125 YEARS OF
THE DeLaPre LODGE No.1911
THE 125 ANNIVERSARY OF THE LODGE ON 12TH. OCTOBER 2006
Reproduced with the Author's permission
You soon realise
when looking on 125 years of a Lodge history that a Worthy Brother has
written the history of the first 50 years and another Worthy Brother
has written of the next 50years in the 100 year history of the Lodge
but no one as yet has written the history of the past 25 years.
been pored over and many recorded incidences have become part of the
folklore of the Lodge. I am not complaining because the Lodge will always
be indebted to those historians W.Bro. F Ince -Jones who wrote of the
first 50 years and W.Bro.Frank Waddy who wrote the History of the Lodge
from 1881 to 1941.
So what does one
do when we celebrate 125 years of the Lodge history besides writing
a record of the past 25 years. We decided and hoped it would be acceptable
to develop a presentation on the 125 years of the De La Pre Lodge to
remind us of that written history, and bring them to mind once again.
We offer our apologies in advance for not mentioning someone or something
you think should have been mentioned.
was edited extensively in order to stick to the timetable for this evening
and we have some slides which we hope you will find interesting.
Its dawn on the
morning of 28th.January 1881 the heat of the day was yet to come the
58th of foot, the Northamptonshires 2nd Battalion colours flying; bayonets
glinting in the early sun; moved forward to the road crossing at Laings
Nek. They came under point blank range fire - the fire was murderous
- Colonel Deane was soon killed Major Higgison Officer commanding the
58th.fell mortally wounded most of the Officers were down the two Ensigns
in charge of the colours also fell. There was nothing for it but to
retreat; one of the last to retire was Lt.Hill who had remained behind
to try and save Major Baillie and later in the retreat rescued two other
wounded men thus earning the Northamptonshires first Victoria Cross.
We started with
that very brief account of the battle at Laings Nek because also at
about that time in 1881 We can be almost certain that in the home of
the Regiment members from Pomfret Lodge and Eleanor Cross Lodge were
discussing the formation of a third lodge for the county town, and two
officers involved in the battle at Laings Nek would eventually become
members of that Lodge. Lt.Hill VC (he died in 1944 as Major. Alan Hill-Walker
and was for many years the senior holder of the VC in the Army) and
another officer who was in the colour party that day Captain Wallace
became its Worshipful master in 1897. In that battle of LaingsNek, Capt.
Wallace was the last man. in the British Army to carry the colours into
battle. W. Bro. Wallace, was the Father of the head-mistress of the,
There were already
two Lodges in the town, the ancient Pomfret, 61 years old, and the Eleanor
Cross, Consecrated only a little more than two years earlier.
Our founding Lodge
was The Eleanor Cross Lodge No.1764. There were 19 Founders 14 from
Eleanor Cross Lodge and 5 from Pomfret Lodge they were men of strong
personality and distinction, leaders in town and county but the minutes
of the Lodge give no indication of the motives of the founders. There
is little doubt that the close proximity of Delapre Abbey to the Eleanor
Cross must have influenced the matter.
Delapre Abbey was
founded by Simom de Sen Lis the younger 2nd Earl of Northampton for
the Nuns of the Clunaic order and it was dedicated to St.Mary de la
pre or de pratis (St.Mary of the meadow - on the south side of the river
). Edward Bouverie the younger son of Sir Jacob Bouverie of Delapre
purchased the Abbey from Captain Hardy a Governor of New York in one
of our colonies. His successor Sir Everard Bouverie though married he
had no children and there seemed to be some prospect that the Abbey
may pass to the female line but a court case in 1860 confirmed the claims
of a young man brought up in obscurity in Ireland. His name was John
Augustus Shiel Bouverie another future Worshipful Master of DelaPre
The two men who
really laid the foundation of Delapre Lodge. Were The Rev. J S Sanders
and the Rev S Wathen Wigg. W Bro. The Revd. J S Sanders was at the time
SW of Eleanor Cross Lodge and became the first W.Master of Delapre and
was the moving spirit in its Consecration. He later became the Grand
Chaplain of England.
The lodge was consecrated
at the on Tuesday July 26th, 1881, at 3.0 p.m., the by V W Bro.Col.
Shadwell Clerke, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of England, in the presence
of over fifty brethren, (think how many attend Consecration ceremonies
now 130 at the Scout Lodge) at a special meeting of Provincial
Grand Lodge held in the Masonic Hall, Abington Street Northampton. W.
Bro. Sanders was installed as W.M. by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
A PM of Pomfret Lodge W.Bro. Butler Wilkins.
and Installation Banquet was held in great style at the Angel Hotel
which surprisingly still stands today but in an awful state. What a
menu! What a wine list, alcoholic refreshment was cheap and some there
were who could imbibe more than was congenial to the delicate stomachs
of those clerical brethren who constituted more than a third of the
In those early
days a rule was established that beer should be the only drink. This
rule was modified later to permit such brethren as could not drink beer
to have whisky, and as a special indulgence champagne was permitted
on Installation Nights.
Mercury of July 30th, 1881, gives a long account of the Consecration
and of the banquet at The Angel Hotel,
..where the tables
presented a tasteful and novel appearance. In the centre were several
choice plants and the dessert with a border of moss and flowers on each
side. A button-hole bouquet was in front of each cover".
The Rev. S. J.
Sanders, the first W.M., speaking at this banquet, said the Lodge was
founded with the distinct object of doing good to Freemasonry in The
Province. It was intended that it should be looked upon as a provincial
Lodge rather than a town Lodge. However, the newspaper, ready to exploit
a stunt, accused the founders of exclusiveness, and doubted the necessity
of another Lodge. One, Noddlekins, who wrote a weekly column of local
gossip, said sarcastically
.that he was told any brother
with a University degree, even if it were an American one, would be
was a remarkable man. He was nicknamed Boanerges, the meaning was Loud
voiced preacher or orator or sons of thunder, do we
gather from this that he had a loud voice? He certainly had a finger
in most of the Northampton intellectual pies. In the large hall of the
Grammar School, of which he was for many years headmaster, hangs a fine
portrait, painted by Harris Brown, another member of the De la Pre.
He was a learned man, and so eloquent a preacher that anybody wanting
to be sure of a seat in All Saints' Church when he was preaching had
to be there at ten minutes past six.
But a good second
to him was The Revd. Wathen Wigg made all the arrangements for the Consecration
and Banquet and founded the Eleanor Cross Lodge. This genial and burly
cleric was present at the Jubilee Dinner in 1931; spoke and took his
old place as Chaplain. He was a founder of The Saints and
he had an amazing fund of amusing stories, suitable for every variety
Some of the other
Founders were The Revd. T. C. Beasley, Vicar of Dallington, father of
the County .cricketers, Joe and Bob Beasley, was an excellent and amusing
after-dinner speaker and a monstrous figure of a man.
H. P. Markham,
father of Christopher Markham, was the first clerk to the County Council
and an able, distinguished man.
Tom Green, in his
time the leading lawyer in Northampton, looked very aristocratic with
his trim white beard and erect figure, He was the epitome of polished
courtesy in practice but not unready for a merry jest in private. His
legal lore was profound and settled many a case in the offices of Messrs.
