Crest - Copthorne Lodge 5427

Copthorne Masonic Lodge 5427
Sutton, Surrey

Established 1933

Crest - Copthorne Lodge 5427

 

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The History of Copthorne Lodge

This extract is taken from an introduction to the Lodge written by W. Bro. Arnold Avison on the occasion of the 21st Anniversary of the Lodge in 1954, and is from "Copthorne Lodge No 5427 - The First Fifty Years" prepared in 1983. A printed copy was distributed to all those attending our 75th anniversary meeting held at Croydon Masonic Halls, 22 November 2008. 

The history of England is said to be written in the churches and inns of our countryside. In one such inn, near by the church, 521 feet above sea level, at the very top of the hill and known to all as a very hospitable hostelry, there mused a kindly and philosophic figure, one Albert Swaine Gurney. He was a family man, with business interests, and an excellent mason. In his mind he conceived the idea of a local Lodge to accommodate those who had come to reside in that salubrious area known as Banstead and District. The Copthorne Lodge owes its inception primarily to Brother Gurney, who had gathered together some seven good masons and true; these brethren decided to invite that eloquent divine, W. Bro. Rev. Canon F. Norman Skene, MA, Vicar of Banstead, to become their Master Primus. Canon Skene suggested the new Lodge be named "Copthorne", largely because the brethren would be drawn from the surrounding parishes forming the "Hundred of Copthorne", which included Banstead, Ewell, Kingswood and Tadworth. This title was adopted gladly and unanimously by the Founders, and the Skene family crest was, with his permission, adopted by the Lodge.

Consecration of the Lodge

A great deal of preparatory work was undertaken by the Founders at their preliminary meetings and a Petition was submitted to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for Surrey and subsequently granted; the Lodge was consecrated and constituted on 5 October 1933, at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London, by

W. Bro. G.H. REDWOOD, PGD, Deputy Provincial Grand Master
assisted by
W. Bro. J.B. CORRIE, PGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master

W. Bro. ARTHUR PURKESS, PAGDC, Prov. SGW           SW
W. Bro. SIR ROBERT C. EVANS, Prov. JGW JW
W. Bro. REV. A.G. LE MASURIER, MA, Prov. GC Chaplain
W. Bro. LT. COL. H.A. MANN, OBE, MC, AGSwB Prov. G. Sec   Secretary
W. Bro. G.R. SAUNDERS, PAGDC, PPGW DC
W. Bro. W.A. LATHAM, PAGP, Prov. AG Sec. IG

The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. J.B. Corrie, PGD, then installed the Worshipful Master Designate, W. Bro. Rev. Canon F. Norman Skene, MA, PPGC.

The first Officers for the ensuing year were afterwards appointed from among the Founders and invested by the WM.

W. Bro. Rev Canon F.N. Skene
W. Bro. Rev Canon F.N. Skene
MA, PPGC, Primus Master


First Officers and Founders

W. Bro. REV. CANON F.N. SKENE, MA, PPGC   WM
W. Bro. C.S. POOLE Acting IPM
Bro. H.H. FOX SW
Bro. S.J.H. WILLIAMS JW
Bro. REV. P.R. LOBB, BA Chaplain
W. Bro. A.H.Y. AVISON Treasurer
W. Bro. C. PHIPPS, LGR Secretary
W. Bro. T.F. TEW DC
Bro. G.W. CRESSWELL Almoner
Bro. R.R. SKIDMORE SD
Bro. A.S. GURNEY JD
Bro. W. BROWN ADC
Bro. L.A. DEARLE Organist
Bro. S.E. HARDY Asst. Sec
Bro. S. BAILEY IG
Bro. R.B. PUTMAN Steward
Bro. H.A. LOE Steward
Bro. R. BOYD Steward
Bro. A.G. HOLMES  Steward
Bro. T.O. WILLIAMS Founder }- not taking
Bro. F.H. AYLING Founder }- office
Bro. C.J. BISHOP Tyler

The Consecration of the Lodge is always a solemn and impressive ceremony, and thus it was with the Consecration of the Copthorne Lodge. An outstanding impression on that memorable day was made by the oration of the Chaplain, and it is pleasant to recall that the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Lt. Col. H.A. Mann, for the first time in the Province of Surrey, read the Warrant of Consecration in his earlier capacity as Provincial Grand Secretary.

