Past Master JewelA Brief History of Sydney Lodge No. 829

1860 - 2010

The first written records left behind by the promoters of the Sydney Lodge No. 1131, now 829, are the somewhat stately written proceedings of a “preparatory” meeting of the Founders held at the Black Horse Tavern, Sidcup. Kent, on Friday 5th October 1860, about five weeks before the Consecration.

The Master Designate, Bro. John Henderson, P.M. of Union Waterloo Lodge, No. 13, presided, assisted by Bro. J. L. Brickell, P.M, as Secretary, and other brethren. At this meeting the first officers were appointed, excepting those designated in the Warrant, and the By Laws were drawn up for approval by the Province. It was decided that the Lodge meet at the Black Horse, Sidcup, on the second Tuesday in each month and that the annual subscription be 24s, paid quarterly. The Founders fee to be one guinea, Initiates fee five guineas, joining members two guineas, visitors fee five shillings, and that the Tyler be paid five shillings per meeting. The Tyler was legislated for by special rule to be vigilant in the exercise of his duties, which were detailed.

The date of the Warrant is August 17th, 1860, and is issued by the Earl of Zetland, M.W. Grand Master, countersigned by the Deputy G.M. Baron Panmure, and Wm. Gray Clarke, Grand Secretary. The signatories to the Warrant in addition to the Master and Wardens designate, were John L. Brickell, Robert Thomas Lacey, Thomas L. Howard and Robert Allen.

The Consecration took place at the Black Horse Tavern, Sidcup, on Tuesday 13th November 1860, by Brother Henry Muggeridge, P.M. No. 227, assisted by Bro. Isaacs, Provincial Grand Secretary, when Bro. John Henderson, P.M. was Installed as First Master of the Lodge. He then appointed and invested as his officers:- Bro. Thomas P. Birts as S.W., Bro James Russell, J.W., Bro. Thomas Mills, Treasurer, Bro. J. L. Brickell, Secretary, Bro. Chas. T. Sutton, S.D., Bro. Geo. Thos. Fox, J.D., Bro. John Rowland, I.G., Bro. F. J. Smith, Organist and Bro. J. Peen, Tyler. The other Founders were Bros. Andrew Allen, John Beacham, Edward Francis, John Graydon Howard, Robert Laxey, Aaron Maynard, Henry Layer, R. Smith and T. A. Taylor.

Immediately following the Ceremony of Installation, two gentlemen whose names appeared on the summons, were Initiated into Freemasonry, they being Mr. James Keene of Pimlico and Mr. Jeremiah Edgerton of Chislehurst. A most cordial vote of thanks was given to Bro. Henry Muggeridge for his efficient performance of the ceremony of Consecration. Other votes of thanks were passed to a number of brethren for gifts to the Lodge. This concluded the business for this day, the total membership being 19 Founders and two newly Initiated members. A dinner was subsequently held at the Black Horse for which a fee of 12/6 per head was made. At the meeting on 14th April 1863, the By Laws were altered to read:- “That the nights of meeting be the second Tuesday in April, May, June, July, August and September”.

These days of meetings persist to the present day and it is interesting to know that each meeting of the Lodge since its Consecration has been held at the Black Horse, Sidcup.  The first Minute Book of the Lodge was lost for several years, eventually coming to light among some old books belonging to a late officer of the Lodge and returned by a brother of Bostall Heath Lodge in 1928. The loss of this book had been the cause of much anxiety, and its return to the Lodge completed the continuity of the records, thus enabling our Prayer of Petition for a Centenary Warrant to be granted by the M.W. Grand Master, and to commemorate this day, the 16th November 1960 in thanksgiving and to the memory of the Founders of the Lodge, to whom we have every reason to be grateful for the initiative they displayed more than a century ago. This is exemplified by the present success and prosperity of the Lodge and the fine spirit of harmony and concord which exists among its members.

1960 - 2013

The last 53 years of the Lodge revolves mainly around the moves from the Black Horse, Sidcup, in September 1967 to Dartford Masonic Centre where we remained until 1974. From there we moved to Welling Masonic Centre in Bellegrove Road which lasted just one year before finally returning home to Sidcup where we have been up to date and happily just across the road from our origins, the Black Horse Public House. Sadly that is now demolished and is now a Travelodge - a sorry end to a building with so many happy memories for Sydney Lodge.

A notable date during this period was 1997 when a hard-backed edition of “A History of Sydney Lodge No. 829” was finalised and printed thanks to the efforts of W.Bro. Albert Smith, W.Bro. Eric Plaistowe, W.Bro. Bob Bishop and W.Bro. George Beatty. It comprised earlier records written by W.Bro. Alfred Hutton (1860-1935), W.Bro. John Bush (1936-1983) and W. Bro. Albert Smith (1984-1997).

The meeting dates of the Lodge has been another change from the original as we have recently moved to the first Tuesday in March, third Tuesday in April, second Tuesday in June and September (Installation) and the fourth Tuesday in November.

W.Bro. Bob Bishop - July 2013

Sydney Lodge - Officers and Guests July 1997