- TORBAY MARK LODGE, No. 584, meeting at the Masonic Temple, Paignton (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 27th June 1906.
- ST. GEORGE LODGE OF ROYAL ARK MARINERS, No. 383, meeting at the Erme Masonic Hall, Ivybridge (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 11th May 1907.
- SIR FRANCIS DRAKE MARK LODGE, No. 617, meeting at the Manadon Masonic Hall, Crownhill, Plymouth (Double Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 21st January 1910.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS ST. AUBYN, No. 64, meeting at the St. Aubyn Masonic Hall, Stoke, Devonport, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 4th June 1918.
- PLEIADES MARK LODGE, No. 675, meeting at the Masonic Hall, Totnes (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 24th June 1918.
- STRODE MARK LODGE, No. 696, meeting at the St. Aubyn Masonic Hall, Stoke, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 21st July 1919.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS ST. GEORGE, No. 15, meeting at the Freemasons Hall, Exeter (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 5th August 1920.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS STRODE, No. 696, meeting at the Queen Victoria Masonic Hall, St. Budeaux, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Consecration – 8th December 1920.
- THE DARTMOUTH MARK LODGE, No. 737, meeting at the “Hauley” Masonic Hall, Dartmouth (Double Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 18th May 1921.
- ROYAL ARK MARINERS ST. NICHOLAS LODGE, No. 540, meeting at the Masonic Temple, Ilfracombe (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 12th April 1922.
- UNITY MARK LODGE, No. 783, meeting at the Masonic Hall, Crediton (Double Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant 29th January 1923.
- CAPUT ANGULI MARK LODGE, No. 798, meeting at the St. Aubyn Masonic Hall, Stoke, Plymouth (Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – January 1924.
- PERSEVERANCE MARK LODGE, No. 822, meeting at the Masonic Hall, Sidmouth (Double Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 16th July 1925.
- AMITY MARK LODGE, No. 849, meeting at the Freemasons’ Hall, Exmouth (Double Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant – 4th July 1927.
- THE ATHELSTAN MARK LODGE, No. 958, meeting at the Masonic Hall, Topsham (Triple Keystone Lodge) – Date of Warrant 2nd October 1936.
In 1905, W Bro Strode, now Major G S Strode Strode, was installed as Provincial Grand Master, an office he filled for almost four decades, including the First World War and the major part of the Second.
Following his installation, he appointed as his Deputy, W Bro Matthew Fortescue.
During his time in office, ten Mark Lodges were warranted and five Royal Ark Mariner Lodges.
The ten Mark Lodges were: Torbay Mark Lodge, No. 586; Sir Francis Drake Mark Lodge, No. 617; Pleides Mark Lodge, No. 675; Strode Mark Lodge, No. 696; The Dartmouth Mark Lodge No. 737; Unity Mark Lodge, No. 783; Caput Anguli Mark Lodge, No. 798; Perseverance Mark Lodge No. 822; Amity Mark Lodge, No. 849 and the Athelston Mark Lodge, No. 958.
Together with the five Royal Ark Mariner Lodges, namely: St. George Lodge of RAM, No. 383; Royal Ark Mariners St. Aubyn, No. 64; St. George RAM, No. 15; Strode RAM, No. 696 and St. Nicholas Lodge RAM No. 540.
The Jubilee Celebration of the Province was held at Freemasons Hall, Plymouth on Wednesday 20th May 1908, at a Movable Grand Lodge, when the Most Worshipful the Rt Hon the Earl of Euston, Provincial Grand Master, opened Grand Lodge in ample form.
In his address, our Provincial Grand Master gave a past history of the Province, he then went on to refer to the occasion as a unique record, it being the second Movable Grand Lodge to be held in Devonshire, no other Province having been so honoured.
Rt W Bro Major Strode Strode went on to express his gratitude and that of the Province for the presence of Grand Lodge before informing them that there were now twenty three Lodges in the Province, with a membership of 700.
In his reply, the Provincial Grand Master congratulated the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire on the occasion of their Jubilee and concluded that from his heart he wished prosperity and progress in the future with a large increase in numbers from men of good report.
At the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting held at the Masonic Temple, Tor Hill Road, Torquay on Wednesday 9th September 1908, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, on behalf of the Province, presented the Provincial Grand Master with a handsome illuminated address, together with an album containing the names of the subscribers. He congratulated the Province, which was now the senior Province in the Kingdom, on the attainment of its Jubilee and the high standards which, he considered, were attributable to the zeal and devotion of the Provincial Grand Master.
The address was headed Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire 1857-1907 and concluded “We, therefore, beg your kind acceptance of an Album in which our names are inscribed, together with this illuminated Address embodying our sincere expressions of lasting esteem and brotherly love”.