Becke, Green and Stops Though he remained a member for forty-one years
until his death he never took office.
Dr. George H Percival
the J.W., became the third W.M. in 1883 He died in 1940 after a membership
of fifty-eight years. He too was at the Jubilee Dinner. A brilliant
surgeon in his prime he became the almost perfect type of good family
doctor. He was a leading spirit in the De la Pre from the first. He
had been Surgeon to the Northampton General Hospital a post his Grandfather
held from 1820 to 1849 He was in the Lodge for 58 years and died just
before the outbreak of the Second World War.
The W.Master in
1884 was J.A.S.Bouverie that other leading light in our beginnings.
He was elected as our first treasurer and was so pleased that the lodge
was named after his home that that he donated all the officers
jewels. A few of those jewels are still in use. In July 1885 he invited
all Brethren accompanied by wife, sister or child to spend the afternoon
with him at Delapre Abbey and dine with him at 7.30 pm. Other afternoon
"picnics" were arranged later.We actually held a lodge meeting
in Delapre Abbey his home.
the first secretary and afterwards Treasurer, was also the organist
at All Saints' Church for many years, but was rarely organist of the
The first regular
meeting was held in September, with fourteen present, including nine
officers, and John Eunson was proposed, balloted for and initiated.
Only two meetings after he was raised, he was elected Treasurer! This
was an act of inspired wisdom for he became one of the ornaments of
the Lodge, a dignified and efficient W.M. and his Son, W. Bro. George
Eunson, was one of the most distinguished Masons in the Province.
IN 1882 the Lodges
proposed to hold a ball, but the DelaPre Lodge sat heavily on the project
because the time was inopportune, 2.because the management was
unrepresentative. The Ball did not take place and the Lodge never held
a ladies evening although other arrangements for the Ladies to attend
were made in later years.
rendered in the old days was at the Old Folks Tea. The old people of
the town were entertained to tea at the Corn Exchange. This was a remarkable
joint effort of the Lodges in the town. The moving spirits for many
years were the three Secretaries W. Bros. W. J. Hull, H. W. K. Markham
and G. H. Eunson; the caterer was W. Bro. Hughes and the provider of
entertainment, W. Bro. T. P. Dorman. By all accounts it was a wonderful
scene when seven or eight hundred old people, three or four hundred
Masons, to say nothing of the singers and the band were crowded in that
vast building. There was a grand spread.
At the head of
each table sat a Mason. Each old man received half an ounce of tobacco,
each old woman a packet of tea. There was a great procession of Masonic
Brethren in full regalia. On the platform were always found Lord Euston,
quaffing a huge whisky, and W. Bro. Tom Dorman, who before giving a
picture show with his fine magic lantern, sat with his twenty stone,
looking like a genial giant. It was a great day in which the De la Pre
played a big part.
The subject of
how Provincial Honours were awarded is often discussed today but in
May 1885 a letter was received from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master
stating that the offices of Provincial Grand Warden, and Provincial
Grand Chaplain had been allotted to the Lodge and the Lodge should decide
who should fill these offices. This procedure with regard to Provincial
Honours was followed in several subsequent years
The small size
of the Lodge became apparent in July 1887 when William Rhodes of Flore
Fields should have passed to the Second Degree but as there were only
six Members present the ceremony had to be postponed "much to his
inconvenience". There were several sparsely attended Lodges in
the 1880's, our last meeting at Abington Street was March 1890 and we
moved to the new Masonic Hall in Princess Street in October 1890.
For the first twelve
years the meetings were held at 4.0 or 4.30 p.m. with one at noon, but
by the turn of the century the hour had become 6.15 or 6.30 p.m., In
spite of the fact that there was a steady stream of initiates and joining
members for some years the attendances were small and fluctuated between
nine and fourteen. At one Installation only four Worshipful Masters
constituted the Board, at another only sixteen were present in all,
and at a third the procession consisted of two brethren.
These low attendances
reached the bottom in the years 1889, 90 and 91. On three occasions
only five were present and on others only six, seven or eight. It is
believed that one W. Bro. carried out four different offices in one
When Dr .Mi1ligan
was passed in 1891, only five others were present and there were but
nine to raise him. When W. Bro Haviland was Master in 1888, he read
out a list of the attendances of the officers and made" appropriate
remarks ". However, in 1892 a revival set in. At the April Meeting
eleven new members were proposed and nearly forty were present at the
Installation Meeting when C A Markham was Installed.
It was said our
workings was peculiar. Little books were in frequent use and accuracy
was tempered with paraphrase. When, however, the Lodge of Instruction
was revived, Bros Manfield, Hobbs, Hughes and Hull joined it and
the standard of the work was raised. By all accounts it fell again to
some extent, but rose miraculously during the Masterships of W Bros
Kew and Charles Burton. Incidentally the attendance of 76 at the Installation
of W. Bro. Kew was the largest on record for nearly 50 years.
It was said of
the Lodge that it was a law unto itself especially at the suppers following
labour. It was a tradition to have no speeches, except on Installation
Nights and, though this tradition was honoured, there have never been
so man speeches as at most lodge festive boards. Probably as a result
of that tradition even today our Worshipful Master is only toasted at
Nor was it easy
to discover by the speech the subject the toast. W.Bros Rylan-Adkins,
Harding, Harry Manfield and Gotch were all eloquent speakers. However
they did have a reputation for the exchange of chaff and banter
often misconstrued as rudeness as indicated by a visiting W.Bro. when
replying for the Visitors, remarked that before visiting the De
la Pre he had taken the precaution of going to a bookseller to purchase
a 2d. book on manners! However as a general rule the members were all
good friends and so the chaff and banter exchanged was generally accepted.
During the life
of this Lodge there have been hundreds of members of the De la Pre Lodge.
It would be pleasant indeed to do justice to them all. However it would
be right and proper to recall a few of the outstanding personalities.
W. Bro. H. W. K.
Markham was Secretary for nearly forty years. To say that he carried
the Lodge is no exaggeration; indeed he was the Lodge. A very capable
lawyer, a member of the famous firm of Markham's which practised as
solicitors for well over two hundred years. His uncle, H.P., has already
been mentioned and his cousin, Christopher, was another W.M. of the
lodge and not only a well-known Freemason but an archaeologist. In early
years, when catering was not too good and numbers were small, after
labour was over, he would say: "No good staying here come round
to my place or he would haul them round to " The Peacock"
or" The Grand ", slip off at 10 oclock to catch the
10.21 for London and, when the Brethren came to settle up, they found
he had paid the whole bill.
H.W.K. was Under-Sheriff
and as such had to. arrange for the execution of murderers. One of them
was due far execution on the day when a Royal Visitor was expected in
the town, and such an, event, it was felt, would be spoilt by an execution.
To Markham fell the duty of going to the condemned cell and in his politest
manner asking the unfortunate wretch if he would be so kind as to agree
to be hanged a few days later.
