Even though there is little Masonic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic life still goes on and history continues to be created.
Berwick St George Lodge No. 4125, which meets in Berwick, celebrates its centenary today, having been consecrated on 19th August 1920. To celebrate this milestone we are providing you with a potted history of the lodge.
Prior to the consecration a number of meetings took place in order to organise the consecration.
During the first meeting of the founders, held in February 1920, W Bro Alexander Darling was proposed and seconded as the Lodge’s First WM. This was unanimously agreed and it was also agreed to call the Lodge Berwick St George, unless another name was suggested at a future meeting.
At the second founders meeting, on 14th March 192o, the initiation fee was set at 10 Guineas and the annual subscriptions at 2 Guineas.
At the third meeting, on 23rd April 1920, an alternative name for the Lodge (Longstone) was proposed and seconded. This amendment was unsuccessful with only 2 votes in favour. The Lodge name would be Berwick St George. This was obviously a busy meeting with various matters agreed:
– Joining fee English Constitution of 5 Guineas.
– Joining fee “Foreign” Constitution of 7 Guineas.
– Founders fee of 5 Guineas.
– The dress code was agreed as evening dress for the officers and dark clothing for members.
At the meeting of 21st May 1920, a letter was read confirming that the Grand Master had granted the petition and that Berwick St George was numbered 4125 by UGLE.
– Fees for the setting up of the new Lodge were discussed at the 23rd July meeting:
– Warrant of Constitution – £10 10s
– 21 petitioners @ 2s 6d – £2 12s 6d
– Book of Proposal forms – 4s 6d
– Provincial Grand Lodge fees were:-
– Registration of the Lodge – £2 2s
– 21 Petitioners @ 1s – £1 1s
The founders fee was increased from 5 Guineas to 6 Guineas to cover the extra expenses and the date for the consecration was set as 19th August 1920 as this was the date of St David’s “Kettle” (a social event) and the two events could run together.
The consecration took place and W Bro Alexander Darling was Installed as the first Master of the Lodge, by the RW PGM Col. C W Napier Clavering. The Lodge was closed after which the brethren adjourned to South Bells (on the banks of the River Tweed) and joined St David’s “Kettle” where a most enjoyable afternoon was spent.”
The first Initiates, James Adam Darling and Eric Darling MacKay, were Initiated on 6th October 1920.
In it’s first year the lodge Initiated 5 Brethren and had a further 11 joining members. It continued to grow in the following year with 6 initiations and 1 joining member and a further 5 or 6 initiations each year for the remainder of the decade.
Of the two first initiates only Eric Darling McKay became become WM of the Lodge (1928). Unfortunately, James Adam Darling never became WM.
The Lodge was a Contributor to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund, with several Brethren receiving medals for their contributions.
The Lodge celebrated it’s 50th anniversary on 19th August 1970 when the RWPM was in attendance and W Bro J M Davidson was the WM that year.
The Lodge continued to prosper with a regular influx of “new blood” and they obviously took an active part and were keen to progress through the Offices, as it was not until 1976/1977 when the lodge had its first WM who served two consecutive years (W Bro J S Walker). Looking through the records it also appears that he was the first member to be WM twice.
Since then 9 W Brethren have served 2 terms as WM and 3 have served 3 terms. Overall, taking into account those W Brethren who served more than once as WM, 73 W Brethren have been Master of the Lodge. The Lodge is still in very good heart with 41 members, 2 of whom are under 25, and so the future looks very good indeed.
This very interesting, and thorough, history was very kindly provided by W.Bro Bob Smith, Secretary of Berwick St George Lodge No.4125.
Congratulaions to the Lodge on attaining this fine milestone and we wish them another busy 100 years.
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To find out more about Northumberland Freemasons visit our website at https://northumberlandmasons.org.uk/