BENEVOLENT MARK LODGE No. 316
In early 1883 there was an air of quiet excitement and anticipation amongst the Brethren of Teignmouth. The town was well served with a famous old Lodge of Craft Masonry, Benevolent 303, and an excellent Holy Royal Arch Chapter associated with Benevolent, but despite this keen Masons felt something was lacking in that Mark Masonry was not practised in the town and they, instead of sitting back and saying “Why don’t they do something about it” had, in fact, been very busy.
The launching of any Lodge only follows a period of great activity. In the beginning it all goes back to one Brother who generates in his heart the conception of the Lodge, goes on to interest his more enthusiastic Brethren, calls informal meetings, arrives at the decision to form a Lodge, obtains the Provincial Grand Master’s blessing, prepares the Grand Lodge Petition, plus a multitude of other details, and finally after much “blood, toil, tears and sweat” arrives at the happy day of Consecration.
Benevolent Mark Lodge was born in a perfectly legitimate manner, but it is very apparent that one hundred years ago Masonic disciplines were not of the standards pertaining today. It would appear that the Founder Members signed the Warrant, following the Provincial Grand Master’s approval, and then carried the normal activities and business of a Mark Lodge.
April 6th, 1883: The first formal assembly of Benevolent Mark Lodge No. 316 was that of an Emergency Meeting, especially authorised by the Provincial Grand Master, and held at the Masonic Hall, Teignmouth, Eight Founder Members were present, plus three Brethren from Devon Mark Lodge No. 215 and the Offices were filled as follows:
Bro. H. Martin, IPM Devon 215 W.M. Pro-tem
Bro. J. Olver, P.M. Devon 215 I.P.M. Pro-tem
Bro. W. H. R. Saunders Senior Warden. Pro. Tem
Bro. C. Collings Junior Warden
Bro. S. Loram Master Overseer
Bro. H. Elliott Senior Overseer
Bro. H. A. Schank Junior Overseer
Bro. C. Vicary Senior Deacon Pro-tem
Bro. J.S. Kesteman Inner Guard Pro-tem
Bro. B. Haywood Devon 215 Tyler Pro-tem
The Acting Worshipful Master opened the Lodge and the Roll of the Founding members was read, all being present with the exception of one. The meeting agreed to conform to the Book of Constitutions and approved the draft Bye-Laws and then Advanced four Brethren, all of whom were Past Masters of Benevolent Craft Lodge No. 303. A formal Vote of Thanks was passed as a mark of appreciation to the Brethren of Devon Lodge No 215 who had assisted with ceremony, the Lodge was then closed in due form. It is somewhat surprising that no Provincial Grand Officers were present, especially in view of the fact that the meeting had been with the Provincial Grand.
April 17th 1883: The initial Regular Lodge meeting was that held at the Assembly Rooms (now the Riviera Cinema) eleven days after the Emergency Meeting. The reason the meeting was not held at the Masonic Hall is not known, but it was thought that the numbers expected justified the larger venue it was a disappointment as only seventeen attended, of whom six were visiting Brethren. Bro. G. N. Burden was Installed as Worshipful Master and then appointed and invested his Officers. Three Brethren were proposed and approved for Advancement.
May 16th, 1883: A Lodge of Emergency was held at the Masonic Hall, Teignmouth. Twelve members were present, plus three Candidates, and the Minutes state that when these three retired for preparation Bro. Ormerod was duly obligated as a Mark Mason (presumably he chose his Mark later!). The three Candidates being duly Advanced one was appointed Chaplain, one Register of Marks and one as Steward. Hearty thanks were again extended to Devon Mark Ledge 215 for their assistance.
May 30th, 1883: At the Regular Lodge meeting, twelve members were present and approved the Bye-Laws of the Lodge and instructed the Secretary to send a copy to the P.G.M. for his approval. The Minutes of the meeting of the 30th January, 1884, show that a special Committee was formed to revise the Bye-Laws, the inference being that the Provincial Grand Master had failed to approve the draft.April 17th 1883:
September 26th, 1883: The Lodge was experiencing the early difficulties of being a newly formed, the Minutes, show seven members attended, the Worshipful Master and Secretary being the only regular officers.
