Date of Warrant : 4th February 1953
Meets 3rd Monday of September to May
Lodge website: https://the-elizabethan-lodge-7262.masonic-lodge.org.uk/
An entry in the Minutes of Twynham Lodge, No. 5889, dated 3rd November, 1952 reads:
“It was proposed by W. Bro. H.H.S. Bishopp and seconded by W. Bro. W. Whittingham and unanimously confirmed by the Brethren present that the Worshipful Master and Wardens of Twynham Lodge sign a Petition in open Lodge, for the founding of a new Lodge to be formed in Christchurch. The Petition was duly signed by the W.M., W. Bro. Arthur Vale, the S.W., Bro. L.T. Thompson and the J.W., Bro. W.E. Poole. W. Bro. A.C.G. Seaward, on behalf of the proposed Founders of the proposed Lodge, thanked the W.M. and Brethren of Twynham Lodge for the signing of the Petition.”
With this entry began a new era in the history of Freemasonry in Christchurch which culminated in the Founding of the new Lodge on 20th April, 1953.
Much thought had been given to the naming of the new Lodge and a combination of events led to the final choice. A new Queen had ascended the throne during the previous year, giving rise to the era of “The New Elizabethans” and a very fine aeroplane named “The Elizabethan” had been built by a local company, [Airspeed Aircraft] in Christchurch.
As a number of the proposed Founders were also associated with the aircraft industry in Christchurch, the choice made, “The Elizabethan Lodge”, was almost inevitable.
A C G Seaward, W S Coombes, W Collins, J L T Williams, J R T Pendrill, A G Alexander, T E Little, L Stringer, F Wade-Cooper, W E Wyatt, L T de M Thompson, W E Poole, F C Pull, F J Marshallsay, F G Pull, F P Mackey, E E P Hayman, N E Kynaston, H W Holder, H G Simper, C G Luckin, R L Allen, F W John, A H Blatch, E G Ayland, T P Bradley, E Richardson, L C Harris.
Lodge of Unity, No. 132, is the “Grandmother” Lodge of The Elizabethan Lodge and, amongst others, the “Mother” of Twynham Lodge, No. 5889. The sponsorship of The Elizabethan Lodge by Twynham Lodge has already been documented and the close association of the three Lodges continues to this day.
Twynham Lodge had been Consecrated in the Priory Church during the Second World War and efforts were made for the same venue to be used when the new Lodge was due to be Consecrated. This, however, was not permitted and the new Lodge was consecrated in BournemouthTown Hall on 20th April, 1953. The original meeting place for the Lodge was at the Kings Arms Hotel in the centre of Christchurch but the logistics proved unsatisfactory and thoughts turned to the creation of a permanent home for the two Lodges then meeting in Christchurch.
In March, 1964, the land on which the Mudeford building now stands was donated for the building of a MasonicTemple by the Furneaux family, well-known builders in Christchurch. The land certificates were transferred to the Trustees of the new Temple in September 1966, and fund-raising for the new building began in earnest.
The Temple was dedicated by the then Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Major-General R.L. Bond on 25th August, 1971, and the first Lodge meeting was held in this building in September 1971. The 3 Pedestals were made in the workshops of G.J. Furneaux and the 3 principal chairs were made in the workshops of Arthur Green, opposite the old Christchurch Printing Company in Bridge Street. The centre table was a gift from George Furneaux.
The sword used by the Tyler is reputed to have belonged to a Marshal of the Royal Air Force, who died in the air crash which killed the Grand Master, the Duke of Kent, on 25th August, 1942. The sword was bought at auction for 100 Guineas and donated by Bro. Sid Barber. The Rough Ashlar was given by Bro. Wilkins of The Croydon Airport Lodge.
The Square & Compasses sign on the wall behind the Secretary’s table originally hung outside the George Inn and was made in 1792 from quarter-inch brass and copper. It was moved in 1912 as it had become a danger to passing traffic. It was for many years on the outside of the Warren Avenue building but in 2010 was cleaned and thoroughly refurbished before being fixed in its present position.
Over the period of the last few years, much thought and work has gone into the up-grading and facilities of the building. In 1999 the building was extended by filling in the “L” of the original building. This permitted the construction of a new bar and lounge area and the complete re-building of the kitchens.
Subsequent air-conditioning installation and lounge upgrading has added to comfort and made the building far more attractive for various functions other than Masonic meetings and these social functions help with income for the maintenance and running of our building.
It has also attracted other Lodges to the building and meetings are now held by Twynham Lodge, The Elizabethan Lodge, Highcliffe Lodge, Via Lucis Lodge, The New Forest Lodge of Installed Masters, Lodge of Expatiation, Unity R.A. Chapter, Twynham R.A. Chapter, Christchurch Mark and a number of other degrees.
The extensive use of the building bodes well for the future of Freemasonry in Christchurch.