Conister Lodge No. 4548
c/o Freemasons’ Hall,
Isle of Man IM2 3EE
Conister Lodge meets at Freemasons’ Hall, Douglas on the fourth Tuesday in the months of October, November, January, February, March, April and May.
The Formation of Conister Lodge No. 4548
On the evening of Friday, 6th April 1923, a meeting, convened by W.Bro. S. Plant, was held in the Café, No. 45 Duke Street, Douglas, Isle of Man. The prescribed object of the meeting was to consider the desirability of founding a new Masonic Lodge in Douglas, the following 13 Brethren attending:
From Athole Lodge No. 1004: W. Bro’s. S. Plant, A.C. Legge, J. Halsall, J.A. Billot and Bro’s T. Hampton, G. Quayle, G. Woods, H. Kennaugh and J. Allen;
From St. Trinian’s Lodge No. 2050: W. Bro. R.D. Harvey and Bro. G. Tyler;
From Spencer Walpole Temperance Lodge No. 2197: W. Bro. R.E.E. Quilliam;
From Arthur Stanley Lodge No. 3732: Bro. G.J. Forrester.
W.Bro. Plant, having been elected to the chair of the meeting, made a brief statement in which he pointed out the general desirability of petitioning for a new Lodge in Douglas because of the increasing entry into Freemasonry.
Bro. Halsall was appointed Acting Secretary of the meeting and the following resolution was proposed by W. Bro. Quilliam and seconded by W. Bro. Harvey:
“That the subscribing members of Douglas Lodges of Freemasons here present are of the opinion that, owing to the increasing size of most of the existing Lodges and the number of apparently eligible candidates offering themselves for initiation into the Order, they feel themselves fully warranted in petitioning the Most Worshipful Grand Master for the necessary Warrant of Charter to form a new Lodge and further request the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Athole Lodge No. 1004 to be good enough to render the necessary support by their endorsement of the Petition; and the Brethren present hereby resolve to take the necessary steps forthwith to procure the said Petition and Endorsement.”
This Resolution was carried unanimously.
Resolutions were then proposed and adopted limiting the number of Petitioners to 30 (which was subsequently reduced to 25) and requiring each Petitioner subsequently joining to be of at least seven years’ standing. It was also decided to consider the names of any additional Petitioners offering themselves at the next meeting.
It was proposed and adopted that the tentative das of the holding of Lodge Meetings be the fourth Tuesday in each month October to May inclusive. A Sub Committee reported that they had considered the question of the probable costs and recommended that the sum of £10 should be fixed as the Founder’s Fee, this sum to be inclusive of the cost of the Jewel. This recommendation was adopted.
Several suggestions were made for the name and styling of the Lodge and after consideration the following were put to the ballot. “Snaefell,” “Deemster,” “St. Martin’s,” and “Conister.”
The ballot resulted in the name of “Conister” being accepted as the name of the new Lodge. This was put to the meeting formally and carried unanimously. It would appear that the name “Conister” had found special favour amongst the Brethren because of its local interest as the Conister Rock, with the Tower of Refuge upon it, is one of the most prominent features in view when entering Douglas Bay. These features, coupled with its name in Manx Gaelic – “Kione-ny-Sker” meaning “End of the Reef” – gave support to the acceptance of the name “Conister”.
The following fees for inclusion in the draft Bye-Laws were adopted:
Initiation fee: £15-5-0
Joining fee: £5-5-0
Annual subscription £2 exclusive of cost of refreshments and suppers
The Grand Lodge Forms of Petition were then signed by the Petitioners present and entrusted to the Acting Secretary for completion and endorsement by the Master, Officers and Brethren of the Athole Lodge No. 1004.
On 30th June 1923, a meeting was especially called to consider a communication from Grand Lodge, received by the Provincial Grand Secretary.
Fifteen of the Petitioners were present at this meeting and the Acting Secretary informed the meeting that the Prayer of the Petition had been granted, and that the Conister Lodge had been allocated the number “4548” in the Register of the Grand Lodge of England. The Warrant of the Lodge was in the course of preparation and would be forwarded at a later date.
Nominations for the principal Officers of the Lodge having been made at the meeting held on 13th April 1923, at the next meeting held on 3rd July 1923, when 20 Petitioners were present, the remaining Officers of the Lodge were balloted for and elected. At this meeting a committee was elected to make all necessary arrangements for the Ceremony of Consecration. Consideration was also given to the ordering of Founders’ Jewels designed by Bro. Archibald Knox.
At a meeting held on 11th September 1923, draft Bye-Laws were approved as were the names of 4 Brethren as Joining Members and 3 persons as candidates for initiation. The meeting was also informed that the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master had fixed 9th October 1923 as the date for the Consecration Ceremony.
The Consecration Meeting of Conister Lodge No. 4548 was held in the Masonic Hall, Loch Promenade, Douglas, on Tuesday, 9th October 1923 at 4pm.
The Attendance Book was signed by 57 Brethren, viz:-
13 members of Athole lodge No. 1004
6 members of Tynwald Lodge No. 1242
13 members of St. Trinian’s Lodge No. 2050
10 members of Spencer Walpole Temperance Lodge No. 2197
2 members of the Lodge of Mona No. 2358
1 member of Lord Raglan Lodge No. 3685
7 members of Arthur Stanley Lodge No. 3732
1 member of King William’s Lodge No. 3883
1 member of Derby Lodge No. 724
1 member of Prince Arthur Lodge No. 1570
1 member of Obedience Lodge No. 1753
Twenty two Petitioning Members were in attendance and entered the Lodge Room in procession.