November 20th, 1883: the Worshipful Master was the only officer invested, the six other Brethren filling the various offices Pro-tem. A Notice of Motion was given that at the next meeting the day and hour of meeting should be considered for alteration, although the Minutes give no indication of a Proposal. A Brother of Benevolent Craft Lodge 303 was proposed for Advancement as a Serving Brother, and that application is made to the Provincial Grand Master for, a Dispensation of same.
March 26th, 1884: The life of a Treasurer is one of a constant search for funds and at the second Installation meeting, the Treasurer reported an income of £50-5-4d and an expenditure of £51-10-4d of which £37 was for furniture and expenditure in connection with the establishment of the Lodge; three Brethren loaned £5 each (a goodly sum in those days), free of interest, towards the extra expenditure; the Treasurer reported that the anticipated expenditure for the ensuing year would be £10-l0-0d and an income of £13-8-6d. At the same meeting a candidate was proposed, approved, prepared and Advanced; the revised Bye-Laws were then approved after which the Master-Elect was Installed and appointed and invested his Officers.
September 18th. 1884: The Lodge was still struggling, for instance the Master was absent and the attendance was eight; on the 20 November, 1884, ten were present, whilst on the 15 January, 1885, only five attended and the Worshipful Master was forced to remark “on the conspicuous absence of the Officers on this and on previous meetings of the Lodge and wished to draw attention to the great inconvenience caused by their neglect in not notifying the W.M. of their inability to be present”.
March 19th, 1885: The Installation Meeting was better attended, with only two Pro-tem Officers, however it was unfortunate that insufficient Past Masters were present to conduct the ceremony and a Lodge of Emergency was arranged for the 2 April, 1885, at which it was hoped the Master-Elect would assume the Chair. The Treasurer said that he hoped in future years to pay off annually one of the three Brethren who had made the interest free loans of £5. The Master-Elect was duly Installed on the 2 April, when three Past Masters of Devon Lodge 215 attended and W. Bro. H. Martin 215 performed the ceremony.
Between the 19 January, 1888, and the 15 March, 1888: a Lodge of Emergency was summoned by the Worshipful Master on the requisition of two Brethren (unnamed) to Advance Bro. A. J. Neweombe Benevolent 303 Craft, but as Bro. Newcombe was indisposed the Lodge was not opened.
March 15th, 1888: W. Bro. H. Martin Devon 215 Installed the Master-Elect and after the investiture of the Officers he Advanced Bro. Newcombe subsequent to the Ballot.
September 20th, 1888: Attendances were giving rise to much worry the number attending was four and the Lodge was not opened; on the 15th November, 1888, six attended; on the 17 March, 1889, five were present; at the Installation Meeting on the 21st March, 1889, six attended, plus four visitors from Devon Lodge 215, and the Worshipful Master was congratulated on attaining the Chair for the second time (not having yet performed a ceremony!); at the next meeting on the 19th September five were present and the Worshipful Master “did not feel it worthwhile to open the Lodge”.
February 4th, 1891: An interesting document is dated the, and signed by Sir Henry Stafford Northcote, the Provincial Grand Master, authorising and permitting all Mark Master Masons to appear in the Regalia of the Order at a Ball to be held at the Royal Hotel, Dawlish, on the 10 February, 1891. No reference to the Ball appears in the Lodge Minutes and it would be interesting to know if the function took place. One can only observe that dancing was a more dignified affair in the late 19th century than it is in these days of discotheque.
