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125 YEARS OF THE DeLaPre LODGE No.1911

PRESENTED AT 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.

Everything has 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.

The presentation 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, High School.

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 Lodge.

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.

The Consecration 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 founders.

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.

The Northampton 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 welcome…”

W.Bro. Sanders 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 of persons.

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.

Brook Sampson, the first secretary and afterwards Treasurer, was also the organist at All Saints' Church for many years, but was rarely organist of the Lodge.

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.

Another service 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 ceremony.

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, Bro’s 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 Bro’s 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 his Installation.

Nor was it easy to discover by the speech the subject the toast. W.Bro’s 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 o’clock 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 honour. -

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.

W.Bro. Bullock who was W.M. in 1891, was a connection of the Bouveries and used to, appear in full Court dress with knee breeches etc.

Another popular 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 ADC’s

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: -

"Burton performed the ceremony in his graceful manner”.

"Moss gave the explanation of the Second Tracing board in a style which was masterly and persuasive yet entirely free from presumptuousness".

"A.W.Cooke raised Ince-Jones in a benevolent if somewhat paternal manner".

"by W.Bro Kew in a manner which is past description",

Another ceremony by C.E.Burton the Solicitor "it was distinctly edifying to find a Member of his profession so eloquently advocating the cause of moral truth".

"Bro Moss's rendering was distinctly unconventional but he was fairly coherent at times".

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 questions.

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.

S.H.G.Humfrey was Secretary from 1939 to 1944. During the 1940’s 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 be required.

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,

"The proceedings 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 to W.M.

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 early stages.

G.H.Lowick followed 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.

O.W.Layzell recorded 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.

H.A.Skerrett was 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 George’s 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.

W.Bro. Skerrett (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 an Organist.

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 ADC’s 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) -

"The consensus 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 Waddy’s presentation of the History of DeLaPre Lodge 1881 – 1981.

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 audible style”

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 can’t 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.

W.Bro.Jack Jelly 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 Solomon’s 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 by£12.”

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 was.

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 Law.

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 Honorary members.

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.

Between December 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 Jelley’s 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 Grandpa’s 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 of DeLaPre.

For the first time for many years at the October meeting we performed “a double Third Degree” and Bro’s Tony Bailey and Andy Humphreys were the candidates.

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 Bro’s 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 Austin–Crowe 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.

Whilst dealing 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 first!!

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 Secretary.

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 W.Bro.Ron Sykes.

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 of distress.

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.

The Provincial 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.

The Provincial 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 Committee.

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 a year.

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 PGM’s 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 delapre1911@hotmail.com

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.

The Installation 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.

Accounts £8839 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.

Accounts £10799 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.

Another dispensation 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. Doney

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.

This concludes 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 Lodge Consecration.

 

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.


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