W. Bro. Harry Manfield
was another personality, though totally different. . Treasurer of Grand
Lodge, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, M.P. for S. Northamptonshire,
and Secretary of the Lodge of Instruction, for many years he had immense
influence and popularity. The story of how he was elected Grand Treasurer
of England is still told. After being unsuccessful at the. first attempt,
he chartered, a special train to take up Masons from all over the Province
to vote for him at the election in London and did them very we1l He
held the office for three or four years and found it a very expensive
It is impossible
not to refer to W. Bro. Sir Ryland Adkins. An eminent K.C., Recorder
of Birmingham, M.P. for, Middleton, Chairman of the Northamptonshire
County Council, Joint-Editor of the Northamptonshire Victorian History,
he touched nearly everything in town and county life. As a Mason in
his progress from I.G. to I.P.M., he lost nearly every official jewel
and, though most often they turned up eventually, it was not always
before a new one had been presented by a generous brother. His speech
delivered after the death of a well known Mason will not be bettered
and perhaps should be quoted every time we receive criticism about our
Order. He said: -"Freemasonry is little understood and often misconceived
by the outside public. They laugh at its secrets, which are but necessities
of organisation, they smile at its reputation for conviviality; at its
ritual of which they know nothing and at its philanthropies from which
they might learn a great deal. In reality it is an important feature
of English life. It embodies valuable traditions of natural religion
and of social cohesion. It gives an innocent outlet to the healthy desire
of men for colour and ceremony. It is infused with the spirit of brotherhood.
Its charities are great and it forms a machinery, which may in the future
do far more for philanthropy even than at present".
One of the most
distinguished figures of our early years was W. Bro. Col. G. H. Eunson,
D.L., in whom the Lodge not only enjoyed- a distinguished D.C. for nearly
thirty years and was the Provincial G.D.C. and became one of the most
brilliant ornaments of the Lodge It is interesting that three generations
of Eunsons, two of whom were prominent De la Pre men, held sway in what
was then the Northampton Gaslight Co. for well over a hundred years.
who was W.M. in 1891, was a connection of the Bouveries and used to,
appear in full Court dress with knee breeches etc.
and keen Master was W. Bro. W G. Hobbs, Bank Manager, who delighted
the brethren by saying: "Without scruple and without dividends".
W. Bro. Butler
Wilkins the Deputy provincial Grand Master, whose portrait exhibiting
long white whiskers hangs in the small temple, was very attentive. At
one Initiation it was discovered in the middle of the ceremony that
the candidate was wearing a gold ring. In vain did the Tyler and Inner
Guard protest that their utmost efforts had failed to remove it: Butler-Wilkins
insisted it must be taken off or the ceremony abandoned. Finally the
W.M., Bro. Wathen Wigg, knowing well that Butler Wilkins' was a dentist,
said: "What about the gold filling in his teeth! and the
DPGM gave in.
Tom Horton was
the popular captain of the North-amptonshire County Cricket Club and
led them into first-class cricket.
In November 1914
a resolution was passed to Credit every Brother who had left on Active
Service with one year's sub-scription. In the First World War the 6,000
men died while serving with Northamptonshire Regiments. 1,700 of those
men came from Northampton Town.
In the minutes
around 1920 to 1928 it was noted by our two historians that there were
various irregularities but these appear to have been bad Minute keeping
rather than rules and regulations being ignored and this brings us to
the subject of Minute keeping. In writing a history it is difficult
to know how to present the facts in order to maintain continuity and
interest and the writer has chosen to do so through the Secretaries
partly because the Lodge relies on their work for long spells and largely
because it is their Minutes on which one relies to recall the facts
and also the spirit of the Lodge. An excellent example of this is Ted
Needham who worked with Frank Waddy going through all the minute books
and typing up manuscripts.
Our records show
the names of the Worshipful Masters, Secretaries, DCs, Treasurers, Almoners,
Chaplains Organists and ADCs
NB: I have now
completed a spread sheet showing these Officers through to 2006 which
has proved very useful.
In 1925, G.C.Wells
was appointed Secretary and N.R.Phillips took over this work in 1926.
W. Bro. Phillips when recording the opening and closing of the Lodge
and a record of the ceremonies carried out showed how to progress the
gradual adjectival style of the minutes into Lodge folklore. He was
Secretary from 1926 until the Installation Meeting in 1939, a span of
13 years and he brought with him a refreshing relief to the monotony
of correctly recorded Minutes; with a quiet sense of humour and a fitting
use of adverbs and adjectives he produced Minutes to which all members
looked forward to. A few examples: -
the ceremony in his graceful manner.
the explanation of the Second Tracing board in a style which was masterly
and persuasive yet entirely free from presumptuousness".
raised Ince-Jones in a benevolent if somewhat paternal manner".
Kew in a manner which is past description",
by C.E.Burton the Solicitor "it was distinctly edifying to find
a Member of his profession so eloquently advocating the cause of moral
rendering was distinctly unconventional but he was fairly coherent at
In December 1936
the first part of the first Lecture was worked and "W.Bro Eric
Shaw (the W.M.) seemed to derive undue satisfaction from making. no
less than four Schoolmasters stand up in turn and answer the most difficult
W. Bro. W. C. C.
Cooke was a Founder and First Worshipful Master of our Daughter Lodge
the Old Northamptonian Lodge founded in 1937. He was Provincial Grand
Secretary at the time. It is no exaggeration to say that every founder
was personally "hand-picked" by him and not all who would
have been proud to be founders received the invitation. When the list
of founders was complete, it was a representative cross-section of old
boys of the school, ranging from brethren like W.Bro. Barner and W.Bro.
Shoosmith who had left school more than 50 years before, to comparative
youngsters like Leslie Heggs and Gerald Wareing. W. Bro. G.S. Eunson,
a son-in-law of an earlier Headmaster of the School, was the first Senior
Warden and W.Bro. Martin, Chairman of the School Governors, was Junior
Warden. W.Bro. Cooke's senior assistant master, W.Bro. E.E. Field, then
Provincial Grand Treasurer and later to become Provincial Grand Master,
became Treasurer of the Lodge, while another senior master, W. Bro.
G Moss, was its first Secretary.
Secretary from 1939 to 1944. During the 1940s some papers- were
read in De La Pre, two by B.A.Swinden, one being on the organisation
of "Masons in the Middle Ages" and another on "Charges
and Catechisms in the Earliest Masonic MSS". After this latter
paper W.C.C.Cooke was expected to thank the W.M., but in words of the
Minutes, "Cooke was roused by the D.C. to say a few words and apparently
forgetting he was out of School immediately started to correct the paper
and gave no marks at all for the W.Masters History of Masonry which
he considered rubbish. He was able to congratulate the W.M. on his second
paper and proposed a vote of thanks which was carried by acclamation
of the Brethren who were definitely of the opinion that the W.M. deserved
full marks for one of the most interesting papers read in the Lodge".
G R. D. Shaw was
an eloquent exponent 'Of the Second Tracing Board but was inclined to
paraphrase, and one year Humfrey recorded that "W.Bro G.R.D.Shaw
gave his explanation of the Second Tracing Board". The next year
he recorded that W.Bro Shaw gave his "other" explanation of
the Tracing Board.
