Sesquicentennial Celebrations For Percy Lodge

13th October 2023

In a meeting room within the Royal Exchange Hotel, Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 9th May 1873, the Worshipful Master Designate of the newly agreed Percy Lodge No.1427, John Hopper announced that the Grand Master had granted a warrant, dated 17th February 1873, for the formation of the Lodge, sponsored by St Peters Lodge No.481, which meets at Maple Terrace Masonic Hall, and Northern Counties Lodge No.406, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Hall.

The Consecration took place on 5th June 1873, when the R.W. Provincial Grand Master, the Earl of Percy, later the 7th Duke of Northumberland, after whom the Lodge is named, summoned a special meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge for that purpose at Maple Terrace Newcastle

To put this time in history into context the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened between Paddington and Farringdon, the “Father of Antiseptic Surgery”, Joseph Lister used Carbolic Acid to disinfect the wound of a seven-year-old boy at Glasgow Infirmary, the Scottish-born American scientist Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Greenwich Mean Time was internationally adopted and Leazes Park was opened by Sir Charles Hammond

During its lifetime the Lodge has sponsored two Craft Lodges,  Albert Edward Lodge No.1557, which meets at Hexham Masonic Hall, and Ridley Lodge No.2260, which meets at Fern Avenue Masonic Hall. During its lifetime the Lodge has had several homes including Maple Terrace, the Grand Assembly Rooms, Barras Bridge, which now forms part of the University, the Masonic Hall on Grainger Street, Neville Hall, and now Fern Avenue.

Early records show the membership at 110, with the current membership in the mid 40’s, with the expectation of this passing 50 by the end of this masonic year. Like many, Percy Lodge has had its challenging times, and some years ago requested the assistance of the Provincial Support Team, with its attendance in single figures. A plan was struck with the Insurance and Banking of Lodge of Northumbria No.3886, to host meetings in tandem with a joint festive board, supporting both Lodges during a very difficult period.

The Lodge came through this difficult period and is now strong and vibrant, swelling its numbers through the support of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association Northumberland Chapter, although they are keen to point out that this is not a Widows Sons Lodge. A few years ago an action plan was created, whereby members committed to two years occupation of each office, allowing them to build a solid foundation of Master Masons who would have time to learn and absorb the ceremonies and not be rushed onto the ladder which can be very damaging.

The Lodge has continued to move with the times, not allowing traditions, which provide an illusion of permanence to stand in the way of progress, making best use of social media  to communicate with Brethren, and manage meetings and activities, in addition to holding two important and enjoyable events during the year, in the summer barbeque and Christmas family and friends meeting.

Congratulations to Percy Lodge on achieving such a remarkable point in their history from everyone at Northumberland Freemasons.

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