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Kingswood School Lodge No 4197

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History of the Lodge - 1970-95

This quarter of a Century was to bring several changes to the Lodge. In some ways these reflect the changing nature of the times and society in general, in others perhaps it was the reluctance to meet the challenges of those changes which impacted on Freemasonry in general, thus holding back changes which could have been beneficial and thus prevented some of the difficulties which resulted.

This period of our history started well. In March 1971 the initiate was Mr A Lowry Creed, who had recently retired as Headmaster of the School, a Headmastership of distinguised renown during a period which had ushured in many changes to Education and in particlar to Public Schools. As Headmaster Lowry Creed had been instrumental in overseaing many vital changes within the School

At his Inititaion Bro Creed joined a Lodge which had already in its membership four Old Boys who were also "at school" with him. Three of those had been his contemporaies at Kingswood in his youth, the fourth, the Author of this page, who had joined the Main School on the same day as Creed's Headmastership began. Fellow Mason's will no doubt also appreciate with what potential pleasure as now the Inner Guard I asked that first question as he entered the Lodge Room.

However, the early years of the 1970's continued a pattern which had developed in the previous decade, lack of new candidates. This was becoming a common problem particulary for London Lodges and was affecting School Lodges in London more than most. Various reasons were cited as being the cause of these difficulties and in retrospect several valid explanations will be found by Historians. In truth no one reason explains and certain no single "silver bullet" could change the situation or will in the future be the answer.

The option after much discussion on the future of our Lodge was to open the Lodge to non Old Boys. The first of these was to be Michael J Mahony, the son of our then Senior Warden, Bro HC Solomon ("Solly") in October 1975, by then your Author, was WM and thus conducted that Ceremony. In November that year Michael was passed, again with myself in the Chair, to be raised in the following February by "Solly" his Father and now WM

Over the next few years other Initiates who were not Old Boys' joined the Lodge several of whom becoame very active and long serving members of the Lodge in the important and vital roles of Treasurer (W BR Peter Cox) Secretary (W Bro Rae Langton) and later W Bro Pat Fenoughty whose tenure of as DC and Preceptor of the Lodge of Instruction still resounds in our Rituals. Sadly none of these Brethren remain with us on this mortal earth.

During this period the Lodge held its first meeting in Bath and at Kingswood School in April 1978. Appropriately the meeting itself was held in the "Creed Room" named in honour of W Bro Lowry Creed, with a Service before the meeting in the School Chapel and a Festive Board with our Ladies in the School Dinning Room.

A second Meeting at the School was held in April 1982, with a third in 1985 and it had been intended that these would now become a regular event in the Lodge Calendar.

Regretably there was a period of considerable, mostly totally unfounded, publicity against Freemasonry in the 1980's. Equally regretably many leaders within the Churches were more persuaded by the false stories and impressions than the true facts. Relations with the Methodist Church became particularly difficult thus the possiblty of Meetings at the School had to be suspended. Although we would have been welcomed by the then School Leadership if he had not been subject to this external pressure.

In 1991, we did hold a meeting in the Bath Masonic Hall, followed by a Ladies Dinner at the School

Another recurring theme of this Quarter Centenary, was the need to keep moving venues as again various Hotels in London ceased to be hosts to Lodges. Or the venues we had sort, often rapidly as a result of forced move, proved to be less than satisfactory. The solution was to join the newly established London Masonic Centre in the re-modeled and re-furbished former Court Building at Clarkenwall Green in October 1979.

Over these 25 years the Lodge had become most succesful in the recruitment of members by 1990 a 50/50 ratio had been reached between those who were Old Boys' and non Old Boys'. In 1995 the membership was 42 subscribing members of whom 11 of us had been educated at Kingswood School.

On Friday 3rd November the 75th Anniversary Meeting was held including the Dedication of the New Lodge Banner by V Wor Bro Rev Dr Michael Morgan, P.G. Chaplain.

The fuller history of this period formed Chapter Seven of the History written for 75th Anniversary and a PDF copy is downloadable here

The Order of Procedure for the 75th Anniversary Meeting is recorded here

The Summons is copied here

And the Menu is copied here

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