HISTORY of LEODIENSIS LODGE No.4029.
Philanthropic Lodge No. 304 was the second oldest Lodge in Leeds and was already 125 years old when after the First Great War certain of the elder Brethren were moved to consider the position of the younger Brethren. Philanthropic at this time had over 100 Brethren and consequently promotion from the junior ranks was very slow.
On September 16th 1919, certain influential members of Philanthropic Lodge held a meeting when eleven Past Masters and nine Brethren were present and after careful consideration it was resolved to request Philanthropic Lodge No. 304 to support a Petition to Grand Lodge, that a Daughter Lodge be considered. It was suggested that the name of the new Lodge should be Leodiensis, That the Master Designate should be W. Bro. Fred J. Allan and that Bro. Herbert J. Jackson should be Secretary Designate.
Unfortunately, W. Bro. Allan left Leeds soon after that date and he was compelled to relinquish his office as Master Designate. Consequently, on the 21st October 1919 Bro. Harry Stancliff the Junior Warden of Philanthropic Lodge was unanimously nominated as Master Designate by the Founding Members.
The Provincial Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Lodge accepted the Petition and on the 10th November 1919 the Founding Brethren were informed by the Provincial Grand Secretary that their Petition had been granted and the Warrant signed.
It is in no doubt that at the meetings prior to the Petition various names were considered for the new Lodge, but there is no record of definite proposals other than the name Leodiensis.
The Venerable Bede (673-735) in his Ecclesiastical History of the North of England mentions the settlement “in regione quae vocatu Loidis” while the much later local historian Thoresby in his “Ducatus Leodiensis” refers to an ancient tribe who were ruled by a chief Loid or Loidi.
The present Brethren may well feel that the Founders were inspired when they chose a name for their Lodge which goes back to “time immemorial.”
The Consecration of the Lodge took place at the Masonic Hall, Great George Street, Leeds on the Thursday 22nd January 1920.
An extract from Yorkshire Post on 23rd January 1920.
Freemasonry in Leeds.
CONSECRATION OF LEODIENSIS LODGE.
A masonic ceremony, the like of which had not been seen in the city of Leeds for 17 years ago took place yesterday at the Masonic Hall in Great George Street, when a new Lodge was consecrated with the full and impressive masonic ritual. Up to yesterday there were eleven Lodges in Leeds, but most of them at the present time have a waiting list of candidates that will take several years to work through.
The new Lodge is an offshoot from one of the oldest Leeds Lodges – Philanthropic 304 – which is well over 100 years old, and all the officers and founders are members of Philanthropic Lodge. It has taken the name of Leodiensis and has been assigned the number of 4029 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, its charter dating November 5th last.
The consecration ceremony that took place yesterday was carried out by the officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Yorkshire, under the Provincial Grand Master (Sir W. P. Raynor, Past Grand Deacon of England)There are twenty-six founder members of the new Leodiensis Lodge, and in regard to one of them there was a poignant moment in the proceedings. W. Bro. Ralph Smith, a Past Master of Philanthropic Lodge was not only to be the first chaplain of the new Lodge, but also to have acted as registrar in the consecration ceremony. The Prov. Grand Master was explaining that W. Bro. Ralph Smith was unable to attend owing to his having undergone a serious operation that morning, when news came that W. Bro. Smith had passed away.
The consecration officers were as follows; -
Right Worshipful Bro. Sir William Raynor, P.G.D., P.D.P.G.M., Prov. Grand Master as W.M.; W. Bro. Sir William Garforth, Prov. S.G.W. as S.W.; W. Bro. J. Atkinson Jowett, Prov. J.G.W. as J.W.;W. Bro. Rev. A.T. Bagott, Prov. G. Chaplain. as Chaplain.; W. Bro. Major Rev. William Field, Prov. G. Chaplain. as Chaplain.; W. Bro. H. G. E. Green, Past G. Swd. Br. Prov. G. Sec. as Secretary.; W. Bro. Charles Rippon, Prov. G. D. of C. as D. of C.; W. Bro. B. E. I. Edwards, Prov. S. G. Deacon, as S. D.; W. Bro. Herbert Firth, Prov. J. G. Deacon, as J.D.; W. Bro. Fredk H. Lawson, Prov. Organist, as Organist.; W. Bro. Archibald Neill, Prov. G. Supt. of Works, as S. of W.; W. Bro. Richard Gill, S. G. D., P.D.G.M.; W. Bro. Frank Massie, P. P. G. W., Chairman, C.C.
An eloquent oration on “The stewardship of Freemasonry” was delivered by W. Bro. Major Rev. W. Field, Chaplain to the Forces, who emphasised the need of the message which Freemasonry has to give to humanity in the present crisis of its history.