Signed: P T Pearce, President
W Powell, Treasurer
C Wilson, Secretary
In his reply, the Provincial Grand Master expressed his heartfelt thanks that the work he had carried out in the Province had been appreciated and that the brethren had so valued it that they had thus made a permanent record of the same; but that he had only tried, as he believed all had, to do his duty. He thanked one and all for the kind thoughts which had prompted this action.
At the request of W Bro P T Pearce, the Vice Chairman of the Jubilee Commemoration Committee, the Provincial Grand Master presented a silver tea pot to W Bro W Powell (Treasurer) and a silver cigar case to W Bro C Wilson (Secretary) as a token of appreciation of their services in connection with the celebration of the Jubilee in the Province.
In making the presentations, the Provincial Grand Master expressed his appreciation of the arrangements made by the committee for the reception of the Movable Grand Lodge and for the Banquet which followed.
He went on to thank all those who had formed the committee, all of whom had at all times given him loyal and faithful service.
In turn, W Bros Powell and Wilson expressed their sincere thanks for the handsome presents.
W Bro Scholes, the Worshipful Master of Jordan Lodge No. 319, presented on behalf of the Lodge, copies of the “Hughan” Medal, specially framed in oak, to the Provincial Grand Master, his Deputy and the Provincial Grand Secretary, as a souvenir of the meeting of Provincial Grand Mark Lodge in Torquay.
The Provincial Grand Master, in winding up the meeting, informed the brethren that the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, on the recommendation of the General Board, are pleased to permit Mark Masons who are subscribing members of a Lodge in the Province of Devonshire, to wear a Jewel struck to commemorate it’s Jubilee, which had previously been submitted to and approved by the General Board.
No Brother who is not a subscribing member is entitled to wear this jewel.
At the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in September 1911, illness prevented the PGM from attending, his Deputy presided over it with mixed feelings – regret at the reason which prevented the attendance of
R W Br Strode, but at the same time pleasure at presiding over Provincial Grand Lodge as the meeting was being held at Newton Abbot in the very lodge in which he had occupied the chair of Adoniram a few years earlier.
W Bro Fortescue died in 1912 and the resulting vacant chair of Deputy in the Province was filled by the appointment of V W Bro James William Sleigh Godding, MA, JP, a Past Master of Sir Francis Drake Lodge, No. 617.
At the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting on Wednesday 28th October 1914, W Bro Sholto Hare, PAGIG, presented Provincial Grand Lodge with a Sword of State, one of a number he presented to Provincial Grand Lodges with whom he had a connection.
In accepting the gift on behalf of Provincial Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master stated that they ere living in warlike times, but that he earnestly hoped that the Sword would always remain in its scabbard, and that, so far as they were concerned, they would never lose sight of the emblem of Peace on the hilt ... the Cross.
Despite the weary years of war with the inevitable tragedies, Provincial Grand Lodge continued to hold meetings but these were quite obviously depleted by the absence of many brethren on active service, nevertheless there was a steady growth in membership of Freemasonry, due no doubt to the fact that men were conscious of the fact that they were fighting for the very privileges that form the bedrock of Freemasonry.
By 1919 the total membership of Mark Master Masons in the Province stood at 1,200, during the last year alone there had been 177 advancements.
At the first meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge after the war, the Provincial Grand Master declared that the Mark Degree had never been so flourishing, however, this was not to last and numbers fluctuated due, in some measure, to brethren who were advanced during the war leaving the county and many leaving the country.
The war had raged on for four long years during which time Masonry stood, as never before, as a symbol of hope, a friendly light at the end of a very long and dark passage.
With peace restored, the Western World prospered and along with it, Freemasonry.
Who at that time could have foreseen that just twenty one years later the dreams and aspirations of the people of Europe were once more shattered with the declaration of war once again and that it would turn out to be a World War.
At the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge held at the Parish Hall, Teignmouth on Wednesday 17th September 1919, it was announced by the Provincial Grand Secretary that the Warrant of a new Lodge to be known as the Strode Lodge No. 696, to meet at St. Budeaux, Plymouth, had been granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
He went on to state that the new Lodge would be blessed with a record number of Founder, thirty one, he congratulated them on the name chosen for the Lodge which should start it off under the happiest auspices.
The Provincial Grand Lodge meeting the following year on Wednesday 22nd September 1920, held at the Public Hall, Paignton, at which the Provincial Grand Secretary read out a letter regarding the Mark Benevolent Fund Festival which had taken place in June 1920. The letter congratulated the Province and picked out for special mention the youngest Lodge in the Province, namely Strode No. 696, which had marked its first year of existence by sending up seven Stewards along with the very handsome sum of £52.10.0, the total subscribed by the Province was £155.10.0.
The Secretary concluded “I certainly know of one Lodge which subscribed Fifty Guineas in their first year of existence, I cannot recall another”.
