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The Warwickshire Installed Masters' Lodge was consecrated at the Birmingham Town Hall on 30th June 1923.

The impressive ceremony was conducted by the then Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Colville Smith who had come specially from London to consecrate the Lodge. The first Master was R.W.Bro. Col. William F Wyley, the Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire. In the following year the Worshipful Master was the V.W.Bro. Rev. Canon Barnard who, at the time, was a Past Grand Chaplain and a very popular mason in the Province.

Since those early days many distinguished masons have been elected as Master of the Lodge. The list includes Lord Henry Seymour (1932), Brigadier General William.H.V Darell (1943), Sir Stanley J Harley (1956 & 1972) and Bishop Vernon S Nicholls (1987). It has always been considered a signal honour to be elected Master of this prestigious Lodge.

Over the years, regular meetings have hosted some memorable lectures and demonstrations:

The Prestonian Lecturer for 1981, Cyril Batham gave an official presentation in which he spoke of the foundation of Grand Lodge in 1717 when four Lodges met to establish it. Some existing lodges chose to join the new Grand Lodge but others retained their independent status. When Grand Lodge attempted to outlaw lodges which did not join the Grand Lodge the seeds of disharmony were sown. Later in 1751 a rival Grand Lodge was established which was concerned to retain the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry. This second Grand Lodge became known as ‘The Ancients’ and lasted until the two Grand Lodges were united in 1813. Cyril Batham had made this a most informative lecture.

Another meeting witnessed the delivery of an illustrated paper entitled ’Masonry in Chaucer’s England’ in which mention was made of the Trade Regulations laid down by 12 operative masons in 1376. This was a time when Chaucer was twelve years old but the regulations served to govern operative masons all over the country. The evidence of the transition to Speculative Masonry – the Regius Manuscript, the diaries of Elias Ashmole and the Cooke Manuscript of 1420 were illustrated with many slides during the talk.

The Lodge has also been entertained by a demonstration of the Scottish Installation Ceremony. It was not unusual for the newly Installed Master to be toasted with a dram… but this did not happen during the demonstration. (Some of the Warwickshire brethren were a little disappointed at this!)

Another important meeting was addressed by the Grand Secretary of the day, Cdr. M.B.S. Higham RN who spoke of his difficulties with the media in recent times. The book ‘The Brotherhood’ had brought about a wave of anti-masonic feelings which were fostered in the media. The speaker went on to describe the leaflets issued by Grand Lodge ‘What is Freemasonry?‘ and later ‘The Craft’ which were meant to show that Freemasonry had become more ‘open’.

Over recent years the Lodge has continued to enjoy a succession of fascinating lectures which have greatly enhanced the knowledge of its members. The list is impressive and includes: ‘Winston Churchill – The Man and the Mason’, ‘Musicians and Freemasonry’, ‘The Current State of Research, Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancers’ and ‘The Victoria Cross- Freemasonry’s Band of Brothers’.

Demonstrations have included ‘The Bristol Workings of an Initiation Ceremony’, The Building of King Solomon’s Temple’, and ‘A Russian Initiation Ceremony of 1812’.

Social functions for the members and their ladies have included traditional Ladies Evenings, some Sunday Luncheons and a few well supported Ladies Festival weekends at Bournemouth and Torquay.

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