Whilst on the subject
of G.R.D.Shaw it should be recorded that he was most generous to the
charities. At the conclusion of his year of office he gave the set of
Ivory Gavels, which we now use, to the Lodge. In 1944 he gave a V.S.L.
and on every Installation evening during the time of meat rationing
he sent enough game for the banquet. Shortly after the gift of these
gavels, Bro Jaggard got very mixed up and Humfrey recorded "in
each Degree the W.M. apparently deemed it his privilege with the new
gavel to introduce an entirely new system of sounds better understood
by himself than the Wardens".
In 1939 the October
Summons said dinner would not be provided, while in November it said
dinner would be provided at a cost of 3/6d and meat coupons would not
To continue Humfrey's
recorded Minutes on 12th November 1942 he recorded (against himself)
"a certain amount of delay was caused at the start of the Lodge
on account of the Secretary summoning the Brethren at a somewhat earlier
hour than himself". -
The next Secretary
was T. Faulkner Gammage (1945 - 1954) who was anxious to preserve the
interest and humour shown in previous Minutes; unfortunately he did
not in fact write all the humorous comments, he inserted verbally. One
comment read, after the Minutes,
hereabouts were somewhat disturbed by the late arrival of the Organist
who had been unavoidably detained. His eagerness to perform his duties
was considerably handicapped in that he had nothing to play, nor the
necessary optical assistance to see that which he had not. The organ
throughout the ceremony appeared to resent the early inattention it
had received". The explanation of the foregoing is that George
Moss got into a flap over something and mislaid his music and his spectacles
and made himself late.
The war years saw
a great depletion in the numbers attending the Lodge. Hiam had dropped
out through illness and Frank Waddy went from S.D., to S.W., and thence
His first ceremony
was to have been a third but the candidate was ill and Swinden had to
step in with one of his ever-ready and interesting papers. This left
a back-log which the Lodge could ill afford. The third was performed
in February while an initiation was carried out in January and March.
The W.M. by dispensation
initiated his two colleagues, E.T.W.Starkie and Andrew Wilson at an
emergency Meeting in April. Having four initiates in a year inspired
the W.M. to give the explanation of the preparation for that ceremony
which according to the Minutes had not been heard before in the Lodge.
From 1948 onwards there was a gratifying intake of Medical men and Solicitors
although not all have stayed the course. Though the Initiation of Harold
Arthur Skerrett the Chief Education Officer in 1950 may have caused
some consternation among the school masters in the Lodge.
On the installation
of H.Salt on the same evening as the Medical Ball, Starkie and Wilson
who were E.A.'s went home and changed into full evening dress. Gammage
recorded that the Inner Guard was instructed to admit them but as they
were not to be found the ceremony continued with the Proclamation from
the South and the address to the W.M. "A report was then unexpectedly
given and after due enquiry Starkie and Wilson were admitted. The W.Master
H Salt relied on Matthew Chapter 6 v: 29 to welcome them back to Lodge
saying although it may be some years before these Brethren attain the
Chair of King Solomon .I say unto you even Solomon in all his
glory was not arrayed like one of these
After the lean
years of the war things gradually became more normal and in the year
1948/49 four candidates were initiated, two of them at a Special Meeting
in April 1949 this Lodge was so well attended that another Lodge was
held the following
April but when
a suggestion was made to alter the By-Laws and make this a permanent
feature strong opposition was met.
Frank Waddy in
his History of the Lodge said
.many professional men have
a tendency, as have many others, to regard our ritual as superficial
and if it is regarded as super-ficial it is far from impressive. It
is undoubtedly the duty of anyone proposing a candidate into Masonry
to see that after his initiation his mind can be set along a line of
enquiry by talking to him, taking him to the Library, or by arranging
visits for him to other Lodges, which unfortunately is becoming rather
expensive, so that he is lead to see below the superficiality of ritual
and enjoy the Brotherhood in its deepest sense
. I think
Frank was ahead of his time because this is surely mentoring in its
Gammage as Secretary in 1954, and he was anxious that his Minutes should
be as interesting as those of his predecessors, and though his comments
were on the whole, rather restrained, he produced one or two worthy
of note. He once recorded that he had forgotten the Yellow form to be
read before a Ballot for initiation and had to leave the Lodge to go
home and fetch it.
In 1957, Pendleton,
S.W., often acted as Chaplain from the S.W.'s Chair and the W.M. (D
Young) was not always regular because of indisposition and in the October
Meeting both W.M. and S.W. were absent. Lowick worked well and very
amicably with the D.C., but liked to show he was not submissive and
was delighted to record "The traditional history was given by W.Bro
Moss in an impressive manner notwithstanding some exuberant but somewhat
unhelpful prompting which occurred". This referred to an unfortunate
and incorrect prompt by the D.C. (F. F. Waddy).
On a subsequent
meeting the ceremony was conducted by Frank Jones and R. W. Sykes. the
Traditional history was given by Lowick. The D.C had always set his
face against the use of the Book of Ritual in the Lodge but on this
occasion owing to the number of paraphrases and clauses brought in,
in reverse order by these Brethren, the D.C. was driven to get out his
book to keep some track of the Ritual, and afterwards, told Lowick he
hoped the Minutes would record the ceremony with the usual candour..
Lowick got his own back beautifully.
The Minutes read
.The ceremony was notable for the variety and originality
of paraphrases made use of by each Member of this team and I am directed
by the W.Bro Director of Ceremonies to record that the rendering of
the Traditional History was the most brilliantly original paraphrase
yet heard in the Lodge. He, that is the W.Bro D C., would perhaps not
have been so fully aware of this had it not been for the assistance
of the Book of Ritual to which he was repeatedly seen to refer
Lowick was succeeded
as Secretary in 1961 by H.N.Colpman whose attention to detail both before
and after each Lodge was meticulous. O.W.Layzell was appointed Assistant
Secretary to help him out and preserve con-tinuity in the work.
the nice little comment - "the Lodge was opened in the Third Degree
although the knocks must have left the Brethren in some doubt as to
whether this had been achieved".
In October 1968
after some business the Lodge was "called off" and a team
from Pomfret Lodge led by W.Bro N. E. Jones demonstrated the conduct
of an initiation 200 years ago; after this the Lodge was called on and
the normal business concluded.
appointed to the office in November 1969. And in February 1970 he recorded
"a wintry night with the Chaplain, Secretary and Treasurer and,
for a time, the W.M. absent".
Again in December
of that year a power cut was recorded "in gloom and candlelight
the Lodge was opened "
In November 1971
four resignations were recorded and in the following months this was
followed by others, mostly no doubt, helped by the increase in subscriptions
demanded. I hope Brethren this piece of history does not repeat itself.
In March 1972 and
before our first meeting here in October 1972 A little local difficulty
occurred. Between leaving Princess Street and coming to Georges
Avenue a meeting was needed to Ballot for two candidates because they
had not been proposed in open Lodge at the March meeting therefore W.Bro.Skerrett
asked for a dispensation to hold a meeting on 14th.September 1972 to
propose the two candidates who were Mr. Barry Ronald Hurst an Assistant
Bank Manager at Lloyds Bank mercers Row and Mr. David Michael Orton-Jones
a solicitor of Shoosmith and Harrison. But where was it to be held.