The Worshipful Master announced from the Chair that it was the pleasure of the Lodge to invite HRH the Prince of Wales, Provincial Grand Master for Surrey, to accept Honorary Membership of the Lodge; this invitation was subsequently accepted most graciously by His Royal Highness, on 19 October 1933.

The Brethren, by unanimous resolution, asked the Consecrating Officers to accept Honorary Memberships of the Lodge, which they did with pleasure.

W. Bro. H.A. Loe, PJGD, PPSGW                  W. Bro. H.H. Fox, PPAGDC
W. Bro. H.A. Loe, PJGD, PPSGW                     W. Bro. H.H. Fox, PPAGDC    

Following consecration of the Lodge, membership grew in those early and reached 50 by December 1936. Meetings held in those early years frequently involved carrying out ceremonies in all three degrees and it was not unusual for them to last for up to 4 hours. 

A unique event occurred on the 3rd April 1937 when the foundation stone of the new Banstead vicarage which was the home of the first Master Canon Skene was laid. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge and members of the Lodge were invited to be present and dispensation was obtained from Grand lodge for brethren attending to wear Masonic clothing. The laying of the stone including proving it plumb level and square was carried out by officers of the Lodge and the stone declared well and truly laid. 

In September 1939 notice was received from the United Grand Lodge of England that having regard to the Emergency Orders of HM Government all Masonic meetings were suspended until further notice. Permission was later granted for meetings to be held under special conditions and in October 1941 the Lodge was informed that it was the desire of Grand Lodge that brethren should not wear white gloves for the duration of the war. 

In October 1943 the Lodge was informed by the management of the Drift Bridge Hotel that owing to shortage of staff and food restrictions it was not possible to cater for future meetings so dispensation was obtained to hold them at the Stoneleigh Hotel until further notice. 

Copthorne Lodge founded Ye Olde Wells No.6541 which was consecrated on 30th October 1947. 

In October 1948 a recommendation came before the Lodge that all future meetings should be held at the Sutton Masonic Hall and a dispensation authorising the change of venue was obtained in time for the meeting on 27th November 1948. 

In March 1950 a resolution proposed that the Lodge should consent to a Chapter petition. This was approved and Copthorne Wells Chapter No.5427 was subsequently consecrated on 10th February 1951 and has flourished ever since. 

In May 1955 it was agreed that the custom of wearing Dinner Jackets at Installation Meetings should be discontinued. The September meeting of 1956 the Lodge paid tribute to V.W.Bro.Canon Fredrick Norman Skeene MA PGC PPGC Primus Master of Copthorne Lodge who died on the 31st May 1956. 

The Lodge received in November 1966 the Commemorative Jewel as recognition of its full support for the 250th Anniversary Fund set up to provide a research fund for the Royal College of Surgeons. In September 1968 a Comforts Fund was inaugurated with a view to administrating to the comfort of indisposed brethren and their immediate families.

You might be interested to read the original 1933 By-laws for Copthorne Lodge. The annual subscription was four guineas (4.20), with a current equivalent value of at least 240 now. The initiation fee was an eye-watering ten guineas then (equivalent to at least 600 now).

1933 By-laws cover 

Past Masters of the Lodge

*

1933

W. Bro. Rev. Cannon E. N. Skene, PAGChap

 

 

1972

W. Bro. H. J. Tinkler, PPJGW, SLGR

*

1934

W. Bro. H. H. Fox, PPAGDC

 

1973

W. Bro. N. E. Morris, PPDepGReg

*

1935

W. Bro. S. J. H. Williams, PPSGD

 

1974

W. Bro. A. F. Houghton, PPSGW

*

1936

W. Bro. R. R. Skidmore, PPGStB

 

1975

W. Bro. E. W. Sellwood

*

1937

W. Bro. A. S. Gurney, PPAGDC

 

1976

W. Bro. L. C. Thompson, PPJGW

*

1938

W. Bro. W. Brown, PPAGStB

 

1977

W. Bro. R. G. Rickard

*

1939

W. Bro. S. E. Hardy, PPGStB

 

1978

W. Bro. A. Sheward, PPGSuptWks

*

1940

W. Bro. H.A. Loe, PJGD, PPSGW

 

 

1979

W. Bro. R. D. Lake

*

1941

W. Bro. R. Boyd, PPJGD

 

