The Formation of the Lodge
The North Kent Lodge was first spoken of in 1894 when WBro G Ratcliff Steel was nominated as a Grand Steward. Together with W.Bro Newton Dunn of Eltham and Mr Robert Hargreaves Rogers of Marl House, Bexley they approached W.Bro Thomas Jenkins of Bexleyheath.
As to whether the time was ripe for the formation of a Lodge in the district. This had his total agreement, although their efforts were hampered by the unavailability of a suitable building in the area. After many inquiries, the public hall at Bexleyheath was looked at but it fell short of that required for a Lodge. After discussions with the management alterations were made which satisfied the criteria.
On November 23rd 1894 the first recorded meeting of Founders was held at W.Bro Thomas Jenkins house in Station Road, Bexleyheath. Present at this meeting were: Bros Steel, Dunn, Jenkins, Dale Fry and Chapman. It was announced that the Consecration had been fixed for the first Saturday in February 1895.
Four further meetings were held by the Founders during December. At these the subject of furniture for the Lodge, agreement of the premises with the Public Hall Company, the menu for the forthcoming banquet, tickets, which were priced at one guinea, and the Founders’ Jewel and Lodge Badge were also discussed and agreed upon.
Consecration of the Lodge
It is recorded that February 2nd 1895 dawned fridgidly cold with the thermometer registering many degrees of frost, with snow everywhere. But for some reason the paths leading to the Lodge were cleared by some unknown persons. The Urban Council had been determined that the footpaths in the district were not to be cleared, as this would take 1000 men or more.
It was noted at the time that one of the Founders, Bro E. Reeve Boulter, held the office of Surveyor to the Council. Possibly he knew something about the mysterious disappearance of the snow from the Lodge’s paths.
At the Consecration meeting three candidates for Initiation were proposed: Messrs Edmond Homes, David Joshua Pitt and John Butler, while Bro’s Dr H.Shelmerdine and G.E. Todd were proposed as joining members.
The First Regular Meeting March 2nd 1895
At this meeting Bros Dr H. Shelmerdine and G.E.Todd were elected as Joining Members while Messrs E. Homes, D.J.Pitt and John Butler were Initiated. By-Laws were adopted, and a decision made to form a Lodge of Instruction with two meetings a month on the second and third Thursdays, and an additional one on the Saturday preceding a Lodge meeting. It took another couple of years before the actual formation of the Lodge of Instruction.
The early meetings did not adhere strictly to Emulation Working and certain variations were brought into the ceremonies over a period of some 35 years. It was not until 1930 that the brethren agreed, that in order to preserve the true Emulation Working these variations would cease.
First Lodge Officers:
|Worshipful Master||W.Bro George. R. Steel. P.M.,P.G.S.|
|Immediate Past Master||W.Bro. Frederick J Street (Acting) P.M.|
|Senior Warden||Bro. Robert H. Rogers|
|Junior Warden||Bro. Newton Dunn|
|Chaplain||Rev. H L Fry|
|Treasurer||W.Bro Thomas Jenkins|
|Secretary||W.Bro George Chapman P.M.,P.P.G.SUPT. WKS|
|Senior Deacon||Bro. Frederick Corbett|
|Junior Deacon||Bro. Obed O. Dale|
|Inner Guard||Bro. David Rogers|
|Tyler||Bro. William Royle|
Founders of the Lodge:
W.Bro George Ratcliff Steel P.A.G.D.C, Eng
W.Bro Sir Robert H. Rogers P.Prov SGW
W.Bro Newton Dunn P. G.J.D.Eng., P.Prov JGW
W.Bro Obed Oldfield Dale P.Prov. JGD
W.Bro F.J. Street P.M. No.180
W.Bro Thomas Jenkins, P.M. No.299
Bro. Rev H.L. Fry No.1209
W.Bro G.B. Chapman P.M. Nos. 27 & 299, P.G.Supt Wks
Bro. F. Corbett, Nos. 1839 & 1873
Bro. David Rogers, No.299
Bro. E. R. Boulter, No.228
Past Masters 1895 – 2016
2002 to 2005
2006 to 2009