Past Minutes of the Stanhope Lodge

The stanhope lodge

The stanhope lodge in 1930 - 1949

Compiled and abbreviated by  W Bro Tudor Morgan SLGR

The first business for the new WM Bro George Crome , was a change to the by laws and meetings. These were voted on at the November Meeting. These changed the Installation meeting from October to February, November also became the election meeting. February 1930 meeting the summons reported the death of W Bro J Archer Smith. The minutes record the Brethrens sadness at the passing of the Father of the Lodge and a letter of condolence had been sent to his widow. it was still at the Cecil Hotel although events were to prove this would be the last one. A special meeting was held in March to vote on a move to the Florence Restaurant as the Cecil Hotel had closed. Candidates for initiation were still coming in regularly and the Lodge continued its practice of trying to enable candidates to become Master Masons with the year.  Although the numbers had reduced double ceremonies were still the norm but meetings now started at 4.45pm. The practice of other PMs doing degrees was in existence so the WM was sharing the work load. The September 1930 meeting noted that a sum of fifteen guineas had been given to the LOI to purchase 'Lodge Furniture'. However the LOI secretary reported the actual cost was nineteen guineas so the amount was changed. This furniture we still use today. The bye-laws were again being read at the election meeting and MMM Medals were still being given out. The Installation meeting for February 1931 saw for the first time a list of officers appear on the back page. The accounts show an expense for Bibles being purchased to give to candidates at their initiation. at the Lodge meeting on the 10th March some 9 brethren were excluded for non payment of fees and notice of an emergency meeting set for the 7th April to consider a move to the Royal Adelaide Gallery Restaurant was to be voted on. This was held at 4.15pm then a Regular meeting set for the same day starting at 4.30pm was held to vote on the changes to the bye-laws. This must have been a sudden change forced on the Lodge by the Florence Restaurant and Grand Lodge had deemed it ok to have two meetings on the same day for this purpose. There was at this meeting another change in the bye-laws apart from the venue. Meeting dates changed to January, March, April, September, October, November with January becoming the Installation meeting. Recorded in the minutes is a passage relating to funds set aside for a Widow of the Lodge for the amount of 75 by the Grand Lodge Benevolent fund to be administered by the Lodge on her behalf. The meeting of the 5th January 1932 was set to start at 4.30pm, the Raising of two FCs Dr H Stark and A E Jarrett to start at 4.45 and the ballot and initiation for Mr  George Farina and Mr Stanley Allengame to start at 5.30pm. Why this was set out this way I am not sure. There were the elections of course and dining started at 7.30pm.  March was the installation of Bro Thomas Alban Lawler. At the next meeting in April the Junior Warden and Tyler were invested as both had been absent for the installation meeting. The Lodge was still attracting members although perhaps not in the numbers seen in the 1920s and double degrees was still the norm. There were also of course resignations and deaths. The Lodge had a Benevolent Association to provide assistance to members and it can be seen in the minutes that this had its own Hon Secretary. Its duties were to assist  by providing sums of monies to various Masonic Charities as well as to members and widows of members when necessary and to assist those who petitioned Grand Lodge for financial assistance as well. It can be seem as well that our members were also active in the Provinces from the ranks shown by the side of names on the summons. at the March meeting on 1933 it is recorded that the Secretary had sent a letter to a W Bro Wilkinson regarding the Lodge making him an Honorary Member. His reply was that he would be happy to receive a letter from the Lodge expressing their good feeling would be more acceptable. The Lodge then resolved to send him an Illuminated Address instead and a covering letter. That year also saw a move to the Piccadilly Hotel voted on at a special meeting held on the 11th April at 4.30pm which was followed by a regular meeting at the Piccadilly Hotel on the same day at 5pm At this meeting two candidates were initiated both were 'Fish Salesman'. The summons for the 10th October 1933 recorded the death of W Bro Charles A Haines who had been a guiding force for the Lodge for many years. The February 1934 meeting had just one initiates, Mr  George Henry Hayes who was initiated into Freemasonry by W Bro George Francis. The accounts for this year show the cost