History of the Lodge
I can’t claim to be the author of this, but below I have posted the history of Laindon Lodge, which was sent to me after a recent visit. The Freemasons are happy for this to be shared on the Laindon history site.
History of The Laindon Lodge
The conception of the Lodge took place at a meeting in the Laindon Hotel on February 1st 1930 with ten of the founders, Worshipful Brother Osborne and Brothers Miller, Herepath, Jerram, Childs, Cass, Chappell, Shaw, Hutchens and Bebington in attendance. At this meeting three additional founders were proposed but consequently only two of them, Brothers Holman and Russell became founders. The following motions were carried:-
Worshipful Brother Osborne be the first Worshipful Master
Brother Miller be the first Senior Warden
Brother Chappell be the first Junior Warden
The Lodge being called the Laindon Lodge to meet on the second Tuesday in March, June, October and December. (Lodge meetings were later amended to the second Tuesday in February, May, October & December (installation).
The insignia of the jewel to incorporate a picture of St. Nicholas Church.
The founder’s fee: 10 guineas
The initiation fee: 10 guineas
The joining fee: 10 guineas
By the third meeting held on the 17th February three further founders, Worshipful Brother Holland and Brothers Sceats and Patrick were added and the Lodge motto “Dante Qui Je Puis” (As much as I can I will) was adopted. This motto has been well practised by the Lodge to the present day. At the fourth meeting in October members were informed that the warrant had been granted and the number would be 5230. and that the consecration was to be held at the Hutton Masonic Temple on November 29th. At the last meeting held on November 10th there were still fifteen founders but before the consecration, Brother Hutchens was apparently ineligible and the final number became fourteen, however, Brother Hutchens became a joining member at the first regular meeting held.
The Consecration ceremony took place on November 29th at Hutton. The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Brigadier General R. B. Colvin C.B., The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, assisted by the rest of the consecrating officers, performed the ceremony and 14 founders, 14 consecrating officers and 71 guests attended the meeting.
The employment roles of the founders were as follows;-
Timber Merchant, Chemist, Insurance Officer, Wharf Manager, Civil Servant, Supervising Collector, Estate Agent, Clerk, Builders (Four Number), Licensed Victualler, and Builders Merchant.
The first initiate in December 1930 was Brother W. J. Jerram, the son of one of the founders.
At the December meeting a proposal was carried granting a warrant for a lodge of instruction to meet at the Laindon Hotel on Thursday evenings. This Lodge of instruction now meets at Orsett Masonic Temple on Wednesday evenings. There does appear to have been a break from 1940 to 1948. The lodge has had many ‘Lewis’ members during its seventy five years.
In February 1931 a Mr. A. Palmer was initiated. Worshipful Brother Alf was well known to a majority of the members for his extensive work as Almoner.
Work seemed rather brisk in those early days and a number of emergency meetings were called. At one of these meetings held in July 1931 the meeting commenced at 5 pm., dinner was at 7.30 p.m., and including a calling on and off, double ceremonies of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd were performed. Indeed within the first year there were nine initiation ceremonies, five passing and three raising as well as eight joining members.
At the February 1932 meeting, Worshipful Brother L. A. M. Stubbs and his father became joining members and including the consecration, Worshipful Brother Len missed only one regular meeting of the Lodge between that date and the Golden Jubilee meeting in 1980, a record which he could be justly proud of.
In 1933 a special dispensation allowed Brother R. Holman to become Steward of the Lodge, this was necessary as he was landlord of the Laindon Hotel which was the meeting place of the Lodge. In the same year another name well known to some members of the Lodge appeared on the summons. Brother A. C. Henbest, father of Worshipful Brother A. A. Henbest was initiated.
Work carried on normally up to the war years when a direction from Grand Lodge gave the Master powers to cancel any meetings if it seemed prudent in the state of emergency so to do, with the added instruction to meet as early as possible and to be as brief as possible. In consequence, the meetings then commenced at 2.30 pm. with effect from 1939. At the December installation meeting, Worshipful brother W. J. Jerram was installed. He was the first initiate of the Lodge and the son of the founder Brother H. E. Jerram. At this meeting Worshipful Brother A. J. North, our secretary for many years, started on the ladder as Inner Guard, odd little things then started appearing on the summons, like informing about the number of meals “owing to food control”. A few meetings were held without ceremonies but on the whole work was fairly normal.
In 1942 our well respected Worshipful Brother F. Carter was initiated. The father of L. Stubbs became Master and had the pleasure of installing his son in December 1943. During 1944, with Worshipful Brother Len in the chair, the summons carried the ominous signs of the war giving the notice forbidding movement in the restricted areas, (Laindon was listed at the time as a restricted area). That year a joint Ladies Festival was held by Worshipful Len & his Father. Another well known name to appear during this period was W.Bro R. Hooper who for many years was Secretary. W.Bro R. Hooper was initiated in 1945, just before the emergency powers given to the Master by Grand Lodge were rescinded in December 1945.
In February 1948, Worshipful Brother L. Stubbs initiated his grandson Brother K. Stubbs, and the ancient charge was given by the father, Worshipful Brother Len Stubbs.
