United in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness

Early Progress

boxThe growth of the Lodge in its early years was somewhat remarkable when over the first three years we find an average of 16 Candidates being taken through all 3 Degrees - the largest number in one evening being 5 Initiates, 5 Fellowcrafts and 5 Master Masons; the Lodge being opened at 3.30pm and the Banquet timed for 7pm. They even found time to Call Off for refreshments. The minutes do not record if the Banquet was delayed, but later meetings with all 3 ceremonies were retimed to start at 3pm. On two occasions there were 5 candidates initiated at Installation Meetings. By February 1913, business seems to have quietened down when there were no candidates and a section of the 1st Lecture was worked by the Master (W. Bro. Lord) assisted by Bro. Pegden. Emergency Meetings were held frequently for some years in order to get through the work. By 1911, the Lodge had 83 members.

While the Lodge was initially dominated by members of the NTC, this did not last and, in the first two years, members were initiated or joined who were variously: Manager of the Guernsey State Telephone Company; Managing Director of the Antwerp Telephone Company; Managing Director of the Western Electric Company and significantly a Staff Engineer from the Post Office. Given the animosity within the NTC to the impending PO take-over, it is noteworthy that the brethren extended the hand of friendship to a senior employee of the PO. Many more PO members followed in the years leading up to the 1912 takeover.

The first Ladies Festival was held on 20.1.1912, under the Presidency of W.Bro. F. A. B. Lord, at a Special Emergency Meeting for which a Special Dispensation was granted to wear Full Masonic Clothing with non-Masons present. The Summons is headed "Ladies Evening" and the programme for the Festival appears after the Lodge Agenda. The Lodge was opened at 4.30 p.m., when 3 Candidates were Passed. The Reception was timed for 6.15 p.m. and 218 dined. There is no record of how the Ladies filled in their time before 6.15 p.m.!

An Almoner in the Lodge was first appointed in October, 1910 - W. Bro. C. G. Sleigh (the Acting I.P.M. at its Consecration), who subsequently proposed the formation of a Charity Association, which later became the Telephone Lodge Masonic Benevolent Association.

W.Bro. P. P. Kipping became in 1911 the first P.M. of the Lodge to be honoured with "London Rank", and in 1916 the first member of the Lodge to receive a Grand Lodge honour, that of A.G.Supt.Works.

The Telephone Royal Arch Chapter No. 3301 was founded on 30th November 1914 by 14 brethren from the Lodge.