The Rutland Lodge of Freemasons, which meets in Melton Mowbray, has celebrated its 150th anniversary.
More than 90 Freemasons attended the event at Freemasons’ Hall, Wicklow Lodge, to mark the milestone – which only five other Masonic lodges in the province of Leicestershire and Rutland celebrate have reached.
The lodge also welcomed the Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, David Hagger, along with his provincial officers.
During the meeting, lodge secretary Keith Harkness gave a talk on the ‘Highlights from the History of the Lodge’.
The Rutland Lodge was consecrated on October 19, 1866, at the George Hotel, High Street, Melton Mowbray, by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire and Rutland, William Kelly.
It was named after His Grace the Duke of Rutland, the cousin of the first Master, George Norman, Squire of Goadby Marwood. The lodge was given permission by the Duke of Rutland to use the Arms of the Duke on the lodge banner.
In the days before street lighting, the lodge originally met on days of the full moon to enable the members to find their way home by light of the moon but now meets eight times a year on the first Thursday evening in the months between October and May.
The lodge met at the George Hotel for 44 years and then subsequently at the Colles Hall, Burton Street, Young Men’s Institute Hall in Market Place, Egerton Lodge, the Corn Exchange, and has met at its current home at Wicklow Lodge since 1951.
Everyone present at the meeting was given a hardbound copy of ‘The Sesquicentennial Festival 1866-2016’ which was compiled by Mr Harkness and designed by Mike Rawson.
Mr Hagger said: “The 150 years of this lodge, since its consecration in 1866, are ample proof of the dedication shown by the brethren in Melton Mowbray to our great order.
“As the lodge travels its masonic pathway, I’m sure the brethren will display that same devotion and dedication in the future. I, and the Masonic Province of Leicestershire and Rutland, wish them well.”