It was held in the Offices of Browne and Wells 2 St. Giles Street.
On the 9th. November
1972 34 years ago Bro. E J C Witts was the first Master of DeLaPre Lodge
to be Installed in this Temple.
The R.W.Bro R.
A. Palmer gave the Lodge its Banner. On the 11th December 1975 he attended
the Lodge accompanied by the Deputy Pr.G.M., W.Bro. D. Baker who took
the Chair the Banner which was escorted into the Lodge and W.Bro.Baker
explained the heraldry after which the banner was dedicated by W.Bro
Rev. Canon W. F. Turner, Pr.G.Chaplain. It will be interesting for quite
a few of the DeLaPre members to hear the explanation of the Banner.
On a Blue (Azure)
ground is the name De la Pre Lodge and the Lodge number 1911 in the
Register of the United Grand Lodge of England. The Square and Compasses
at the foot - all this to represent Masonry, whose charity should be
as extensive as the sky, of which the Blue is the symbol. On this ground
is a shield to represent: - De la Pre. 'Of the meadow' The base is blue
(Azure) with five Barey Wavy Lines in silver (Argent) This is to represent
the river. The middle bar (Fess) with a Tower Proper, supported on each
side by acorns and oak leaves Proper. To represent the Abbey and Park
at Delapre, after which the Lodge is named. The top bar (Chief) is also
blue (Azure) for the sky. Placed in this is a small shield (Escutcheon)
the top part of which is Red (Gules) and the remainder is silver (Argent)
upon which is a Lion Rampant in Black (Sable). This small shield (Escutcheon)
has an Earl's Coronet over it The small shield is to represent the Earl
Seward who acquired the Abbey at its 'Dissolution. Note: The word Proper
is used when a part of any Coat of Arms is drawn in full and not represented
by a symbol.
(Secretary) was in poor health and the Secretary appointed in 1972 was
D.M.Atkinson who ably fulfilled the office until 1978 when E.S.Needham
was appointed. In January 1973 it was decided not to revise the "Penalty
Clauses" as proposed perhaps another DelaPre Law unto itself
moment, however the decision was reversed in 1979.
We have a list
of all our Chaplains. For some Lodges they are long serving Senior Brethren.
In De La Pre the pattern has been slightly different from most Lodges
because of the tendency throughout its history to allocate that office
to a clergyman and they are frequently and rapidly appointed to a Living
outside the district, In some cases it will be noticed that one or other
has temporarily vacated this office but a study of the lists will often
show this is because the Chaplain has gone through the Chair or become
A similar consideration
has to be made with regard to Organists who have for a time vacated
the office to serve in another capacity. The Organist contributes a
great deal to our ceremonies and the Lodge owes them a great debt. For
nearly twelve years the Lodge enjoyed the benefit of the skilled playing
of W. Bro. Richardson-Jones. The versatility of the brethren is shown
by the fact that W. Bro. Harries-Jones, a surgeon; W. Bro. Bertram Faulkner,
a lawyer; Bro. Frank Cox, a bank manager; and Bro. Abel, a book-seller;
served in this capacity, however special attention can be drawn to over
33 years of service by George Moss. Our current Organist W.Bro.E J C
Witts has been our Organist since 1973 has equalled the service of George
Moss and will surpass it, God Willing, in 2007.
One comes to the
important and sometimes very exacting office of Director of Ceremonies.
The Director of Ceremonies has not only to see that the proceedings
are, conducted according to the Ancient Landmarks but he or his Assistant,
usually both, has to attend one or more rehearsals, possibly give special
help to those who find Ritual not too easy and most difficult of all
to know when to prompt and when not to prompt. His life may not be too
easy but with the good will of the Lodge it should not be too difficult.
Recalling the Long
service of some of our Directors of Ceremonies we must record
G H Percival (16),
George Uenson (30), C E Burton (9) F F Waddy (8) Denis Robertson (16)
and recently A C Greene (8). And some Log serving ADCs W B Shoosmith
(21), A W Cooke (12) and D Houghton (21)
In the early days
an attempt was made to limit Membership of the Lodge to professional
classes - Clergymen, Doctors, Solicitors, Accountants, Teachers and
in Victorian times and terms "Gentlemen". This has never been
a "Rule" - merely a custom which has been interpreted in the
past in a varying manner Occasionally an individual case brings this
matter to a head. On the 10th January 1974 after the Third Rising the
W.M. invited the visitors to retire so that this matter could be freely
discussed by members of the Lodge. The feeling after a far-ranging discussion
was correctly recorded by the then Secretary (D.M.Atkinson) -
was that the general character of the Lodge should be preserved and
while recognising the Lodge Committee's discretion in dealing with applications
for Member-ship the hope was expressed that a slightly broader view
might be taken".
In recent years
this matter again came to the fore. The same procedure was adopted to
discuss it in the absence of visitors. Many of us prefer the exercise
of a little commonsense to hard and fast rules and Ted Needham recorded
the feelings of the Meeting held on the 11th December 1980 "that
the principle of the resolution of 10th January 1974 be reaffirmed on
the understanding that this was meant to include a widening of the term
"professional" and that the Interviewing Committee be increased
to eight and that more information should be supplied to Members of
the Lodge regarding prospective candidates before a proposition is made
in Open Lodge, to enable any objection to a candidate to be made in
good time" (unanimous).
At the beginning
of this presentation we mentioned that the history of the last 25 years
was not yet written. There is almost certainly a young member of De
La Pre Lodge sitting listening this evening who will find what we have
to say a very useful aid memoir when he is writing the history of the
Lodge 1981 - 2031 so listen up!!!
Here are the Worshipful
Masters right up to date and immediately it is interesting to note that
in this period 3 masters each took a second term in the Chair. Peter
Cribbin, Bob Kingham and Ken Briers. The last Master to do this before
these three was RW.Bro. R A (Peter) Palmer. 1952 & 1957
At the centenary
meeting on 8th.October 1981 there were present 16 Officers, 19 members
and 56 other Brethren. Among our distinguished guest was Very Worshipful
Bro. Commander M B S Higham the Grand Secretary. This mirrored the presence
at our Consecration of the then Grand Secretary Very worshipful Brother
Colonel Shadwell Clerke.
Ted Needham was
the Secretary and Peter Cooch was Worshipful Master. Peter Cribbin was
his Senior warden and Barry Hurst acted as Junior Warden due to the
unavoidable absence of Brother R T Evans. Peter Cribbin and Peter Cooch
are with us this evening but Ted Needham is quite poorly and has taken
a holiday to visit some of his old haunts in Spain whilst he has the
opportunity as he will find overseas travel in the future very difficult.
I am sure we will remember him when we toast Absent Brethren.
Nine of the members
who were at the Centenary meeting are here tonight but if they are like
me they may not remember much of the detail of that meeting except without
a doubt Frank Waddys presentation of the History of DeLaPre Lodge
In 1982 R W Bro.
R A Palmer was accorded warm and fraternal greetings on attaining the
age of 70 years Peter Cribbin was Worshipful Master and in fact went
on to complete another year in 1983. Ted Needham was an excellent Secretary
his way with words was often full of humour he once recorded that W.Bro.