March 16, 1893: The Installation Meeting was attended by eight members and two visitors, and the ceremony was conducted by W. Bro. H. Martin of Devon Lodge 215. At the same meeting a resolution was passed that the annual Subscription should be 5/- (25p) and the Joining Fee 15/- (75p). After the meeting the Brethren adjourned to the London Hotel for Supper, which a resolution at the previous meeting indicated should not cost more than three shillings (15p)!
May 28th, 1894: A Lodge of Emergency was held eight being present. Two candidates were balloted for and duly Advanced. It seems strange that Emergency Lodge should be summoned, particularly in view of the fact that Candidates were not available for Regular Stated Lodge meetings (one is almost forced to the conclusion that the policy was to get the candidates “in” before they changed their minds!).
February 28th, 1898: A strange entry occurs relating to Monday, the, which reads:
A Regular Lodge having been summoned to be held on Monday, the 28 day of February, 1898, present was A. Robbins, Tyler. The Lodge was not opened. It is sad that no record was made of the circumstances leading to such an entry; subsequent Minutes make no mention and one can only speculate as to the reason.
September 26th, 1898: The Installation Meeting was attended by nine members and two visitors, and W. Bro. H. Martin of Devon Lodge 215, Installed the Master of 316, a ceremony which he had performed since Benevolent Lodge was founded.
An unusual entry in the Minutes records:
“Proposed by Bro. F. C. Hallett and seconded by Bro. J.W. Finch that the Installation supper be postponed till the Installation of Principals in the Arch Chapter in November”, the proposal was carried. (This during the actual Installation ceremony) A further entry in the same Minutes reads: “Proposed by Bro. F. C. Ford, seconded by
Bro. R. C. Musgrave, that the Craft Lodge be asked to accept Two Guineas as payment for past rent and that the annual rent to Craft Lodge be reduced to half a Guinea”, the proposal was carried. It says a lot for the benevolent attitude of Benevolent Craft Lodge when it is recorded that they accepted the offer!
February 26th, 1901: For the first time since the inception of the Lodge a topical note appears in the Minutes when the Worshipful Master proposed that a record be placed in the Minutes indicating the Lodge’s sorrow at the death of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.
November 24th, 1902: Indicative of the problems which continued to plague the Lodge is a reference to W. Bro. Silk, the 1900 Master; this Brother was appointed for 1903 when he also invested himself as the Immediate Past Master; however at the next meeting held on the, a resolution was passed asking him to send his resignation in writing. The outcome is unknown because no further reference appears later.
October 31st, 1904: The Lodge resolved that an Account be opened at the Capital and Counties Bank, Teignmouth, and that in future all cheques should be signed by the Treasurer.
September 25th, 1905: The Installation ceremony could not be proceeded as a letter had been received from the W.M. Elect indicating he was in Brighton for the benefit of his health; with true Masonic benevolence the Brethren present (all six of them!) hoped he would greatly benefit from the change. At the same meeting the Treasurer reported that several Brethren had omitted to pay their annual subscriptions, some being two years in arrears.
November 27th, 1905: a Candidate was Advanced for the first time since January, 1899, the ceremony being conducted by that stalwart supporter from Devon Lodge 215, W. Bro. H. Martin.
September 28th,1908: An historic occasion occurred, when the Installation Meeting was attended by the Provincial Grand Master, accompanied by several Brethren. This was the first time that the Lodge had been visited by a Provincial Grand Officer in the twenty-five years of its existence, and it should emphasise just how much we take for granted the dedicated service given by present-day Provincial Officers, whose regular visits are part of our everyday scene. The meeting was also noteworthy in that a Joining Member was proposed and seconded. Three further Joining Members were accepted on the 28th November, 1911.
April 19th, 1912: .Following thirty-seven meetings without an Advancement three Candidates were proposed and balloted for, followed by Advancement, One can surmise the feelings of the W. Master and loyal officers at the hope and thought that the tide was running for the better.
February 21st, 1913: Mark Masters Lecture was delivered for the first time in the Lodge by W. Bro. C. R. E. Dawes at the Advancement of Bro. Percy Collis.
