A Century Of Lodge Justice

Congratulations to the members of Lodge Justice No.4421, which meets at Byker Masonic Hall, on reaching one hundred years old from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons..

The Lodge Justice may have been one of the first Lodges to meet on a Saturday in the Province as its Petition, which was sponsored by Lodge Temperance No.2557, was submitted to Grand Lodge on 30 January 1922, stating that it would hold meetings on the second Saturday of the month at the Old Assembly Rooms, Westgate Road, Newcastle.

There were eighteen founder members of the new Lodge, the majority of whom came from Lodge Temperance with others coming from Holy Cross Lodge No. 3679; Neptune Lodge No 2908; and Walker Lodge No. 1342. The first Master was to be W Bro Robert English Womphrey, a well-known Wallsend Freemason, who had been involved with several Lodges in the area; the first Senior Warden was to be Bro. Nicholas Wilson Maugham, and the first Junior Warden was to be Bro. George Brack. The reason for a new Lodge in the area was probably not hard to determine as Freemasonry was experiencing a new renaissance in the years following the First World War, and the rapid growth of some Lodges meant that it could take a long time to progress through a Lodge.

The name of the Lodge is taken from the First Degree Charge, given to every Initiate: ‘Let Prudence direct you! Temperance chasten you! Fortitude support You!; and Justice be the guide of all your actions!’ This latter sentiment appears on the front of the Lodge Summons which includes a figure representing Justice holding the Scales of Justice and wielding the Sword of Justice.

Approval for the new Lodge was readily granted and it was consecrated on 16 June 1923 at Wallsend Masonic Hall with the ceremony being performed by the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro Charles Warren Napier-Clavering. The Lodge soon established itself in the Royal Assembly Rooms, remaining there until 1947, when it relocated to the Masonic Hall, Stephenson Road, Newcastle, and finally moved to the Newcastle East Masonic Hall, in Corbridge Road in 1969.

The Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee on Saturday 10 June 1972 in the presence of the then Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro. W Bro. The Rev. L H Cross who conducted a Service of Thanksgiving and delivered an Oration.

The Lodge sponsored one other Lodge: The Lodge of Concord No 6723, in 1948, which met at Maple Terrace, but has since surrendered its Warrant

Many thanks to W.Bro Ian Brown for the submission of this article.

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