of the Illuminated Address as being 2.15s.0d. while a PMs jewel cost 7.10s.0d. LR clothing costs 16.18s.6d and those cigars still appear at 14.0s.6d The LOI was meeting at this stage at The Bedford, Southampton Buildings, High Holborn on Wednesdays at 6.30pm. On the 9th April Mr Walter Reginald Freestone was Initiated into the Stanhope Lodge. Bro Freestone became Master and served the Lodge well until he resigned after retiring some 30 years ago  to the Isle of Wight. I mention this as some 10 years ago the Lodge was able to assist Bro Freestones Widow when she became blind and moved into a home. This shows that a member and his widow are never forgotten. The October meeting 1935 saw the reporting of the lamentable death of the right Honorable Lord Ampthill the Pro Grand Master in July that year. The Secretary also reported on a proposal from Grand Lodge for Grand Officers to visit London Lodges. 1936 saw the reporting on the March summons of the Death of George V. Special rosettes were worn for these meetings and the morning period was usually 6 months. The April meeting had to be moved as it clashed with Easter and a dispensation was granted. It was at this meeting on the 21st April that it is recorded that W Bro J Reed was to be appointed as PGStB and it was resolved that in conjunction with the other Lodges he was a member of, Good Hope, Tower and Morden Park, the Lodges band together to purchase the regalia to present to him. The MMM Fund was still going and the Lodge at the request of the MWGM donated a sum as requested of 5 Guineas to the Fund.. April 1937 saw mention for the first time, Masonic Bibles being presented to Brothers Decker and May. We had been buying them each year but this is the first mention that we actually gave them out. February meeting1938, the secretary reported on Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1st December relating to the appointment of a new R W Assistant Grand Master. Who it was is not mentioned. at the March Installation meeting 5 candidates for initiation were balloted for. At the next meeting,12th April, a dispensation was sought and granted to initiate four . there were another two proposed at the meeting as well. That meant that at the next meeting another dispensation was grated to pass the four previously initiated and at that meeting a double initiation took place as well. They then in November just did a double third. plus a passing and initiation. These degrees were conducted in the main by the WM W Bro Joseph James Hill who indeed Initiated a Mr Joseph James Hill his son. Confusion for the members there then. March 1939 saw the Installation of Herbert George Evans as WM. It was at this meeting that a New Secretary was appointed George Hobdell. The minutes note the thanks of the Brethren for the excellent manner Bro Martin had discharged his duties as Secretary with their sincere thanks. It was around this time that mention of the MMM Fund ceased. As we do not have a Lodge Hall Stone Jewel it must be presumed that the Lodge unfortunately failed to raise the required amount. The Lodge did not meet on its regular dates in September and November or indeed January and one can only assume this is due to the start of the War. The next meeting in fact took place on the 13th February 1940 and a mention of the two cancelled meetings is made. Also at this February Meeting which as the usual Election meeting had been missed, W Bro Evans was re-elected Master. The Secretary addressing the members to give the reason, mentioned the fact that Bro Evans tenure had been shortened by the two missed meetings which meant he had not been able to Initiate anyone into the Lodge. This was enough it seems for the members to re elect him. It was also agreed that " the lodge subscription to all members be reduced to 1.1s.0d for the duration of the war and that members who dined shall pay a dining fee of 12s/6d". There was also discussion on how the costs for the two missed meetings would be refunded to members. The March 1940 meeting showed a change of hart with the lodge deciding that the fee inclusive of dining shout be 4guineas and that any extra paid for at the last meeting be credited to members accounts. New bye-laws came in as well reducing the number of meetings to 5. This meeting acted as the Installation meeting. At this time LR clothing was usually donated to the recipient by the lodge and the accounts show a cost of 12.8s.10d. At the first rising members wee informed that Grand Lodge expected Lodges to keep a record of all members serving in the armed forces. At this meeting the summons shows LR rank as now being LGR The Lodge had two applications for initiation. It seems that again the Lodge had difficulty in meeting and did not do so until February 1941 when the election and installation of a