 

1980

W. Bro. R. A. Taylor, PPGStB

*

1942

W. Bro. A. G. Holmes, PPJGD

 

 

1981

W. Bro. J. Jones, PPJGW

 

1943

W. Bro. G. D. Andrews, PPAGSuptWks

 

 

1982

W. Bro. P. Barham

1944

W. Bro. D. J. Strachan, PPAGDC

 

1983

W. Bro. M. W. Cole, PPGReg

1945

W. Bro. J. W. Richards, PPGStB

 

 

1984

W. Bro. A. F. Newman, PPGStB

1946

W. Bro. A. E. Russell, PPJGD

 

1985

W. Bro. A. J. C. Benstead

1947

W. Bro. E. F. Warner Batts, PPSGW

 

1986

W. Bro. J. G. Bott, PPAGSuptWks

1948

W. Bro. H. C. Gregory, PPAGDC

 

 

1987

W. Bro. I. W. Prince, PPAGSuptWks

1949

W. Bro. W. H. R. Webb, PPGReg

 

1988

W. Bro. A. F. Fairweather

1950

W. Bro. W. C. Littlejohn, MBE, MC, PPJGW

 

 

1989

W. Bro. A. Thomson, PPAGReg

1951

W. Bro. H. W. Grant, PPSGW

 

 

1990

W. Bro. A. Thomson, PPAGReg

 

1952

W. Bro. L. G. Williams, PPAGDC

 

1991

W. Bro. G. C. Brown, PPJGD

1953

W. Bro. C. A. Nowell, PPJGW

 

 

1992

W. Bro. I. B. Lumsden, PPAGSuptWks

 

1954

W. Bro. R. J. Shroll, PPJGW

 

 

1993

W. Bro. T. Singleton, PPIGW

1955

W. Bro. E. J. F. Pepper, PPAGDC

 

 

1994

W. Bro. P. W. Bamford-Baker, LGR

1956

W. Bro. C. R. Mitchell

 

1995

W. Bro. W. L. Evans, PPSGW

1957

W. Bro. R. Reed, PPJGD

 

 

1996

W. Bro. L. Wisby, PPAGSuptWks

1958

W. Bro, R. F. Head, PPAGDC

 

 

1997

W. Bro. V. Planson, PPAGSuptWks

 

1959

W. Bro. E. J. Wragg

 

 

1998

W.Bro. A. C. Batcheler, PAGDC, PPSGW

1960

W. Bro. S. G. Pryor, PPJGD

 

1999

W. Bro. B. Moore, LGR, PPJGD

 

1961

W. Bro. W. E. Meade, OBE, PPGReg

 

 

2000

W. Bro. L. Wisby, PPAGSuptWks

1962

W. Bro. G. M. Carter, PPGReg

 

 

2001

W. Bro. A. Perryman

 

1963

W. Bro. W. L. Evans, PPSGW

 

 

2002

W. Bro. R. Perryman

1964

W. Bro. R. F. Fairweather, MBE, MC, PPJGW

 

2003

W. Bro. P. Jones

1965

W. Bro. J. H. Mawson, PPGReg

 

 

2004

W. Bro. D. Fox

 

1966

W. Bro. A. M. Walker

 

2005

W. Bro. D. Rickwood, PProvAGDC

 

1967

W. Bro. F W. Barrett, PPGStB

 

2006

W. Bro. C. Woolley

 

1968

W. Bro. A. C. Batcheler, PAGDC, PPSGW

 

 

2007

W. Bro. T. Singleton, PPJGW

1969

W. Bro. H. A. J. Davey, PPGSuptWks

 

2008 W. Bro. G. Brown, PPJGD
1970 W. Bro. E. G. Cannon, PPAGSuptWks +

2009

W. Bro. J. Evans

 

1971

W. Bro. A. F. Miller, PPAGDC

 

+ 

2010 W. Bro. V. Tuffs
2011 W. Bro. W. L. Evans, PPSGW
*=Founders, +=Subscribing past master + 2012 W. Bro. N. Tuffs

Masonic Links to Copthorne Lodge

Mother Lodge Banstead Lodge, No. 5032
Lodge Sponsored in 1947 Ye Olde Wells Lodge, No. 6541
Chapter Associated in 1951    Royal Arch Chapter, Copthorne Wells, Chapter No. 5427

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