July 11th, 1913: A Lodge of Emergency was held to Advance W.Bro. R. H. Hoskin. No record appears in the minutes that Bro. Hoskin was balloted for, but he obviously was a good Mason in that he eventually became Master of the Lodge.
September 10th, 1914: The Installation Meeting was the first held since the outbreak of the Great War, but no reference to this appears in the Minutes. An interesting communication is filed in the Minutes from the Grand Secretary indicating that if a Master-Elect was unable to attend for Installation due to Naval or military service at home or abroad he could be confirmed as a Past Master if the General Board so wished. Somewhat surprisingly no reference to the Great War appears in the Minutes for the whole duration of hostilities, not even at a Regular Meeting held three days after Armistice Day, the 11th November. 1918. An oblique reference appears in the Minutes of the19th April, 1918, when, in response to a solicitation for the Lodge to support the Freemasons War Hospital Fund, it was unanimously resolved to let the communication “lie on the table”.
September 17th, 1919: An important occasion was held when the Lodge hosted the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting. An entry in the Minutes of the 19th September 1919, records receipt of a letter from the Provincial Grand Secretary thanking the Brethren for the very hearty welcome which had been received; the Minutes also record a hearty Vote of Thanks to the Lodge Committee and to the Ladies who so successfully arranged the Reception.
November 19th, 1920: It is recorded that W.Bro. Andrews, P.M., P.Pr.G.Asst.Sec., asked the Worshipful Master to accept, from him, an Oak Panel containing the names and dates of office of those Brethren who had served as Masters of the Lodge. The W.M., W.Bro. W. R. Bright, accepted with great pleasure and it was resolved that a brass plate recording W.Bro. Andrews’ name should be fixed to the Panel.
November 19th, 1921: W.Bro. A.J.Cox retired from the office of Secretary after a long period of service. The Lodge Minutes state: “The Worshipful Master alluded to the great loss the Lodge had sustained from amongst its officers, although happily not from membership, on the retirement of W.Bro. A. J. Cox, PPrGJO., from the office of Secretary which he had held for a period of 15 years. W.Bro. Cox had been a staunch friend and supporter of the Lodge in its trials and difficulties. W.Bro. C.R.E. Dawes, Treasurer, and W.Bro. D.K. Sturdy, Organist. and W.Bro. E. Andrews, J.W., all spoke in feeling terms of their high appreciation of the retiring Secretary as a man and a Mason and of the great debt that the younger members of the Lodge owed to him for his continuing efforts. The proposal of the W.M., seconded by W.Bro. C.R.E. Dawes, Treasurer, that this expression of thanks and affection be recorded in the Minutes and communicated to W.Bro. A.J.Cox was carried unanimously and with enthusiasm. The Secretary expressed the great pleasure which he personally would feel in complying with the directions of the Lodge in this matter.”
February 17th, 1922: A further landmark in the organisation and discipline of the Lodge is revealed in the Minutes which reads: “Bro. E. H. Sagar, S.W., in proposing the formation of a Committee of General Purposes, expressed the wish to amplify the wording of Notice of Motion as printed on the Summons and the W.M. ruled the proposed addition as permissible. Bro. Sagar then moved,
W.Bro. D.R. Sturdy, Organist, seconded. Bro. H. J. Furler supported and the Brethren unanimously passed the following resolution ‘That a Committee of General Purposes, consisting of the W.M., P.M.s, Wardens and one Brother from the floor of the Lodge, be formed, to exercise the usual functions of such a Committee and that the names of intended Candidates for Advancement, or Joining, be submitted to that Committee before proposals in open Lodge “On the proposition of W.Bro. C.R.E. Dawes, Treasurer, seconded by Bro. H.J. Furler, S.D., Bro. H. W. Stanley, I.G., was elected to complete the Committee”
April 21st, 1922: the Brethren decided to do some thing to underline the name of the Lodge, i.e. benevolent charity. The Minutes record “The Worshipful Master invited discussion on a suggestion that a charity collection be taken after all meetings of the Lodge, this not hitherto having been customary. W.Bro. P. Collis, Chaplain, made a formal proposition that this practice be instituted. Bro. E. H. Sagar, Master-Elect, seconded this and it was unanimously accepted by the Brethren.”
