Lodge of St.George No.5691

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A History of the Lodge of St.George No. 5691

Sadly none of the Founders are with us now, all having ascended to the Grand Lodge above, so we no longer have any "eye witnesses" available to give the inside story of its formation. Instead we have to rely on the rather sterile documentary evidence held in the archives of Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge and the Minute Books to provide the necessary information.

It appears that the mixing of classes during the trauma of the First World War had served to popularise Freemasonry, and this move­ment forward had been given a further boost by the interest taken in the Craft by the new King. By 1937, the year of the Lodge’s Consecration, Britain had begun to emerge from the depression and one of the effects was that in the Province of Worcestershire alone, Lodges had virtually doubled in number from those existing at the end of the Great War.

In spite of the increase in actual numbers, many Lodges had become so large that the chances of young Masons progressing to high office had become severely limited.

This appeared to be the situation which confronted our Founders as the Letter of Petition dated 3rd June 1937, addressed to the Provincial Grand Secretary, which is copied in full below, bears out.

"Dear Worshipful Brother Stanton.

For some time now, a circle of Masonic friends who are members of different Lodges, have desired to form a new Lodge so that they could meet together on a particular evening.

Being, in most cases, members of big Lodges and there being no prospect of getting into active office for a considerable time, it was felt that new interest would be created by the formation of a new Lodge by giving young Masons an opportunity to show their zeal for all that Membership implies, to the ultimate benefit of the new-Lodge and the Craft in General.

We sincerely hope that our Petition will receive the approval of the Provincial Grand Master and Grand Lodge. I shall be glad to hear at the earliest possible date that this is so thereby enabling us to complete the many necessary details for its successful accomplishment.

Yours sincerely and fraternally,

H. E. Hearne, Sec. Designate"

Fortunately for us, the Provincial Grand Master did grant his approval, and thus the Lodge was conceived.

Next on the priority list was the selection of a suitable name for the new Lodge.

W.Bro. Brian Page, Deputy Librarian and Curator of the Library and Museum of The United Grand Lodge, very kindly provided a copy of the Petition to form the Lodge. This shows that the original name entered was "King George VI Lodge". However, this title had been crossed out and replaced by "The Lodge of St. George". Unfortunately no correspondence appears to exist either at Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodge, or within the Lodge files as to the reason for the change. However, the popular view is that, it would not have been acceptable for the new Lodge to bear the name of the Monarch.

Our Mother Lodge sponsoring the Petition was St. Laurence Lodge No. 2724. Meanwhile, what of our Founders? Whilst in a later section we include a "Roll of Honour" giving details of their names and the ranks that they eventually aspired to in the Province, it is of interest to know something about the backgrounds of the people who assembled themselves under the new Banner.

We know that W.Bro. J.R.Long, our first Worshipful Master, was a Municipal Officer working at Birmingham Infirmary, that W.R.Cummings, his Senior Warden was a Commercial Traveller, and that R.Davis his Junior Warden was a Company Director. Other Brethren included another Municipal Officer, a Solicitor, a Pharmacist, a Steam­ship Agent, a Merchant, a Funeral Director, a Haulage Contractor, a Sales Manager, two Butchers and a Catering Manager. Clearly the new Lodge had many of the ideal skills and resources necessary to face the difficult and testing times to come......

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