Today we help the Brethren of Segedunum Lodge No. 4313, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Building, with their belated centenary celebrations.
When consideration was given to the formation of a new Lodge in Wallsend, during a series of Founders’ Meetings in 1921, W Bro. Alfred Dowsland, who was known to be interested in Roman History, suggested that the name and motto of the Lodge could be taken from the Roman connections in the North-East. A number of names were considered, including Paulinius, Chesters, and Corstoptitum, the latter two names being rejected as being geographically inaccurate, although Corstopitum was to be used for another Lodge much later.
The name Segedunum was finally selected, with the Motto ‘ Out of darkness into light’, which was used on the Summons, rather than the original Latin ‘Qui dixit de tenebis in lucem’. Also included on the front of the Summons was an illustration, taken from a stone effigy in a Newcastle Museum, depicting the God Mithras emerging from an egg bearing the above Latin inscription. This was approved both at Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge, and the Founders felt that they could move apace with the arrangements. There were 22 Founders who put the names to the Petition for the new Lodge, which was sponsored by Holy Cross Lodge No 3679, and the Warrant was dated 13 June 1921, with the Consecration following on 29 July 1921.
The first Worshipful Master was W Bro. William Jackson Clark, a Past Master of Neptune Lodge No 2908; the first Senior Warden was Bro. George Henry Cameron of Tyne Lodge No 991, and the first Junior Warden was Bro. George Hill, also of Tyne Lodge No. 991. The Provincial Grand Master, at the time R.W Bro. Charles Warren Napier-Clavering, conducted the Consecration Ceremony at the Masonic Hall, Station Road, Wallsend.
There is some doubt as to which Ritual was originally used by the Lodge. From internal documentary evidence in the Provincial Library and Museum, it seems that the Ritual used in the Lodge was a mixture of two separate workings: ‘Hindson’ and ‘Smith’s’. This apparently did not go so smoothly as intended, so the Lodge was forced to use ‘Smith’s’ as the only Ritual in the ceremonies. It seems that ‘Smith’s’ Ritual eventually became ‘Northumbrian Past Master’s’ working, which is the one conducted by most Lodges in the Province in modern times. One custom of the Lodge, perhaps arising from these ritualistic confusions, was that of having the Warrant read in open Lodge once a year.
The Lodge, by the time it celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1971, had, according to the records, received 415 new members, either as Initiates or as Joining Members. A major setback affecting the Lodge, and other Lodges, in 1961, was the destruction of part of the Masonic Hall by fire, but the Lodge came through, and continued, until the present day, full of good heart and spirits, and never ignored the repeated calls on its charity.
Thanks go to W.Bros Ian Brown, the Provincial Librarian and Archivist, and David Chilton, the Secretary of Segedunum Lodge, for the submission of this article.
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