(It is later recorded that after the same meeting the sum of 10/6d (52p) was collected for charity.)
Still on a charitable note it was decided on the 17th November, 1922 to elect a Charity Steward for the first time. The Minutes state “W.Bro. C.R.E. Dawes was elected a Charity Steward, it having been agreed that, although the amounts might be small owing to the support generally given by the Brethren to the Craft charities, a Charity Association should be formed in this Lodge.”
June 18th, 1923: A Lodge of Emergency was convened when the Lodge was honoured by a special visit of the Provincial Grand Master. R.W.Bro. George S. Strode-Strode, P.G.O., who: “addressing the Worshipful Master expressed his favourable opinion of the progress and working of the Lodge, and emphasised the high importance of exercising discrimination in proposing any Brother for Advancement into the Degree. He congratulated the following resolution, ‘That a Committee of General Purposes, consisting of the W.M., P.M.s, Wardens and one Brother from the floor of the Lodge, be formed, to exercise the usual functions of such a Committee and that the names of intended Candidates for Advancement, or Joining, be submitted to that Committee before proposals in open Lodge’
“On the proposition of W.Bro. C.R.E. Dawes, Treasurer, seconded by Bro. H.J. Furler, S.D., Bro. H. W. Stanley, I.G., was elected to complete the Committee.”
April 4th, 1925: On a topical note the Lodge voted, that a sum not exceeding Ten Guineas be paid from Lodge funds to assist Benevolent Craft Lodge 303 in the heavy expense incurred in restoring and redecorating the Lodge premises. In 1927 the Lodge voted the sum of £10 to the Benevolent Craft Lodge 303 as a contribution towards the installation of electric lighting in the Lodge building. Whilst even mindful of the needs of others the Lodge voted on the’ 16th February 1934, for the sum of £3-3s-3d to be given from Lodge funds ‘towards the cost of heating the Lodge room by electricity.
February 21st, 1930: Following a Grand Lodge Directive that every Lodge should be in possession of a Tracing Board, such an important item was displayed for the first time.
The Lodge celebrated its Jubilee in 1933 and in November of that year the Minute Books were sent to Grand Lodge for inspection so that application to wear a Jubilee Commemoration Jewel by the Brethren could be made. The Minutes of the 16th February. 1934, record that such authority was given.
September 21st, 1934: It is unusual in any organisation for a Treasurer to propose that an annual subscription be reduced, but this was the case when the Treasurer, W. Bro. C.B. Rayment, proposed that the annual subscription be reduced from 10/- (5Op) to 5/- (25p); however, after an amendment proposed by a Past Master the Brethren decided to continue at 10/-.
November 15th, 1935: “W. Bro. Rayment proposed and W.Bro. S.R. Davis seconded and it was resolved ‘that a suitable notice board be obtained for exhibiting Mark notices in the downstairs room, subject to permission being obtained from the Craft Lodge” The motion was carried at the next meeting on the 21st February, 1936.
November 20th, 1936: It would appear that some of the Brethren were letting their sartorial standards degenerate because the Secretary, W. Bro. O.M.G. Davies, proposed a motion changing the Bye-Laws, adding the words ‘The Brethren are requested to appear in dark morning dress, black tie, white gloves and proper Masonic regalia’. The motion was carried.”
(Nowhere in subsequent Minutes does a reversal of the motion, in so far as the reference to white gloves, appear.)
