Origins of New Broomfield Lodge
The New Broomfield Lodge is relatively young in Masonic terms, but it is hoped that this history will serve as reminder of many happy times to the older Brethren and as an introduction to the history of the lodge for the younger masonic brethren.
Most of the detailed information contained in this brief history is taken directly from the pages of the original minutes books. They have been preserved with dedicated care as a testimony to the efforts of our founding brethren.
The history of the New Broomfield Lodge commences in an era when Freemasonry was experiencing a level of popularity such that in the latter part of 1950, some Brethren of the Broomfield Lodge No 4411 realised that the number of members in that Lodge was such that junior members and initiates stood little, if any chance of attaining the office of Worshipful Master within a reasonable timespan.
Consequently they decided to explore the possibility of forming a new Lodge.
Accordingly, some twenty Master Masons were invited to a meeting at an office in Orange Street, London, W1, held at 8p.m. on 15 November 1950.
In the event, 17 of those members attended the meeting, while the other three sent their apologies for their non-attendance, but offered their support.
About fourteen of those present were members of the Broomfield Lodge.
By general consent W Bro Garrard was invited to act as chairman of that meeting, whilst W Bro Large was asked to act as Secretary.
A discussion took place with regard to any costs likely to be incurred in forming a new Lodge, and it was unanimously agreed that each founding member be requested to contribute 25 guineas to a fund for this purpose.
The format of the Letter of Application to Grand Lodge, requesting permission to form a new Lodge, was considered. A draft letter covering these details was produced by the Chairman and agreed to
by all in attendance. As the largest number of Brethren present were members of the Broomfield Lodge, it was agreed to request that Lodge to act as the sponsor to the Application.
After much discussion with regard to the ritual to be used, it was agreed that the new Lodge should use the Emulation form of working.
Proposals for the name of the new Lodge were considered and the members present finally settled on a shortlist which was, in order of preference
- Fiat Lux
No record can be found to substantiate the derivation of any of these names with particular reference to the new Lodge. It was agreed to put these names to Grand Lodge for consideration.
Attention was directed to a possible venue for meetings, but no decisions were taken.
Consideration was given to the proposed structure of the list of the First officers of the new Lodge and subsequent discussion resulted in the unanimous approval of the following
Worshipful Master W Bro L A Garrard
Senior Warden W Bro R Crisp
Junior Warden Bro R H White
Acting IPM W Bro J G Keene
Chaplain W Bro C H Harrison
Director of Ceremonies W Bro Amy
Assistant Secretary Bro Lofting
Assistant D of C Bro Ashton
Almoner Bro Walker
Treasurer Bro Sylvester
Senior Deacon Bro Pascoe
Junior Deacon Bro Henderson
Inner Guard Bro Main
Senior Steward Bro Burdett
Stewards Bro Kell
It was decided to limit the new Lodge membership to a maximum of fifty fully paid up members for the time being, this to be subject to future consideration.
Joining Members would be required to pay a joining fee of ten guineas with the reservation that a Joining Member who had passed through the Chair of another Lodge would not be considered for the Chair of this Lodge.
W Bro Crisp was requested to make further enquiries from Grand Lodge on matters relating to the Founding of a New Lodge.
A series of meetings were held over a period of several months to promote and further the formation of the new Lodge. During this time, among many other items of note, W Bro Ted Hartfree and W Bro Keene, Worshipful Master and Secretary respectively of the Broomfield Lodge, expressed their interest in becoming, and were accepted as, Founding Members of the Lodge.
Bros Falconer, Ryman and Walker all noted that due to unforeseen and personal circumstances, they would be unable to continue as Founding Members and their resignations were accepted with regret, by all.
With these modifications, the proposed list of First Officers was agreed.
A Temple had been found available at Wingfield House, South Lambeth Road, Stockwell, and the Brethren agreed that this seemed to be acceptable. Accordingly, it was felt that formal representations should be made to Grand Lodge regarding the formation of the new Lodge, and W Bro Crisp, Bro Burdett and Bro Ashton were deputed to attend on Grand Lodge with a view to presenting a formal petition.
In September of 1951, several meetings ensued between those three Members and Grand Lodge. Following the acceptance of a suggestion made by Grand Lodge that a more appropriate title for the new Lodge would be New Broomfield Lodge, progress in the application was discussed.
Towards the end of April 1952 a notice was circulated to all interested parties noting, with great pleasure that the Grand Secretary had advised that the petition had been favourably considered, that the name of New Broomfield Lodge had been approved, and that the number 7189 had been allocated. The letter gave notice that a meeting of all concerned would be held at the Orange Street offices at 6p.m. on 16 May 1952.
At that meeting, on 16 May 1952, it was announced that the Grand Secretary, the Right Worshipful Sir Sydney White KCVO PGW, had graciously consented to conduct the Consecration Ceremony and that it would take place at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2, at 3p.m. on Monday 23 June 1952.
Notices to that effect were issued to all the Brethren concerned, together with invitations to many other Brethren who were invited as guests, either of the Lodge and/or members of the Lodge.