The Consecrating Officer, Rt. Wor. Bro. the Deemster LaMothe P.G.D.(Eng.) Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge Officers, entered the Lodge Room in processional order. The Consecrating Officer occupied the Chair and appointed his Assisting Officers as follows:
Bro. F. Newby, P.A.G.Std.B.(Eng.) Senior Warden
Bro. J. Corkill, Pr.G.Sec. Junior Warden
Bro. W.M. Harrison, M.A., Pr.G.Chap. Chaplain
Bro. M.W. Wilson, Pr.G.Purs. Inner Guard
The Lodge was opened in the Three Degrees and after Solemn Prayer the Ceremony of Consecration was proceeded with. The Lodge Warrant dated 12th June, 1923, having been read by the Director of Ceremonies and the Petitioning Brethren having generally assented to their names, an Oration on the nature and principles of the Institution was delivered by the Chaplain. After the singing of an Anthem and a recital of the Dedication Prayer and Invokation, the Lodge was solemnly Consecrated and Constituted according to ancient form. A second Anthem was sung before the Dedication and a third after the Constitution. The Chaplain having pronounced the Patriarchal Benediction, the Petitioning Brethren were presented to the Consecrating Officer to receive a Founder’s Jewel and they then resumed their seats.
The Consecrating Ceremony being ended, the Lodge was resumed in the Second Degree. The Master Designate, W. Bro. W.J. Kelly, P.G.Std.B. (Eng.) was presented by theDirector of ceremonies and having assented to adhere to the ancient laws and regulations, was Obligated as regards the duties of Master of the Lodge.
The Lodge being raised to the Third Degree, all Brethren below the rank of Installed Master were requested to retire. A Board of Installed Masters was opened and W. Bro. W.J. Kelly was duly installed in the Chair of King Solomon in due form and according to ancient custom by the Rt. Wor. Provincial Grand Master and W. Bro. S. Plant was invested as Immediate Past Master.
It was resolved that the best thanks of the Founders of Conister Lodge No. 4548 be accorded to the Consecrating Officer, the Rt. Wor. Bro. Deemster LaMothe P.G.D. (Eng.), Prov. Grand Master; W. Bro. W. Newby, P.A.G.Std.B. (Eng.), Dep. Prov. Grand Master; W. Bro. F.R. Grundey, P.P.G.W, Pr.G.D.C; W. Bro. Rev. M.A. Harrison, Pr.G.Chap; W. Bro. J. Corkill, Pr.G.Sec.; and W. Bro. M.W. Wilson, Pr.G.Purs., for the efficient services which they had rendered and each of them was elected an Honorary Member of the Lodge.
It was Resolved that the best thanks of the Founders of the Lodge be tendered to the W.M. for the gift of a Morocco-bound Volume of the Sacred Law, a Sterling Silver Square and Compasses in Case and an Embroidered Velvet Cushion.
The Charity Collection amounted to £4-1-9.
The Consecration return form was completed and posted to the Grand Secretary on 15th October and acknowledged by him on 17th October, 1923.
It must be obvious from the foregoing that Conister Lodge No. 4548 began as an offshoot to the Athole Lodge No. 1004 – the seed having been sowed most appropriately by W. Bro. S. Plant! The work of preparation and the preliminaries having been completed, Conister Lodge No. 4548 was then in a position to hold its First Regular Meeting and this took place on Tuesday 30th October, 1923 in the Masonic Hall, Loch Promenade, Douglas, sixteen Brethren and one Visitor signing the Attendance Book.
At this Meeting the Lodge Bye-laws were approved. It was also agreed that the Tyler’s fee should be 7/6 per meeting. It was further agreed that a social evening be held after Lodge Meetings, the cost of dinner not to exceed 2/6 per Member and that Lodges of Instruction and Rehearsal be held on nights to be arranged. At the next Meeting on 27th November, 1923, it was agreed to hold Lodges of Instruction at Tyler’s Café, Duke Street, Douglas, the rent to be 5/- per night.
Although it had been intended that Lodge Meetings should be held on the Fourth Tuesday in each month from October to May inclusive, no Meeting was held in December of that year. This custom has obtained ever since. No reference is made in the records but the explanation may well be that the Fourth Tuesday in the month of December fell on Christmas Day. The Third Regular Meeting, therefore, was held on Tuesday, 22nd January, 1924, twenty five Brethren and nine Visitors being present.
On 25th March, 1924, a Special Meeting was held, twenty five Brethren being present, at which the following Resolutions were passed:-
(a) “That the Meeting place of this Lodge be transferred from the Masonic Hall, Loch Promenade, Douglas to Freemasons’ Hall, Woodbourne Road, Douglas, this to take effect in October Next or as soon thereafter as may be found convenient and that application be made to the Rt. Wor. Provincial Grand Master and to the Most Worshipful Grand Master for their consent to this change.
(b) “That it is the respectful request of the Members of this Lodge that the Worshipful Master and Wardens give six months Notice in writing to Messrs Heron and Brearley Ltd. To give up possession of the Loch Promenade premises as from 12th November next.
(c) “That Lodge Bye-law No. 1 be altered by deleting the words ‘Masonic Hall, Loch Promenade’ and substituting therefore ‘Freemasons’ Hall, Woodbourne Road’.”
These three Resolutions were carried in accordance with the requirements of Articles 167 to 170 of the Book of Constitutions.
Thus was the Conister Lodge No. 4548 launched and set on a course in pursuance of its motto, “Graih Braaragh Cooney as Ynrickys” – “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.”