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The Old Rectory Lodge No. 6651


Extracted from the 50 year History of the Lodge by kind permission of W.Bro. Peter Lloyd

In 1947 Caversham Lodge had 108 members, and it was clearly felt that it was time to form another Lodge. sadly few of the papers relating to the initial discussions, committee meetings, or Founding Secretary's Minutes have been traced. But on the Summons for Monday 9th February 1948 of Caversham Lodge No.3831, item 5 stated "In accordance with notice given by W.Bro.J.H.Smith, PM, PPGReg":-"to consider, and if approved, sign the Petition for the formation of a new Lodge".

Thus Old Rectory Lodge was born and took its name from the east front of what, until its demolition in 1933, was known as Caversham Court. Anciently on the site of Caversham Court there stood Caversham Rectory, which together with the Church of St.Peter, was part of the endowment made in the year 1162 by the Earl of Buckingham to Notley Abbey. Just before 1800, Caversham Court passed into the hands of the Blackall Simmonds family of Ryde, who gave it the castle looking frontage with fretted balustrading, together with a porch of Norman design. This was surmounted by a carved figure of the great Cardinal Wolsey.

The Lodge Badge and Summons were designed by W.Bro.Fred Davison from that original building, and his initials "FD" were shown on the base of the right hand column on that Summons. It was printed in Wedgwood blue on white.

The Rector of St.Peter's the Rev H.Hewitson-Nash who was a Past Master of Reading Lodge of Union No.414, became Old Rectory's first Chaplain for 1948 and 1949, then Worshipful Master in 1952. The Warrant was granted by Grand Lodge on 3rd March 1948 and the Founder's fee was 12 Guineas

As Thames Lodge followed Oxfordshire Workings and Caversham Lodge worked Emulation, it was decided to adopt Emulation with a few small variations to distinguish it from its Mother Lodge.

The Consecration of the Lodge was held at the Masonic Hall, Greyfriars Road, Reading in the province of Berkshire with dispensation from the Provincial Grand Masters of both Oxfordshire and Berkshire on Monday 12th July 1948.

A full copy of the history is available for a small charitable donation from the Secretary.