Verulam Lodge has a long history of supporting those less fortunate in the community, and there are occasions when lodge members are recognised for their commitment to Freemasonary over long periods. This year W Bro Roy Shadbolt was awarded a certificate of service for his work as a mason for 60 years.
Soon after World War II ended in 1945, a number of freemasons decided to form a new lodge. Twelve of those present, who were to be the founders, were members of St Albans Lodge No 2786. On October 20th, 1945 the Lodge was consecrated by the R. W Provincial Grand Master, Bro Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey, GCMG, GCVO, KCIE, CB, PGW, who, for many years was equerry to Edward Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII.
The Verulam Lodge No 6131, joined the growing number of lodges that meet at Ashwell House, in St Albans and has historic links with this building, as the founders of both our mother lodge and grandmother lodges (St Albans & Halsey) were instrumental in the purchase of the building for the sum of £750. In order to develop it as a Masonic Temple, a sum of £3,750 was raised for the restoration by both these lodges and members of other Masonic orders.
During the ceremony the Provincial Grand Chaplain W. Bro. Revd. F. W. Ferrars gave what was described as a delightful oration on the nature and principles of the institution. At the investiture of the officers W. Bro Charles Storer, a founder and member of the Crusaders Lodge No 1671 was appointed Secretary, a position he held for 21 years. In 1947 W. Bro. W. G. Hall, another founder from St Albans Lodge was appointed Almoner, an office which he also held for 21 years. Since that time our links with St Albans Lodge have been maintained. As at our installation meeting it is our custom to invite the reigning Master of our mother Lodge to occupy the chair of Inner Guard.
The Lodge Banner was dedicated on 16th September 1950 by R. W. Bro. Revd. Canon Frederick Halsey. MA. PGCh, Provincial Grand Master. The Banner based on a scene of St Albans includes the letter “V” which for many years was thought to represent Verulam, but this was not the case. The Second World War had so recently ended it was decided to include a tribute to brethren who gave their lives in the defence of their Country, the letter “V” for victory was therefore incorporated into the design. It is interesting to note there is an anomaly regarding the actual date of the consecration, the records show the date to be 27th October 1945, whilst our banner records the date as 20th October 1945. The records of course reflect the true date.
The Master was W. Bro. S. F. Richardson, PPGReg, and the first full meeting took place on 16th March 1946. The ceremony was naturally the First Degree and Bro E. R. Bone became the first Initiate. In 1952 when Bro Bone was Senior Warden, sadly for personal reasons he stood down and unfortunately didn’t progress to be Master. The Lodge’s second Initiate Bro G. H. Stebbings did however progress and in 1953 was installed.
The accounts for the first year make interesting reading today. The subscription was £5.5s.0d (£5.25) Initiation Fee £15.15s.0d (£15.75) and Joining Fee of £10.10s (£10.50). A stock of wine was held with a value of £18.9s.2d (£18.46). The Treasurer Bro. L. Rance, another Founder from St Albans Lodge reported a surplus of £82.1s.11p (£82.10)
The Lodge continues to thrive, and today has 28 members from a wide range of backgrounds.