Dr. Denis Robertson with clinical precision and experience gave a comprehensive
explanation of the second degree tracing board and that
Bro. Leslie Austin-Crowe - a chartered surveyor - gave a measured explanation
of the third degree tools and W. Bro Clif Allin gave an unusual
explanation of the passage from Ecclesiastices and Bro.The
Revd.Frank Pickard presented a Grand Lodge Certificate in his clear
At John Wrights
Installation we were honoured with the presence of the Marquess of Northampton
who was the Assistant Provincial Grand Master. It was customary in the
Lodge at that time for the Master Elect to retire with the Master Masons
and then readmitted when we were ready to continue the ceremony of Installation
but in 1984 when Brother Kingham was Installed for the first time he
had no need to retire because he was of course already an Installed
Master. But I cant recall the ME going out after 1984.
In 1984 Leslie
Salt the Treasurer gave notice to increase the country membership fee
from £4.50p to £8.00p
In February of
that year there was some rather frank discussions referred to in the
minutes regarding the Craft in General.
Around this time
many of the Members of the Lodge gave lectures on various subjects which
without exception were received with great interest. W Bro R T Dyer
PAGDC visited the Lodge and spoke about Charity and the
success of raising £480,000 for the new Masonic Hall.
When Frank Pickard
was Installed the Provincial Grand Master and his Deputy were in Attendance.
Delapre Lodge in 1985 supported the motion that the Royal Masonic
Hospital should be closed and in January W. Bro. Frank Fisher
Waddy completed 51 years in the Lodge and was making satisfactory progress
after his recent illness ( no mention of a certificate)
In 1986 W Bro.Cyril
Mitchell and Bro. G W Ferrie of Newcastle on Tyne - Father of the Steward
of the Lodge Bro.Graham Ferrie - presented new gavel blocks and gavels
to the Lodge. And in March of that year an interesting way of explaining
the passage Ecclesiastes was performed by Bro.The Rt.Revd Bishop W A
Franklin reading the passage a verse at a time and W.Bro. Peter Cribbin
explaining the meaning of each verse.
We had an excellent
evening in October when the Lodge was called off and a team from Pomfret
Lodge gave a demonstration of a Lodge meeting in the Channel Islands
2000 years ago. I got quite confused when recording this because the
same thing occurred in 1968 and I thought I may be dyslexic but on checking
it was correct.
became our Tyler, W Bro. H J Peach had been our Tyler for 8years.Ted
Needham recorded that W.Bro.Lance Dobson gave an interesting exposition
which was entitled Why King Solomons Temple it was
clear that a few furrowed brows indicated that his ideas were provoking
a degree of contemplation
In 1987 W.Bro.Jack
Corrin indicated to the Lodge that Lodge rents were probably going to
rise and sure enough Leslie Salt announced at the next meeting that
because of the increase in Lodge rents Lodge subscriptions would rise
We cannot remember
what caused the problem at the March meeting because it was recorded
by the Secretary that W.Bro. Witts the organist was forced to
retire accompanied by his personal Physician W.Bro.John Naylor. The
role of organist was taken by Bro. Stephen Eales a welcome visitor
John will know doubt remind us later on in the evening what the problem
In 1988 our Treasurer
decided that country members subscriptions should be increased to £15.The
Secretary recorded that W.Bro. Ken Briers gave an explanation
of the second degree tracing board and his two Sons, being present undoubtedly
revived memories of what an accomplished story teller he had been in
his early years. The presentation was much enjoyed by Members.
In that year W.Bro.Francis
Fisher Waddy became an honorary member of the Lodge. His son W.Bro.David
Waddy thanked the Lodge on his Fathers behalf as his Father was not
well enough to attend. ( W.Bro. David is with us this evening)
At the October
meeting RW Bro.Richard Sandbach the Provincial Grand Master was due
to attend. His Director of Ceremonies W Bro. Davidson arrived but no
PGM we continued with the ceremony and at an appropriate time his DC
reported that the Provincial Grand Master had been involved in a traffic
accident and that was his reason for non-attendance. Bro.Mobbs proposed
that the Lodge should write to the PGM expressing sorrow at the
news of his accident and hoped he would be able to visit the Lodge on
a future occasion. This was done.
In the minutes
of the Installation meeting that year it was recorded that a unique
occasion in the annals of DeLaPre Lodge occurred when the newly Installed
Master presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to his Son Br. Darren Briers
In March 1989 it
was recorded that W.Bro.Witts, leaving his pipes behind
gave a most accomplished presentation of the second degree tracing board
In October we received
a warning from Grand Lodge that a series of programmes were to be shown
on ITV showing all the ceremonies. It happened but I doubt very much
if it had much of an impact on most viewers.
Also in October
our Treasurer Peter Cooch was up on his feet and increased our Subscriptions
from£74 to £80.
The Deputy Provincial
Grand Master VW. Bro. H Brian Smith and the Provincial Director of Ceremonies
W.Bro. Eric Pell attended the Installation meeting and at that meeting
Leslie Salt retired from the Lodge he had been our Treasurer for 18
years and Ted Needham retired as Secretary after 11 years of excellent
minute writing and administration of the lodge affairs.
Our Treasurer was
busy again in March 1990 we increased our Subscriptions for Initiation
from £15 to £25 and our Joining and rejoining Member fee
from £10 to £15 In October VW.Bro. H Brian Smith was Installed
as the RW Provincial Grand Master.
The Lodge heard
of a fatal accident to on of its retired members. Bro.Terry Evans who
retired to his native land (a little village just outside Usk). I was
visiting South Wales on a fairly regular basis at that time so I was
able to visit Mrs. Evans she told me of the sad affair. He was a very
keen cyclist and he had gone out for his usual ride and had been knocked
of his bike no one really knew how the accident actually happened.
At the January
1991 meeting the Lodge recorded its grateful thanks to W Bro.Tony Greene
for carrying out the repair work to our rather large Volume of the Sacred
In October that
year we were heartened to have a notice from the Provincial Grand Office
that they now possessed a photocopier and a facsimile machine we had
entered the world of technology at last.
At the Installation
meeting we heard mention for the first time of a Group Officer
and we welcomed W Bro.Don White PAGDC as our first Group Officer.
We stood to order
in respect of departed merit for W.Bro.Frank Waddy one of our more recent
The December meeting
was a grand affair The Provincial Grand Master and his Deputy with the
Provincial Grand master of Nottinghamshire and his Deputy were present
to see Mr. P J A Taylor made a Mason.
February 1992 a
minute reads on recent research from the Old Northamptonian Lodge
it transpires that their sponsoring Lodge was DeLaPre and not Kingsley
as they had assumed for some years. We in DeLaPre had no doubt we were
the sponsoring Lodge.
It was interesting
to note that in June of that year The Lord Bishop of Peterborough attended
a service to celebrate 275 years of the Grand Lodge of England at All
saints Church Northampton that Church which had much influence on DeLaPre
Lodge in its very early years.
By the end of the
year RW Bro. R A Palmer had become an Honorary Member W.Bro. D Houghton
had retired from the Lodge after 27 years s of membership and .Bro.
