“Friendship by name -
The lodge was Consecrated at the Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, Birmingham, on Wednesday 29th Sept 1943 whilst the war was still raging throughout Europe. There were blackouts in operation, but that night was thankfully a quiet one, as over 200 Officers of Grand Lodge, Founders and Visitors were present that Evening!
The lodge went from strength to strength and soon saw it’s 100th meeting in Jan 1960, where the drinks bill exceeded the meal costs (no breathalysers in those days!) Still only 26/8 d = £ 1.55p for the night !
In 1971, the Lodge moved to it’s current home at the Warwickshire Masonic Temple and had it’s 170th meeting in the new premises.
In 1993, the Lodge celebrated it’s 50th anniversary. Visitors from 28 lodges attended, with
a presentation of Silver Goblets for the Master and Wardens, which are still in use today.
2008 saw the Master of the Lodge of Friendship name the new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat at Aberystwyth “Spirit of Friendship” at the Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication.
Since it’s launch, “Spirit of Friendship” has been launched 42 times to Sept 2009, landed 13 people and brought 30 others to safety.
In addition to the Formal Ladies' Festivals and Ladies' Informal Evenings, theatre visits with
a meal before or after the show and Summer Outings, were also held.
There was a Summer Outing in 1977 when a barge trip down the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was followed by a most enjoyable high tea in the gardens of
"The Pines" the Wolverhampton home of the Worshipful Master, Wor Bro A C Bate.
In 1997 a visit to Grand Lodge. A tour of the Temple,Library,Museum and Permanent
Exhibition arranged by W. Bro. Richard Barker was enjoyed by 15 Brethren and Ladies
followed by dinner at the Jersey Arms Hotel in Middleton Stoney.
Jn September 2009 a most enjoyable Ladies Informal dinner was held at Hassop Hall in Derbyshire kindly arranged by the WM and his wife and attended by six of the Brethren
and their Ladies
In 1945 the ‘Wolverhampton Brethren’, presented the Lodge of Friendship with a cup to be presented to the winner of a golf tournament amongst the Brethren. The presentation was at an appropriate dinner attended by the brethren of the Lodge and their Ladies.
During the period 1961-
The tournament lay dormant in the 20 years 1968-
During the Period 1945-
During the period 1961-
In recent year the cup has been shared by W. Bro. Alan Harris and W. Bro. Richard Barker .
Support for the Tournament has again gone into decline but hopefully will be revived next year.
It is traditional that the Brethren of the Lodge of Friendship should honour the ladies of the Brethren by the holding of a Ladies Festival towards the end of each Masonic year.
The first Lodge of Friendship Ladies Evening was in 1944, but the first I can find record of
was Friday 20 April 1945 at the Edgbaston Assembly Rooms, Birmingham. The Menu was
"in accordance with the Ministry of Food Regulations". There was a buffet during dancing
to Vernon Adcock's Band, Entertainment and a Whist Drive.
The toast to "The King" was given by the Worshipful Master.
Since then the Ladies Festivals have also been held at the Botanical Gardens, the
Warwickshire Cricket Ground, The Masonic Hall, Aldridge, the Centennial Centre and the Clarendon and Hagley Suites here at Stirlng Road.
In more recent years ( 2002-
Trevor Holroyd Duo, Tony Harrison Duo. Andy Peate Duo, Chimes Duo. Five Live , and The Turning Point Band.
And Cabaret by Paul Ray, and last year the black country comedian Tommy Mundon accompanied by Elspeth.
The Table Plan
It was at the Ladies Festival in 1959 that the Table Plan was presented and used for the first time.
Bro Norman Neal made the model Table Plan on behalf of the Lodge as a gesture of
sincere thanks to Wor.Bro. Alf Cadby , Master at the time for having introduced him to
Freemasonry and to the Lodge of Friendship
Further additions were made by a number of the Brethren including :-
Model chairs were made and presented by W. Bro "Chum"McDonnell the first Junior
The two bronze pillars at the side of the name panel were given by W. Bro Arthur Bate
W Bro Norman Neal continued to prepare the table plan until 1974.W.Bro. Alan Harris has maintained it since then.
Ladies informal evenings, which consisted of a dinner attended by the Brethren and their
wives, were held frequently up to 1973 when the last such evening was recorded. Until
happily revived in 1992.
It was also a well loved practice for the Brethren to sing "The Friendship Anthem" on those occasions.
The words and music were composed by Cherry Thompson, wife of Founder Bro Tommy Thompson and was dedicated to the Lodge of Friendship.
This chorus was displayed on a banner which was reported missing from the Lodge
Inventory in 1973 and was "found" in 1992.
In recent year the remnants of a cake enhanced the Ladies Informal.
The tradition of a celebration iced cake at each Installation began in 1945 when Bro Arthur Horne, a Baker, provided such a cake each year until 1955 when the business was sold. In that year the disappointment of the Master and Brethren was overcome when such a cake appeared at the November meeting. The anonymous donor continued the tradition to date, for which many Past Masters are deeply indebted. The donor became known upon the sad passing of W. Bro Arthur Bate in 1992. However, the custom has happily continued as W. Bro Arthur Bate arranged this in his will.