On Wednesday 21st September 1921, the Dartmouth Lodge No. 737, was consecrated in the morning and Provincial Grand Lodge held its meeting in the afternoon under the banner of Dartmouth Lodge, a unique occasion.
During this meeting, the Provincial Secretary paid tribute to W Bro P T Pearce, PAGDC, and W Bro Sholto Hare, PAGIG, both of whom had been enthusiastic in MMM’s and did much work for the Order.
At the 1922 meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Secretary reported that a Petition was before the Board of General Purposes from the Lodge of Friendship, No. 16, requesting that it might be recognised as a Time Immemorial Lodge and that the No. 16 was allotted to the Lodge when a Warrant of Confirmation was granted in the year 1862 and suggested that this Warrant should be abandoned. The Lodge as working prior to 1871 and possessed Minute Books to prove it, furthermore, in a Book of Constitutions issued by Grand Lodge in 1864, the Lodge was stated as being a Time Immemorial Lodge.
As Devon was recognised as the Senior Provincial Grand Lodge, its status would be further enhanced by numbering amongst its Lodges, a Time Immemorial Lodge.
It was reported the following year that the Petition had not been granted; there was no question whatsoever that the Lodge is, in fact, a Time Immemorial Lodge, that was beyond doubt, but the Board of General Purposes knew of other Lodges in the Country which had been given numbers could also have claimed Time Immemorial status and they were therefore unable to create a precedent.
By 1934 the Provincial Grand Master, in addressing the assembly at Provincial Grand Lodge, announced that he was seriously concerned by the fact that the Province was not (as he put it) doing its duty to the Grand Lodge New Premises Fund ... in 1930, he reminded the Brethren, a Resolution had been passed “That this meeting recommends the individual Lodges and Brethren to support the Building Scheme of Grand Lodge to the best of their ability”.
This of course was in addition to the Mark Benevolent Fund Festival held on 16th May 1934, which was wholeheartedly supported ... he appealed to the Brethren for increased efforts.
By the next meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, the Provincial Grand Master stated that the increased contributions of the New Premises Fund following his appeal the previous year, had given him much pleasure.
At the 1936 meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, it was reported that W Bro William Bates, PGD, Past Master and Secretary of Sir Francis Drake Lodge, No. 617, had been elected to the distinguished and important Office of Grand Treasurer ... the Office had never before been held by a Brother from Devon, the Office made V W Bro Bates a member of the General Board of Grand Lodge.
Once again in 1937 the Provincial Grand Master, in his address to the Brethren at the Provincial Meeting, expressed the earnest hope that there would be no falling off of contributions to the GL Premises Fund, especially in view of the fact that some lodges had contributed their full quota, others had not done so, he went so far as to state that this was the 34th occasion on which he had presided over Provincial Grand Lodge and during those 34 years no appeal that he had made to the Brethren had been in vain.
In spite of this, by 1938 the Province had realised only circa 62% of the £8,000 quota.
All this was set aside in September 1939, the day after war was declared an order was made suspending all Masonic activities, however, once a pattern emerged, Grand Lodge and the Provinces consulted, this resulted in the Order being rescinded with a proviso that no meetings were to be held on Sundays, Brethren were to assemble in morning dress (not evening dress as was the pre-war custom), meetings were to be held as early in the day as possible and festive proceedings were to be kept brief and simple.
Many lodges, principally in Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay were damaged during the blitz and records destroyed.
Powers were given to Provincial Grand Masters authorising them for Lodges to move their meeting places as enemy action damaged and, in some instances, completely destroyed premises.
The majority of Devon Lodges deposited their Warrants in bank vaults, but even this proved futile in some cases, particularly in Plymouth where banks and their strong rooms were completely destroyed.
Exeter was blitzed in 1941 and the Provincial Grand Secretary’s office was destroyed.
In his report at the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge, held at the Washington-Singer Hall, University College of the South-West, Exeter on 17th September 1941, the Provincial Grand Secretary reported that, as a consequence of his office being destroyed as a result of enemy action during the past year, a formal claim for compensation in respect of Regalia lost had been filed.
The following year, Provincial Grand Lodge met at Tavistock on 19th August 1942, the Provincial Grand Secretary reported that the War Damage Claim in respect of compensation for Regalia and affects destroyed by enemy action, had been settled in the sum of £80.00.
The position was bleak, everything in short supply or unobtainable, permission was sought and given for newly advanced brethren to attend their Mark Lodges dressed in Master Masons aprons in the event of it being impossible to obtain a Mark apron, be it new or second hand, during advancement ceremonies. However, candidates had to be invested in a Mark Apron and Jewel even if it meant borrowing one just for the occasion.
The Provincial Grand Master was a wise capable and popular ruler.
At the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in 1943, the Provincial Grand Master, now in his eighty third year announced his intention to retire from Office, one into which he had been installed in 1904.