A Brief History of Wessex Lodge

The Wessex Lodge was consecrated on Friday 30th October 1931 at The Masonic Hall Southampton, by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro. The Earl of Malmesbury. Its Mother Lodge was the Southampton Lodge No. 394.
The newly formed Lodge flourished and at the meeting on 22nd March 1937, approval was given to the submission of a Petition for a new Lodge, to be named the Lodge of Chivalry. The Lodge of Chivalry. No. 5685, was Consecrated on 14th October 1937, and since that date a very warm and fraternal relationship has endured between Wessex and its first daughter Lodge.

A study of the Minutes shows that by the outbreak of War in 1939 the Lodge was firmly established. The Lodge continued to meet regularly throughout the War, with only the pattern and timings of these Meetings being changed. In 1941 the programme of meetings changed from winter/spring to spring/summer, and some meetings commenced at 2.00 p.m. It is interesting to note that during the period of the War the normal number of meetings as per the Lodge By-Laws was 42, and the actual number of meetings held was 46, with an average attendance at meetings of 45 brethren.

After the War the Lodge resumed its normal pattern of Meetings, and the steady development continued, with a membership of over 70 and frequent visits by Provincial Grand Lodge. After closure of the Lodge on 30th April 1971, W.Bro. Ken Young, the Twenty-first Master of the Lodge, presented to the Worshipful Master a new Banner, to perpetuate the memory of his father, the late W.Bro. Frank Henry George Young, and other founders of the Lodge.

W.Bro Ken Young was prominent not only in Wessex Lodge, but also within the Province. Initiated into Wessex Lodge on 21st October 1937, by his father, at the Lodge Meeting on 31st January 1977, he was invested as Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, by the R.W. Provincial Grand Master , R. W.Bro. the Rt. Revd. Bishop John Phillips. At the Dinner following his investiture, W. Bro. Young was presented with an Illuminated Address which had been signed by the Worshipful Master W.Bro. Ren. Watson and everyone present.

A further milestone in the Lodge's History took place on 29th September 1979, when the Lodge moved home to King's Court Masonic Centre, Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.

On 30th April 1990 steps were taken to form a new Daughter Lodge, when the Master & Wardens signed the petition for the formation of the Rotary Lodge of Hampshire. Consecrated on 18th October 1990, Rotary Lodge of Hampshire, No. 9389 continues to have a warm and friendly relationship with its Mother Lodge.

No brief history of Wessex Lodge would be complete without reference to the achievements of another of its most distinguished Brethren, who achieved high office in 1991. On 30th November 1953, a new Brother was initiated into the Lodge, Brother Alan David Chun. Brother Chun was installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge in September 1966, after which he served as the Lodge Secretary for six years. Promoted to Provincial Rank, he continued his services to the Craft, particularly in the field of charity organisation. In recognition of his considerable efforts he was appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master, followed by promotion to Deputy Provincial Grand Master and then in 1991,to Provincial Grand Master. His first official visit to Wessex Lodge as Provincial Grand Master was on 31st October 1991 when he joined us in celebrating the Lodge’s 60th Anniversary, and at which meeting he was presented with an Illuminated  Address signed by all those present.

1992 saw another member of Wessex Lodge appointed to high office, with the richly deserved promotion of W. Bro Don Oliver to Grand Rank, with W.Bro. David Workman being similarly honoured in 2005.

Throughout its history the Lodge has enjoyed the support and generosity of its Members, who have contributed, not only to the various Masonic Charities and Festivals in a generous manner, but also to the well-being of the Lodge in other ways.   Many have donated jewels and regalia, whilst others have donated equipment for the Lodge, or left legacies and bequests. Too numerous to mention all by name, we must refer to the magnificent new Bible presented to the Lodge by  W.Bro. Harry Holden in 1977 (and upon which W. Bros Ken Young and Alan Chun took their respective obligations when being invested with high Provincial office), the Poinard  presented by W.Bro. Bill Dobie to mark the many years of enjoyment he had experienced in the Lodge before emigrating to Australia, the Toast List Frame presented by R.W.Bro. Alan. Chun, Gavels and Blocks for the three pedestals in the Lodge, Wardens Columns and rough & smooth ashlars, and the decorated Master’s Collar, all presented by our Honorary Member, W. Bro. Jock Irwin. Also worthy of special mention is the Chaplain's Chair which was originally presented to the Lodge in 1945 by Bro. Swayne. The Chair was carved from the timber of a Danish ship, sunk in the mouth of the Hamble River in the 9th Century.  Thanks to the efforts of W.Bro. Harry Holden and generous donations by the Brethren of the Lodge the Chair was fully refurbished and renovated, and stands next to the Master's Chair at King's Court, for all to enjoy.

The present Brethren look forward to continuing the traditions of the Wessex Lodge, and upholding the principles set down by our founders over 80 years ago.