Lance Dobson was presented with his 50 year certificate by W.Bro. Don
White on behalf of the Provincial Grand Master
In March 1993 our
Initiation fee doubled from £25 to £50 and the subscription
for country membership went up to £70.
1993 and October 1994 the Lodge was saddened by the loss of some of
our older members in the persons of: W.Bro. J Chandos-Pole one of our
Honorary MembersW.Bro. Jack Corrin a stalwart of this Lodge in particular
and the Province in general. W.Bro.Jack Jelley our Tyler for many years
In Edna Jelleys
letter of thanks for the tributes and support she had received from
the Lodge Members she said we had to smile when my 7 year old
grandson just started playing Rugby- said how wonderful
that the father-in-law of the English Rugby Captain was at my Grandpas
funeral (H Brian Smiths daughter married Will Carling)
In March 1995 W.Bro.
John Naylor achieved 50 years in Masonry and invited the Brethren to
take a glass of Port with him at the festive board.
March 1996 one
year later! W.Bro.John Naylor was presented with his 50 year certificate
by W.Bro.Don White the Assistant Provincial Grand Master.
W.Bro. Body of
Cantilupe Lodge in the Province of Herefordshire (a Lodge which we have
strong ties) presented a copy of the Times dated 1881 and an embroidered
apron cushion to the Lodge.
On March 20th.
1997 there was a visit a return visit to Cantilupe Lodge by the members
For the first time
for many years at the October meeting we performed a double Third
Degree and Bros Tony Bailey and Andy Humphreys were the
In November 1997
Peter Cribbin our Charity Steward made a plea regarding the 2002 festival
and told us of the target we had to achieve.
Two months later
he was on his feet now is capacity as Treasurer increasing our subscriptions
from £92 to £95. He seemed pretty determined to get his
hands on our money!
March 1998 saw
a return visit from the Cantilupe Lodge. There were 67 Brethren present
and we had a splendid evening and Bro. Michael Aldridge was passed to
the Second Degree and W.Bro. Ken Briers did a multiple presentation
of Grand Lodge Certificates to Bros Darby, Humphries, Baylis,
Bennett and Bull which reads like a firm of Solicitors.
In the October
we had our Past Masters Night and before closing the Lodge we craved
the indulgence of our two visitors while a statement was read out regarding
the concerns of attendance at Lodge (I seem to recall similar problems
being recorded over 100 years ago) It was decided that a special meeting
would be called to resolve some of the problems.
In December 1998
we had correspondence from the Provincial Grand Secretary about the
sad affair of the Provincial Grand Treasurer and the perilous position
of the Anglo Scottish Lodge.
At the next meeting
there was much relief in the Lodge when the Secretary announced that
we had found the missing minute books and the Centenary Warrant. Thanks
were extended to W.Bro.Leslie AustinCrowe our Almoner for his
persistence in seeking out the missing items.
The 2002 Festival
figure stood at £10,208 and we still needed £7421 to achieve
our target set by the Province at £17,630.
with figures the Lodge accounts showed a favourable balance of £6061
the Charity Relief Chest in held £2140.
In October we recorded
that Derek Houghton had past to the Grand Lodge Above
At the last meeting
in the Millennium I was surprised to read in the minutes that W.Bro.
Ken Briers gave a talk on the History of DelaPre Lodge!! And the Worshipful
Master subsidised the meal at the festive Board. I am fairly confident
that the second of those happening was much more appreciated that the
The start of the
new Millennium was greeted with changes in the Provincial Executive.
VW Bro. Barry Hall was appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master and
Fred Dunk and Norman Coulson were appointed Assistant Provincial Grand
Masters. Wayne Williams took up the challenge as our Provincial Grand
The year was not
all that old when we heard of the sudden death of W.Bro. John Naylor
and we were presenting a 50 year Certificate (two years overdue) to
The Anglo Scottish
lodge was slowly recovering from its financial difficulties and thanked
all the Lodges in the Province for their help and support in their hour
The Lodge also
helped the Masonic Hall by donating £2000 to its Building Fund.
A not so young
Brother John Haig Hughes was initiated into the Lodge in 1997 and endeared
himself to the membership. After only 3 years in the Lodge he was struck
down by cancer and died in August 2000 a very sad affair.
Grand Master appointed W.Bro. Neville Manning as Provincial Grand Director
of Ceremonies on the retirement of W.Bro. Colin Green.
W.Bro. S D M (Don)
Craig who was sojourning in Saudi Arabia sent his first of many reports
back from that Middle Eastern Territory which was always interesting.
Grand Master attended the Installation in November. He had to remind
the Lodge that we needed to elect the Almoner as well as the W.Master
and Charity Steward to represent the Lodge on the Provincial Grand Charity
It was not a very
demanding night in December we had a question and answer session set
up by the DC and ADC this proved quite interesting and the Lodge was
opened and closed in all three degrees thus fulfilling a suggestion
by the Provincial Grand Master that every Lodge should do this once
Balance sheet stood
at £6782.The Lodge achieved its target for the 2002 Festival of
£17847 which was a remarkable achievement for the Lodge and its
Charity Steward W.Bro. P J Cribbin.
We started 2001
by having a Past Masters Night and there were two significant announcements
made as far as the Craft in General was concerned Most Worshipful the
Marquess of Northampton was appointed Pro. Grand master and the Right
Worshipful David Kenneth Williams appointed Assistant Grand Master.
March was our traditional
music night at the Festive Board and inserted in the minutes is a thank
you letter from W.Bro. David Bosworth the PGMs official visitor
for that evening. He concluded the letter by saying he was most
impressed with the star quality of the in house singing entertainers
rounded off of course by that amateur conjurer (himself) who managed
to draw out his own ticket in the raffle for a bottle of Whiskey!!!!
It was further
announced that in the summer of 2002 there would be a week of
action called Freemasonry in the Community and that
our recently restructured Provincial Communications Committee was already
planning some events.
Later on in March
it was our turn to visit Cantilupe Lodge. And we enjoyed a wine tasting
evening in the October.
The lodge this
year seemed to be standing to order for departed merit at most meetings.
Two leaders in the Craft were remembered: M W. Bro. Lord Farnham the
Past Pro. Grand Master and VW. Bro. Eric Pell the PDepPGM. The Lodge
itself was saddened by the passing of: Leslie Salt our Treasurer from
1969 to 1987 and E R (Dickie) Parr our Almoner from 1978 to 1985.
Our balance sheet
read £6895 and arrangements for the 2002 Festival at the Hilton
Birmingham Metropole Hotel on 20th.June was announced and it was asked
that all Lodges would be asked to loan their Banners for the evening
to adorn the walls of the meeting area. They would be insured by the
Province whilst away in Birmingham.
The year 2002 started
with a unique occasion in the Lodge when 8 of the more junior Brethren
read in turn the Charges of a Freemason from the Book of
Constitutions. The W.Master read the final Charge.
The minutes of
the Lodge were beginning to read like the Obituary column of The Times
recording the passing of: W.Bro. Cyril Mitchell our ADC from 1965 to
1988 and Secretary from 1989 to 1992, W.Bro.Ron Sykes who had been 54
years in the Lodge and Brother John Snodin one of our Honorary Members.
