Athole Lodge No. 1004
Based on the Centenary booklet by the late W.Bro.F.W. Bain, P.P.S.G.W.,P.Z. and appended to by W.Bro.C.Cunningham
At the time of our 125th Anniversary in 1989, the Worshipful Master at the time included in his forward to the above booklet the following:
‘As we celebrate this important anniversary, that we continue to maintain and uphold the Traditions started by our founders in 1864 shows the true values of Freemasonry; Love, Harmony, Charity and Brotherhood, that have held the Lodge together through the passage of time.’
To find out about the origin of the Athole Lodge we must go back to the 14th January 1843, when a meeting of Masons was held at the Royal Hotel, North Quay, Douglas, and a Resolution was passed that an application for a Warrant be made to the Grand Lodge of England and Scotland. No reply was received from the Grand Lodge of England, but one was received from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and eventually in April 1843, a Lodge, called the Royal Isle of Man Lodge, was formed under the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
The Charter for the Lodge was issued on March 20th, 1843, and as there were two Rolls in use in Scotland, the Lodge received two numbers, 409 on the old Roll and 338 on the new Roll.
Among the Initiates of this Lodge were H.B.Noble, the well-known Manx benefactor, whose memory is preserved about Douglas by such places as Noble’s Hospital and Noble’s Park, and Samuel Harris, afterwards High Bailiff.
Apparently things did not go very smoothly, and after some expulsions and resignations the Lodge did not meet after May 1845.
In 1856 the Lodge was reformed, with the same name, this time under the Irish Constitution, with the number 123, at the Douglas Hotel, the owner of which was W.Bro.Henry Mayle, and he was the first Master.
In the following year, 1857, he acted as Installing Master when a Lodge under the Irish Constitution was formed in Castletown No. 212, and also assisted when another was formed at Peel, No. 221.
Among the Initiates in Lodge 123 were James Brown and J.A.Brown, Father and son, founders of the Isle of Man Times.
This Lodge went on until 1862, when petitions were made to the English Grand Lodge for a Lodge under the English Constitution.
Apparently, the proposed first Master and Wardens were members of the old Irish Lodge and were not eligible, but in 1863 all was in order as three English Constituted Masons were found. A Warrant was issued and on the April 6th 1864, a Lodge was formed at the Douglas Hotel by W.Bro. James Hamer, Provincial Grand Treasurer of West Lancashire, who was subsequently elected the first Honorary Member of the Lodge.
It would appear that the name “Royal Isle of Man Lodge” was not acceptable to the Grand Lodge of England so the Lodge was called “The Athole Lodge” after the House of Athole’s ancient association with the Isle of Man. It was given the number of 1004 and is the oldest Lodge on the Island.
In May 1870 a Royal Arch Chapter attached to the Lodge and bearing our number was consecrated and in 1883 a Mark Master’s Lodge called the Peveril Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 323 was formed, mainly of Athole members.
Athole members were also mainly responsible for the founding of The St. Maughold Lodge No. 1075, The Tynwald Lodge No. 1242, The St. Trinian’s Lodge No. 2050, The Spencer Walpole Temperance Lodge No. 2197 and the Onchan Lodge No. 6512
Over time, the Lodge has met in several premises and in 1925 had the honour of opening the fist Lodge in the Douglas Masonic hall where we still meet on the first Wednesday of the month from October to May, our Installation Meeting being held in December.
We will end this short précis of our Lodge and its history by including another quote from the forward to our anniversary booklet:
‘So, as in the past, the strength of the Lodge was in the value its members placed on their membership, participation and support for their Lodge – so it is at present, and will be for the future, the same need for support from the Lodge membership in order that the lodge continues to pass further milestones in its history and also moves forward from strength to strength’
50 Banks Howe, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 2ER
Consecrated 6th April 1864
Meetings take place at The Freemasons’ Hall in Douglas, on the first Wednesday in the months of October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May