In 1939 the Provincial Grand Master once again honoured the Lodge by proposing to hold his annual meeting at Teignmouth on the 20th September, and a Committee comprising W. Bros. J. A. Sampson, C. B. Rayment, K. Coleman, H. Belcher, W. H. Bow, B. E. Russell, and Bros. Vanstone and A.F. Coleman, were appointed to make the necessary arrangements. However, the dark clouds of World War II were looming and were destined to erupt before the next meeting due on the 17th November, the Minutes of which state: “Owing to War breaking out between this country and Germany the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting was not held at Teignmouth as arranged, but a purely formal meeting for urgent business, pass accounts, etc., was held at Plymouth on that date”
February 16th, 1940: The first reference to the Teignmouth Freemasons Hall Co. Ltd. appears on the Minutes stating: “The Secretary read a letter from the Teignmouth Freemasons Hall Co. Ltd. who took over the Lodge premises from September last, asking this Lodge to pay them an annual rent of £5 for use of the building for their meetings, such rent to of course include heating and lighting; after discussion this was agreed to on the proposition of W. Bro. Russell, seconded by Bro. A.T. Coleman.”
April 19th, 1940: The Minutes record: “The Tyler, Bro. J. N. S. Short, having rejoined the Navy for the duration of the War, it was resolved, on the proposition of Bro. P. J. Scott, seconded by Bro. R.D. Moody, that the full year’s remuneration to November next be paid to him and the appointment of a successor was deferred until the June meeting”
February 21st, 1941: Teignmouth having had its first experience of War, the Brethren were obviously concerned at the safety of the Lodge Warrant, and the Secretary was asked to inquire from the Provincial Grand Secretary as to what steps were being taken by other Lodges; in the meantime the Craft 303 Lodge and Chapter using the premises would be consulted with a view to joint action.
April 18th, 1941: Bro. H. Belcher’s proposed & seconded by W. Bro. C.B. Rayment, “That an asbestos cylinder be obtained to preserve the Lodge Warrant and is deposited in a safe at Bro. G. Rossiter’s premises, and produced at meetings as required.”
February 19th, 1943: “Before the business of the evening was commenced the W. Master referred in feeling terms to the sad loss W. Bro. H. Coleman had sustained in the deaths of his Father, Mother and Wife, and W. Bro. O. M. G. Davies in the loss of his Wife, and the Brethren stood in silence as a token of their sympathy. W. Bro. Davies. being was present, thanked the W.M. and Brethren for their kind expression” The Minutes do not expressly say so, but subsequent research indicates that the sad losses were due to one of the many instances of enemy action at Teignmouth.
November 19th, 1943: A further instance of the times through which the Lodge was passing is revealed in the Minutes of the 1943, which reads: “It was resolved that, in consequence of the Register of Marks having been destroyed by enemy action, application be made to Grand Lodge for the Marks of present members of the Lodge that we’ have no record of.” The Minutes do not record the details of the enemy action.
February 18th, 1944: the Secretary reported he had received the Marks from Grand Lodge and it was resolved that a new Register be applied for.
November 16th, 1945: A distinguished Brother of the Lodge, W. Bro. O.M.G. Davies. PPrGW relinquished office as Secretary at the Installation Meeting held on the, the Minutes of which read: “The W.M. then referred to the decision of W. Bro. O.M.G. Davies, PPrGW., to retire from the Office of Secretary which he had held for sixteen years and during that time he had rendered magnificent service to Benevolent Mark Lodge No. 316, and the Brethren greatly appreciated and were deeply grateful for all that he had done” In 1983 we too should pay our respects to such a Brother because we owe the present Lodge, with all its harmony and good fellowship, to such of our predecessors as W. Bro. O.M.G. Davies. W. Bro. Davies received Grand Lodge honours in 1946.
February 15th, 1946: Although references in the Minutes to World War II are slight and, even then, often require interpretation, it is pleasing to note that the Worshipful Master “welcomed Bro. Moody on his return after six years service with the Forces. Bro. Moody expressed his pleasure in again meeting his Brethren.”