At the appointed time and place, the Consecration Ceremony was conducted, and W Bro L A Garrard was installed as first Master by the Consecrating Officer, R W Sir Sydney White KCVO PGW.
There having been a few alterations to the proposed list of First Officers since the original list was formulated, the following Brethren were then installed in their respective offices
Acting IPM – W Bro J G Keene
Senior Warden – W Bro H T Large
Junior Warden – Bro R H White
Treasurer – W Bro E S Hartfree
Secretary – W Bro R Crisp
Director of Ceremonies – W Bro J A Jarvis
Senior Deacon – Bro E A Mair
Junior Deacon – Bro H Burdett
Almoner – W Bro R Amy
Inner Guard – Bro F W Cox
Steward – Bro F J Ridgway
Tyler – W Bro W E Smith
W Bro Harrison was unable to attend the meeting due to unavoidable personal circumstances and his investment as Chaplain was deferred until a future date, to be ascertained.
Thus had many months of letter writing, negotiations, meetings and telephone calls and, at times, frustrations, finally matured, and the New Lodge was formed.
At the first Regular meeting of the Lodge, held at Wingfield House, South Lambeth Road, London, SW8, on 4 October 1952, being present at the meeting, W Bro C H Harrison was duly installed as Chaplain of the Lodge. Also at that meeting, Bro A S Slaughter, Bro T W Gifford and Bro R J Henderson were elected as Joining Members, and were introduced to the Master and Wardens with due ceremony.
The Lodge continued to grow in strength, and at the fourth Regular Meeting had achieved a total membership of twenty two, including Officers.
By the time that the tenth Regular meeting was held (at Wingfield House) membership of the Lodge had grown to twenty nine, plus six Honorary members. At that meeting, it was announced that dispensation had been received from Grand Lodge for a relocation of the meeting venue for the Lodge. A vote was held which resulted in a majority decision that the Lodge should meet at Flemings Restaurant 307 Oxford Street in future, but that it was necessary to meet on the fourth Monday in each of the named months until it could be arranged for the Lodge to revert to their usual Saturday dates.
Flemings Restaurant, now called Ormer Mayfair
By reason of the fact that the premises at 307 Oxford Street were no longer available, due to a change in ownership, it was necessary for the venue for future meeting s to be changed to the Dominions Hotel at Lancaster Gate, London, W2, the first meeting at this address being the eighteenth Regular meeting held on 15 October 1955.
The Saturday venue had been reinstated, and it was unanimously approved that future meeting be held at this hotel on the following Saturdays
Fourth in September (Installation)
Third in October
Third in December
Second in February
Fourth in April (election)
Up to the present day
From its consecration on 23 June 1952, active membership had increased to thirty six by the end of 1960, and it was by no means unusual for there to be up to fifteen or more Visiting Brethren at the Festive Board.
As Members circumstances change, it is worthy to note that geography is not always a hindrance to Lodge attendance and activity. As Junior Warden in 1989, W Bro Ian Richardson returned to live and work in his native Newcastle, and was elected to the Chair of New Broomfield Lodge in 1990. Since moving, he has missed no more than five Regular Meetings, and became the Lodge Director of Ceremonies, as well as being a Past Master of a Lodge in Newcastle. W Bro Ian then took office as Lodge Treasurer which he continued to occupy until 2018 having given phenomenal service to the Lodge.
On 10 November 1993, W Bro Reg Crisp, who was a founder member of the Lodge, and our first Secretary, was called to Grand Lodge above. At an extraordinary Meeting held on Friday 26 November 1993, W Bro Naren Ramiah was elected Secretary to be appointed at our following installation Meeting, a post he then passed on to W.Bro Sanjay Gohil who held the post for 10 years from 2009 to 2019 exemplifying his commitment to the Craft and to New Broomfield Lodge. In 2019 W.Bro Rajiv Vyas was elected Secretary.
At the September 2000 meeting, the Secretary noted that, as circumstances dictated, we would no longer be able to hold our meetings at the Park Court Hotel, he had made enquiries about an alternative venue. From about 20 enquiries, it appeared that the most sensible meeting place would the West London Masonic Centre in Ealing. This was put to the vote and carried unanimously.
Dispensation was given to hold our first meeting at the West London Masonic Centre on 5 May 2001, with the first regular meeting being held on 15 September 2001.
West London Masonic Centre, Churchfield House, Churchfield Road, Ealing W13 9NF
With the change of venue, some change was made to the meeting dates also, which are now:
3rd Saturday in September (Installation)
3rd Saturday in November
2nd Saturday in February
1st Saturday in June (election)
The New Broomfield Lodge has seen many changes during its last 67 years, but now, more than ever, Freemasonry in general, and London Lodges in particular, are experiencing a number of difficulties. Foremost of these for our Lodge is recruiting and retaining new members.
However, we have a solid core of dedicated Brethren, and are sure that our move to the West London Masonic Centre will assist in making the next sixty-seven years as interesting and successful as the last sixty-seven years.
If you are interested in joining our Lodge, please use the contact form and we will be back in touch as soon as we can.