The Arthur Stanley Lodge history

A Brief History of the Lodge

The Arthur Stanley Lodge was consecrated on 29 November 1910 by WBro Sir Gilbert Greenhall PrSGW who later became the Lord Daresbury. The Provincial Grand Master the Hon Arthur Stanley, from whom the lodge took its name, was unable to attend the  consecration but did manage to attend one of the early meetings as Sir Arthur Stanley as he became later.

The first lodge meeting was held at the St Georges Restaurant in Red Cross Street Liverpool. Around 1911 the lodge moved to the Carlton Restaurant in Eberley Street Liverpool but transferred to the Bears Paw Public House, Lord Street. Meetings continued there until the pub was destroyed during an air raid in 1941. The majority of the lodge records, furniture and warrant were destroyed during the raid and that is why the present warrant is a duplicate.

Originally the lodge were held on the Second Monday of the month, but for some reason that was not recorded the meeting was transferred to the third Monday. The Arthur Stanley season was originally held from September to June. However the June meeting was discontinued in 1917 and the May meeting in 1925. The May meeting was reintroduced on a date unknown and continued until around 1967 when it was again discontinued. During the Second World War meetings were held from March to October to accommodate black out regulations.

Between the years 1910 to 1913 the rehearsals for the ceremonies were haphazard to say the least and were only held when decided on by the lodge committee, however after the appointment of W Bro C H R Harrison as preceptor in 1913 rehearsals were held on a regular monthly basis.

From June 1912 all brethren were required to wear evening dress at all lodge meetings, this continued until 1916 when it was suspended for the duration of the war in favour of dark morning dress or uniform. The wearing of evening dress was reintroduced between the war years, but again dark morning dress or uniform was the norm during World War Two.

From 1940 the Master, Wardens and Brethren left the lodge in procession during the closing ode. It is not clear or recorded when this practice was discontinued.

The Arthur Stanley Benevolent Fund was recorded as starting as the result of a proposal at a lodge meeting on 23 February 1914. At the meeting to start the fund a collection from eleven members present totalled £9.9.0.

The first recorded initiations in the Arthur Stanley Lodge were a father and two sons, Bro J Smith, Bro F J Smith and Bro A R Smith. Bro F J Smith was the first initiate to become Worshipful Master.

Bro E R Edwards is recorded as being, in 1933 the first joining member to become Worshipful Master. The first Arthur Stanley Lodge member to receive Provincial Honours in 1914 was the Venerable Archdeacon T J Maddon as Provincial Grand Chaplain.

The Ladies Evening was introduced on 13 May 1913 and took the form of an invitation from the lodge for ladies to join the brethren for dinner after a regular meeting. The price

of the tickets was Three Shillings and Six Pence for each lady

After the destruction of the Bears Paw Pub in 1941 the lodge met on a temporary basis in the basement of the Naval Headquarters in Exchange Flags until a move to the Constitution Club was arranged.

In 1955 the lodge was again on the move to the Carlton Masonic Club and remained there until through no fault of the lodge a move was made to the Exchange Hotel in Tithebarn Street. When British Rail closed the hotel the lodge found accommodation at the Lyceum Club in Bold Street, but in 1971 with this club threatened with closure, the lodge was forced to find alternative accommodation once again.

Eventually a new home was found at the Masonic Hall Ormskirk where the lodge still continues to date. It has been observed many times that the move to Ormskirk was likened to the lodge coming home, as the Stanley family has a very long and very close association with the town going back many hundreds of years. In the 15th century Sir John Stanley and Isabel de Lathom were married and lived in Bickerstaffe Hall so uniting  two of the most important families in the area. Sir John later became the Lord of Man on the Isle of Man and this has led to the fact that the Arthur Stanley Lodge No 3469 and the Arthur Stanley Lodge No 3732 on the I O M both have the same crest on their badge.

After the change of venue to the Ormskirk Masonic Hall the lodge consolidated itself by gaining new initiates, unfortunately it also lost a number of brethren due to the distance from the members homes in the Liverpool area. On the whole new members outweighed those who left and the lodge continued to prosper.

In 1997 one of the joining members WBro Douglas Anderson celebrated his 50 years in Freemasonry, closely followed in 1998 by one of the long standing brethren W Bro Gordon Brandon, who on joining the lodge in 1948 was initiated into Freemasonry by his father Arthur. W Bro Anderson went on to celebrate his 60th year in Freemasonry in 2007.

The Installation Ceremony of 2007 saw a rare visit to an Installation meeting by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Bro Colin Penty Wright along with many of the Provincial Grand Officers. This honour was on the occasion of the Installation of Bro Gregory Pinnington on 19 November 2007.

At the March meeting of 2008 the Lodge celebrated a double 50th celebration of membership in Freemasonry for Worshipful Brother Charles Bewley PPrJGW and Worshipful Brother Stanley Leslie Aitken PPrJGW.

Our lodge to date has approximately forty members, some young and some not so young but all meeting regularly on the third Monday of the month.

As in the past our lodge has many eminent masons who have given great service to the lodge without being mentioned by name, but continue to be there to provide valuable advice and support as and when it is required.

From the first meeting in the St Georges Restaurant in 1911 to our  regular  meetings in the Masonic Hall Ormskirk to date, the Arthur Stanley Lodge has worked and evolved throughout the years to keep a happy and committed lodge and to move forward with the ever changing face of  Freemasonry.