April 17th, 1946: The Provincial Grand Master, Rt.W.Bro. Col. C. B. Spencer P.G.O, O.B.E, T.D, visited the Lodge and, in addressing the Brethren, stated the last time he had visited the Lodge was 9½ years ago, six intervening years of which had been spent on active service in the Forces; he also remarked on the happy atmosphere in the Lodge.
In 1949: The Lodge was once again privileged and honoured to receive an invitation to host a Provincial Grand Lodge meeting, and on the 17th June a Committee consisting of the W.M., S.W., Treasurer, Secretary, SO. ,S.D., and W.Bro. O.M.G. Davies, was formed to make the necessary arrange for the meeting to be held on September 24th. On the 21st October, 1949, the W.M. thanked the Secretary and Brethren who had assisted in the arrangements, although no other details are recorded.
In 1951 the Secretary’s report: shows that the Lodge raised the excellent sum of £227-6s-l0d for the Mark Benevolent Fund Festival, a very gratifying response from a membership of 49.
February 23rd, 1953: W. Bro. E. A. Davies, Provincial Grand Organist, was thanked for organising the insertion of the Chants in the ceremonial, and the Worshipful Master commented on how much it had improved the ceremony. The opening and closing hymns were also introduced during 1953. It is difficult to visualise a Mark ceremony without the opening and closing hymns and the Chants, something we very much take for granted now.
March 20th, 1959: The Installation Meeting saw the end of a very long period of service as Treasurer by W. Bro. O.M.G. Davies, who had a very impressive record of service to the Lodge. Being Advanced in 1920, he was Master in 1927; he was Secretary for sixteen years and Treasurer for nine years. A truly impressive record of which anyone might feel proud. W. Bro. Davies was made an Honorary Member in October 1961, when he had completed forty years in Masonry.
June, 1962: A new honours board was fitted in the refectory in, and the Minutes record the congratulations given to W. Bro. E. G. G. Shimell and his staff “for the exquisite work”.
In 1963: The Minutes record that the annual subscription should be raised from 15 shillings (75p) to £1.00; it is recorded that the Immediate Past Master spoke at length outlying the several reasons to justify the increase, but these do not appear in the Minutes apart from the one of entertaining visiting Brethren (!)
In 1966: Finance, as always, is an ever present problem, the Treasurer requested a special and immediate donation of 10/- (50p) per member to meet rising costs which included an increase in Grand Mark Lodge dues. The subscription was increased from £1.00 to £1-l0s-0d (£1.50) (£2.00—1970, £3.00—1974).
In 1967: the Lodge resolved that a Past Master’s Jewel should be presented to all retiring Masters.
June 21st, 1968: The first reference to a Ladies Festival appears in the Minutes of the
April 19th, 1973: A very important decision was made at the Regular Meeting held when the Lodge decided to sponsor the formation of a Royal Ark Mariners Lodge and the petition was signed on that day. The proposal was made by Bro. J. A. Turner and seconded by W. Bro. E. C. Sant, P.Pr.G.R.
Triple Keystone Lodge: Throughout the years the Brethren have always responded well’ to the financial demands of charity and other reasons, as witness that the Lodge.The first Keystone was earned following the 1931 appeal for funds to finance Grand Mark Hall, whilst, ever mindful of the needs of Grand Lodge and our London Brethren, the second and third Keystones were achieved when the second appeal was made for another Grand Lodge Hall in 1976.
Devon Lodge of M.M.M. 215: A special mention must be made of the help and support given to the Lodge by. 215. Words cannot entirely express the debt we owe them, our continued existence is due to the untiring support they have provided over the years, in particular during the first twenty-five years; many entries appear in the Minutes where thanks are recorded for their help. W. Bro. H. Martin, of 215, presided over the very first meeting and also performed the Installation ceremonies for many years.
A very happy practice is the annual fraternal exchange visits made between the Lodge and Ashburton Lodge 1038. These visits are well supported and much enjoyed and enhances the warm companionship and goodwill which exists between the two Lodges.