We remember John
Snodin with affection, at his interview with the Past Masters of the
Lodge when asked want made you want to join Freemasonry? He replies
well I have been to a few funerals of Masons and I thought they
were a decent lot
We moved closer
to the electronic age when W.Bro. Darren Briers set up the Lodge e mail
address as firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2002 Festival
Meeting was indeed a splendid affair with many distinguished guests
being present and Delapre Lodge was well represented. It should be recorded
with pride that the Delapre Lodge not only achieved their target but
exceeded it by 32%
During this year
a considerable amount of effort was provided to help the Friends of
Cynthia Spencer Hospice and at the Installation Meeting the W.Master
greeted at his pedestal W.Bro.A W Avery of the Lodge of St.George 5978
and W.Bro. D Powell Elia Lodge 4590 to present them with a small token
of thanks for assisting the Lodge when decorating the Pink
room at the Hospice.
Our accounts for
the year 2002 £7508 and the Lodge Relief Chest was beginning to
build up again after the Festival held £1740
In December the Lodge Tyler W Bro. Peter Tabiner and W. Bro. Ken Briers
completed the Lodge inventory and presented it to the Worshipful Master.
In 2003 W.Bro.
A W Avery P.Asst.G.Chap. Was appointed our Lodge Group Officer.
W.Bro. Darren Briers
reported that presentations were being made at various meetings to ensure
that as many Lodges and individuals as possible were informed of the
Refurbishment Plans for the Masonic Hall.
meeting as rather Grand to say the least. The PGM and his
Deputy were in attendance and also the PGM and his Deputy of the Province
of Nottingham shire no doubt in support of a Nottinghamshire family
called Taylor whose son Peter J A Taylor attained the Chair of King
Solomon. We all hoped all future Officers for the Masters Chair did
not have to have the same level of connections!
A sad tinge to
the December meeting was the death of W.Bro. Fred Dunk the Provincial
Assistant Grand Master. Fred had fought a long and courageous battle
with cancer to no avail. Another black edged summons.
and Lodge Relief Chest held £2603
In January 2004
Our Almoner W.Bro.Leslie Austin-Crowe displayed to the Lodge a Masonic
Orb presented by Mrs. Skerrett the widow of W.Bro. H A Skerrett our
secretary from 1969 to 1971.
Teddies For Loving
Care was launched.
February was a
Past Masters night
March we had a
lecture entitled William Cody (Buffalo Bill) By the Worshipful
Masters Father W.Bro. J A Taylor Worksopian Lodge 6963 PPrSGW (Nottinghamshire).
It was a most interesting talk.
We gave £1200
to the Refurbishment of the Masonic hall Fund.
The Lodge was beginning
to attract more new members and we had to apply for a special dispensation
to hold a meeting in April to Pass Bro. Gerry McLaughlin and Initiate
Mr. Roy Thomas Johnson. Bro. Roy Johnson was passed to the second Degree
at the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge in October.
There were 51 Brethren
present at the Installation meeting when W.Bro. Robert Kingham was Installed
for the second time after a gap of 20 years. The Assistant Provincial
Grand Master was in Attendance.
At the December
meeting The MW Bro. David J Morgan Past Grand Master of the State of
Nevada was admitted and saluted with 11. After which our own Assistant
Provincial Grand Master W Bro.Max Bayes was admitted and welcomed into
the Lodge. W, Bro.D W Robertson a distinguished member of this Lodge
was presented a Certificate to recognise 50 years in Masonry in General
and this lodge in particular. I can remember W.Bro.Max Bayes saying
when he handed the Certificate to W.Bro. Denis I am in awe of
your achievement it was a very poignant moment because most of
us present on that evening including Denis himself knew that he was
desperately ill and we may not see him in Lodge again.
Lodge Relief Chest held £3017
The world awoke
in 2005 to a disaster unfolding in the Far East a tsunami (mountainous
seas caused by an under sea earthquake) had hit the coasts of the Indonesian
Islands and had devastated large areas and populations. This Lodge with
every other Lodge in the Province started to collect money to alleviate
their distress. DeLaPre immediately send £1000 to this appeal.
In March it was
recorded that the Province had sent £77,252 to the Tsunami Appeal.
in April this time to Raise Bro. Roy Johnson. This member of DeLaPre
Lodge had only one of his ceremonies carried out at a regular meeting
of the Lodge. Is this a record!!
In October W.Bro.A
C Greene proposed and Bro. J Simmons seconded that the Lodge be the
Sponsor for the new Lodge to be called the Scout Lodge. The Proposition
was carried unanimously. This is only the second time that DeLaPre has
sponsored a Lodge the last time was in 1937 when they sponsored The
Old Northamptonian Lodge.
The Lodge rent
paid to the Masonic Hall in 2005/06 was to be £3383 Bro Paul Doney
was Raised later on in October by the Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge
it was a splendid evening many attended from DeLaPre to support Bro.
In November the
inevitable happened and W.Bro.Denis W Robertson PPRSGW passed to the
Grand Lodge above.
At his memorial
service the following was printed on the service sheet.
Time is slow for
those who wait
Too Swift for those who fear
Too Long for those who grieve
Too short for those who rejoice
But for those who love Time Is Eternity.
In October RW Brother
Barry Hall was Installed as Provincial Grand Master of this Province,
VW Bro. Derek Young was his deputy and W.Bro. Max Bayes and W.Bro. Wayne
Williams were his Assistants. The ceremony was held at Wicksteed Park
and it was packed out with distinguished Brethren from far and near
and the Brethren of his Province.
Our December accounts
recorded £ 10767 and our Lodge Relief Chest held £4432.
News was filtering
through that our Provincial Grand Master was to undergo serious heart
surgery we looked to the Great Architect for his comfort and support.
So here we are
in 2006 and what was one of the first things that happened was our Treasurer
rose to his feet and gave notice that he was going to raise our subscriptions
from £95 to £110 and the joining fee from £50 to £60.
This was due to building problems at Freemasons Hall Great Queen Street
London and the lack of funds to remedy them. We still managed to give
£500 to the scanner appeal at the Noprthampton General Hospital.
our offering which we hope you have enjoyed.
As a postscript
we would like to record how pleased we are to see our Provincial Grand
master here this evening and looking so well.
Some other gifts
received by the Lodge: Firing Glasss by G E Foster, Volume of the Sacred
law by G R D Shaw, Silver Compasses by W.Bro. J Wright, The Wardens
Columns from W.Bro. D D Stone and W. Bro. B F Ludford-Thomas when they
were in the Wardens Chairs, A Square given by W.Bro. Ludford-Thomas,
A complete set of Working Tools in a Cabinet given by W.Bro. R F Reid.
A desk lectern given by W.Bro K J Briers & his two Sons W.Bro. D
R Briers and W.Bro. R J Briers to mark the 125th Anniversary of the
This is a simple
history of our Lodge, written for the enjoyment and information of the
members and friends of Delapre Lodge, as such it is not strictly a 'masonic'
document and therefor this page and its content has not been approved
by the United Grand Lodge of England.