Congratulations to the members of St Anthony’s Lodge No.4423, which meets at Byker Masonic Hall, on reaching a century of Freemasonry.
In the years following the ending of the First World War, there was a great expansion of the number of new Masonic Lodges throughout the country, and the Province of Northumberland was no exception. On 21 September, 1921, the first of a number of Founder’s Meetings was held at the home of W Bro. W Trobe at Heaton to discuss the formation of a new Lodge. It is known that there were two names put forward for the Lodge, one was to be the Hodgson Lodge, no doubt after the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V W Bro. Charles W Hodgson, and the other was Dene Lodge. In the event, the Founders settled on St. Anthony’s Lodge, probably named after the parish of St. Anthony of Padua in nearby Walker.
There were 29 petitioners in all, the majority of them being from Heaton Lodge No 2723, which agreed to sponsor the Lodge. The first Master was W Bro. F W Smirk, the first Senior Warden was W Bro. D Lord and the first Junior Warden to be W Bro. W Trobe. The Warrant granting the Lodge the number 4423 was issued on 10 April 1922, and the Consecration on 23 June 1922 at rooms above the Hope and Anchor public house (now Jacksons|), at 232 Shields Road, Byker; with the ceremony being performed by the Provincial Grand Master, R W Bro. Charles W Napier-Clavering and his team of Officers.
In 1931, the Lodge relocated to the East Masonic Hall at Stephenson Road, but when this was due to be demolished for the building of a new road in 1965, the Lodge then moved to Jesmond Dene Banqueting Hall, for two years, until the new Masonic Hall at Corbridge Road/Headlam Street was completed.
St. Anthony’s Lodge sponsored a ‘daughter’ Lodge, Heber Lodge No 6241 which was consecrated in 1946. The Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 22 September 1972 in the presence of a large number of Provincial Officers led by R W Bro. J M S Coates, Provincial Grand Master
Many thanks to W.Bro Ian Brown for the submission of this article.
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