The Lodge having been duly consecrated, Bro. Harry Stancliff, as Past J. W. of Philanthropic Lodge was installed as Worshipful Master and the following officers were appointed.
I. P. M., W. Bro. C. W. Lillie; S. W., W. Bro. G. F. Smith; J. W., Bro. Holmes Bennett; Treasurer. W Bro. F. H. Lawson, Prov. G. Org.; Secretary., Bro. Herbert J. Jackson; S. D., Bro. J. l. Iredale; J. D., Bro. H. S. Chorley; D of C., W. Bro. C. Swan, P.P.G.A.D.C; Charity Steward., W. Bro. G. F. Greene; Organist., W. Bro. J. C. Maisey, P. P. G. Org.; I.G., Bro. H. H. Pitt; Preceptor., W. Bro. C. Lawson; S. S., Bro. J. Fenwick; J. S., Bro. H. Booth;
At the banquet which followed hearty congratulations were expressed to the worshipful master, officers and brethren of the new Lodge, and good wishes were expressed for its prosperity.
The Deputy Prov. Grand Master (W. Bro. Richard Gill) impressed upon them that they should be particularly careful to see that all men whom they brought into Freemasonry were worthy men and men of character and uprightness.
The Prov. Grand Master congratulated the founders on having attained their desires, and wished the lodge a very happy and successful career. He felt sure they would strive to be a credit not only to this great city but also to the province of West Yorkshire.
End of publication.
The first regular meeting of Leodiensis Lodge was held at the Masonic Hall, Great George Street, on 17th February 1920, the first candidates being Mr. George Elliot Martin and Mr. Arthur Jackson. It is interesting to note that W. Bro. Charles A. Goodall, P.M. Prudence Lodge 2069, and W. Bro. Robert E. Meadows, P.M. Tynemouth Abbey Lodge were admitted as joining members.
The Lodge remained at Great George Street for over 30 years and in the period after the Second World War it had a membership of over 90. These were the days when there was an upsurge in membership of the Craft over the whole country. Possibly after the terrible war years there was a special attraction in joining an organisation where brotherly love figured so strongly.
Leodiensis has always been a loyal Lodge to the Province and Grand Lodge. When the Million Memorial Fund was instituted to build a Masonic Temple in London to commemorate those Brethren who fell in the First World War. Leodiensis supported the scheme and became a Hall Stone Lodge.
The Charities, Local, Provincial and Grand Lodge have all received the full support of all our members.
In the 1970’s doubts began to arise about the future of the Great George Street premises and the members began to consider the possibility of moving away from the city centre. It was a time for a bold decision and in the summer of 1975 a majority of the members decided to accept an invitation from the Otley Lodges to move to their newly acquired Masonic premises at Westbourne House, Otley.
It was a major change for the Lodge and one or two of the older Brethren were not in favour of the move, understandably sad to leave Great George Street after so many years.
Sadly, time takes its toll and inevitably over the years we have lost some well-loved Brethren, but the happy memories remain. Some years ago, we lost W. Bro. Bill Gower who was the first Master installed in our new premises in Otley, he had been one of the main advocates of our move to Westbourne House.
Despite the fact in the years gone by, we have had some distinguished members, it was only in 1983 that the Lodge was honoured by having one of its members appointed to Grand Lodge rank. W. Bro. J. B. Mitchell was appointed to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. W. Bro. J. B. Mitchell (effectuality known as Jack) retired from the office of Treasurer in 2003 after 27 years in that office.
With failing mobility W. Bro. Jack became an Honorary Member in 2009.
We have had a succession of excellent Masters, with each one bringing his own personality to the Chair.
Unfortunately since that time as with so many Masonic Lodges the membership has gradually declined and we are now looking forward in anticipation to the celebration of our centenary and Leodiensis Lodge views the future with confidence.
Life becomes more hectic and we all enjoy the friendship of the Brethren in the tranquil and peaceful meetings of the Lodge.
We hope to continue to attract into Masonry the kind of people we try to be.
List of the founders.
ALL OF WHICH WERE MEMBERS OF PHILANTHROPIC LODGE No. 304.
13 WORSHIPFUL BROTHERS:- John Barraclough, PPGD. Geo.F.Smith. Ralph Smith, Prov.G.Reg. Fred J.Allen. C.W. Lillie. Charles Lawson. Charles Swann, PAGDofC. J.C. Maisey, PPGOrg. G.F. Greene. F.H. Lawson, PPGOrg. F. Hinchcliffe, PPDGDofC. E.A. White. Hy.J.C. Johnstone.
13 BROTHERS:- Harry Stancliff. Herbert J. Jackson. N.G. Morrison. Wm. Clayton. J.S. Dearden. H.S. Chorley. C.T. Ross. Walter Ellis. Holmes Bennett. John Fenwick. H.H. Pitt. Henry Booth. J.L. Iredale.
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