At a special meeting held in November 1951, the Lodge celebrated its 21st Anniversary, and to commemorate this occasion the Lodge purchased a banner which was consecrated at this meeting.
The Secretary, Worshipful Brother Bebington, gave a short résumé of the first 21 years and referred to the unique ceremony of the Stubbs family, by pointing out there were then four generations of the Stubbs.
One year later, in 1952, Worshipful Brother Bebington completed another milestone, his 21st year as Secretary of the Lodge. He was presented with a travelling case.
During Worshipful Brother Carter’s year of office in 1955, he initiated his brother Worshipful Brother Ted Smith, well known among our older members as a past Preceptor of the Lodge, and gave the First Tracing Board lecture. He also installed Worshipful Brother Dick Hooper into the chair.
The following year Worshipful Brother Dick had the pleasure of initiating the Smith brothers, Worshipful Brother Jack and his brother Charles, who served as Treasurer of the Lodge for many years and as joint Preceptor of the Lodge of Instruction.
In 1957 the Lodge was honoured with a visit from the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Canon Stafford Morris.
At the October meeting in 1959, it was agreed to change the venue to Hutton Masonic Temple and to alter the meetings to the first Tuesday in February, May, October and December (installation). Gone were the knocks from the bar below!
In 1973 the Lodge sponsored our daughter Lodge No.8477 which was consecrated at the Southend Temple, six members of the Lodge were founders.
June 1976 saw the consecration of the Langdon Hills Chapter at Orsett in the blazing sunshine. Due to the excessive heat, the members were allowed to attend in shirt sleeves, a most unusual occurrence. Five members of the Lodge were founders. The Langdon Hills Rose Croix was consecrated at Upminster in 1978. Worshipful Brother A. R. J. Cook having the distinction of having been a founder of all three of the Lodge’s off-spring.
2nd December 1980 saw the celebration of fifty years of the Lodge’s existence and was celebrated with 103 members and guests in attendance inclusive of the Right Worshipful Grand Master who bestowed a Steward’s Collar on the Installing Master W.Bro M. B. Gibbons in honour of the occasion.
At the meeting held on 3rd February 1981 a proposal was passed that the Lodge meet at Orsett Masonic Centre in the village of Orsett (where it currently remains) on the 1st Tuesday in February, April, May, October and December (Installation).
Over the seventy five years the lodge has continued to flourish building upon the foundations of its founders. Over the years the Lodge has supported the Grand Charities (Grand Patrons of the Royal Masonic Hospital and Patrons of the R.M.I. Girls, R.M.I. Boys, R.M.B.I. and has continued as previously, in supporting the 2000, 2011 festivals and will support the future festival in 2022.
Laindon has been rewarded, by Province honouring many of its members throughout its years and some members have received the honour of being Provincial Stewards.
The membership continues to flourish despite suffering periods of concern throughout the last decade.
Within the last few years the Lodge has seen the passing of a number of Brethren who were stalwarts of the Lodge, such as W. Bro Charles Smith (Grand Officer), W. Bro Bob Cooke (Preceptor), W.Bro R. Davies. and W.Bro Donald Harsent (Treasurer). The Lodge has reached where it is today due to their efforts.
Traditionally the Secretary of the Lodge had remained in the position for a number of years and W. Bro Gerald Hemsworth has continued that tradition for over fifteen years.
In the year 2000 both W.Bro Gerald Hemsworth (Secretary) and W.Bro R. Bender (Organist) were presented with a set of miniature working tools in recognition of the long service they have given in their respective offices.
The Lodge in its first fifty years, was very much a family lodge with twenty two families having been involved, and although not so much, it has continued for the next twenty five years with a further five families being involved. Indeed the following Brothers were initiated into the Lodge as “Lewis’s”
Brother David Ball Feb 1967
Brother Terry Jerome Feb 1968
Brother David Cowell Feb 1982
Brother David Evans Feb 1986
Brother Robert Davies (Junior) Feb 1988
Brother Christopher Moore May 2015
The following Brethren have all received awards for 40 years service:-
W.Bro Ron Williams & later Honorary Member (Initiated 1950)
W.Bro Roy Frances
W.Bro David Ball
W.Bro Terry Jerome
W.Bro Gerry Hemsworth
W.Bro Mike Sumner
W.Bro Ricky Bender
On the 7th February 2012 a new banner was presented to the lodge and received by W.Bro Stephen Merchant. The ceremony was attended by The ProvDepGDC Peter Hollingsworth & Dedicated by the ProvGChaplain Martin Howes.
In April 2015 the Original Banner was presented to The Rev Andrasi Petrines by W.Bro George Sawyer to be hung in St Nicholas Church Laindon. This Ceremony was held in the Temple at Orsett Masonic Centre.
In April 2013 W. Bro A Richardson (joining member) was presented with a 50 year award by W.Bro Cliff Thoms.
On the 25th April 2012 W. Bro Chas Ager was awarded Grand Rank P.A.D.C.
In conclusion, the Laindon Lodge has always lived up to its motto, “DANT QUI JE PUIS” which translates “As much as I can I will”. Both the Lodge and the Lodge of Instruction meetings support the charity box and it is hoped that it continues to do so for many more years and reach its next milestone of 100 years and continue thereafter.
Updated October 2015.