new WM took place. I can only presume that this had been sanctioned by Grand Lodge as there is no dispensation shown in the records for the election and installation of a Master at the same meeting. The next meeting in March 1941 saw a shortened meeting with a lecture given. They had a meeting in April 1941 and this was a double initiation. the first they had had and indeed the candidates had waited two years. The next meeting in October saw a double 2nd and also 6 Grand Lodge certificates being given out. In November the Lodge agreed to send a small gif to each of the wives of those brethren serving in the armed forces. The February meeting was again the Installation meeting and on the summons for the first time appeared the phrase " Morning Dress or Uniform " as the dress code. Also the names of the 9 members on active service. here were also 65 members and guest present. October 1942 mentioned the death of M.W Br Air Commodore H.R.H the Duke of Kent the Grand Master. The Lodge continued to grow and at the November 1942 meeting a dispensation was sought to initiate 4 candidates. and in March 1943 two more were initiated and two kept back for another meeting.  The next meeting on the 13th April 1943 saw us meeting at Freemasons' Hell, Great Queen Street WC2 for the first time. The meeting consisted of a joining member, double passing, initiation and three GL certificates. A dispensation had been obtained for this move. The Lodge has continued since this date to meet at Freemasons' Hall. They held and emergency meeting in May 1943 and the next meeting was in September 1943 were we can se there were 10 members of the Lodge on active service. The Lodge continued during 1943 and 1944 to meet and conduct degree work and attendance was in the 40s and 50s for most meetings. Between 1940 and 1944 the start time for meetings was at 2pm and dining at 5.30pm. This was in no doubt due to the need for members to get home as soon as they could. applications for joining and Initiation were still coming in and the Brethren were kept busy with Lodge business. The minutes show that they were generous as they could be in their donations to the war effort and for the widows as well as members who came into distress. September 1945 saw another dispensation sought to pass 4 candidates and they also conducted an Initiation. At the October meeting 1945, W Bro George Crome was elected an Honorary member to mark his 40yrs in the Lodge. There is no mention of the war ending, however in the minutes of the March 1946 meeting, there is a reference to the abolition by Grand Lodge of "Certain Emergency war time concessions in Lodge procedures " and in April another 4 candidates initiated at the same time. The June meeting in 1946 saw attached to the minutes a  report of the Family Crome. I have linked this to a page scanned in for you to read it is very interesting and it seems we had a Grand Organist in the Lodge. The Lodge continued its growth and the meetings were always well attended. Masonic Bibles were being given out as well as GL certificates. The year ended as it had began with a vibrant and obviously happy Lodge although an item in the accounts for that year showed that the Lodge had paid for a repair to a Lodge room door and in the minutes it records that W Bro Hobdell had been give the M.B.E. 1947 to 48 saw W Bro Freestone initiate his son into the Lodge and an emergency meeting in July was organized to raise by special dispensation a Bro Aldritch of the Wandle PArk Lodge 5508 as he was sailing for New Zealand at the end of the month. Attached to the September meeting minutes is a list of all those who served in the war in one of the Three main Services, The Home Guard, ARP Wardens and special Constabulary. Also that one brother, the Worshipful Master W Bro May, had been part of the Dunkirk evacuations using his own boat. January was now the Installation Meeting and on January 1948 WBro Leon Guinnard was installed into the Chair. On April 20th some 9 Grand Lodge Certificates were given out and a double initiation and double raising took place. It was as it is now normal for the work load to be shared and the Lodge was still able to find members. They still had to get dispensations however as often 4 candidates need to be passed or raised. The installation meeting of the 11th of January was a sad day for the Lodge as the summons  reported the death of W Bro George Alfred Crome LGR PPSGD (Kent). He had served the Lodge for many years and with distinction especially during the war years. April 1049 was the news that W Bro John Reed had been promoted in Grand Lodge to PAGDC and read out more candidates for initiation. October 1949 was the election meeting which had also on the agenda a double Raising and Initiation.

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