

 

 G. W. Wade             Prov.SGD                      1987            PPG SwdBr.                       1994               

 

 P. J. Renwick           PPJGD                         1987

 

 C. C. Tarling            PPAGDC                      1988

 

 H. A. Broome          PPJGD                          1989

 

 A. F. Cheaveau       Prov.AGDC                   1990

 

 J. B. Galliford          PPAGReg.                    1991

 

 D.F. Gallagher         PPAGReg.                   1992

 

 D.W.Eastop             PPAGReg.                   1992

 

 T.G. Russell             Prov.G.Stwd                1994

 

 

 

* In 1988 the Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Simon Francis Norman Waley, M.A. instituted the Invicta Award "for long and distinguished service to Masonry in the Province", and W. Bro. W. C. Brentnall PPJGW was among the first four Holders of this signal Honour, which was presented in Provincial Grand Lodge in 1988.

 

 

 

THE CONSECRATION 

 

The Manor of Bexley Lodge No. 5977 was consecrated on November 23, 1944 at Freemasons' Hall, London W.C. by the Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master of Kent, the Right Honourable the Lord Cornwallis, K.B.E., M.C., J.P., P.G.W. He was accompanied and assisted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master Right Worshipful Brother William Frederick Blay, P.G.W., W. Bro. Capt. Arthur Halsey, C.B.E., R.N., P.G.D., Assistant Provincial Grand Master and the Consecrating Officers of the Province of Kent. There was loud and sustained applause when this procession of distinguished Brethren entered the Temple. So the Consecration began...... 


 

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