Meetings: 4th Monday – October, November, January, February, March, April
Installation: 4th Monday – September
Secretary: Nigel Ainsworth : L6984@westlancsfreemasons.org.uk
The First Fifty Years
The Consecration of De Bon Cuer Lodge No 6984 was held at the Masonic Hall, Towngate, Leyland, on 17 October 1950. There were 124 Brethren present when at 2.30pm the Consecrating Officer, Right Worshipful, Bro WSS Hannay PGW, Deputy Provincial Grand Master accompanied by the Installing Master, WBro Ashton Davies PGD, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and other Officers of Grand and Provincial Grand Lodge entered in due form. The Lodge was Consecrated according to ancient custom.
WBro Rev TB Heaton PPrG Chaplain was Installed as the first Worshipful Master, WBro Roy Redman, PPrGDC was appointed Senior Warden and Bro James Ingham was appointed Junior Warden.
Subsequent meetings were held at The Institute, Church Brow, Walton le Dale, which was also used by our Mother Lodge, St. Leonards Lodge No 6132. At the first meeting on 20 November 1950, Bro GP Williams became a Joining Member and Mr. Arthur Ryding and Mr. Stephen Webster were the first candidates to be initiated into the Lodge. Prospective candidates for membership were so plentiful in the early years that double ceremonies were quite common.
The lodge room had to be set up on the day of the meeting and put back into store when the lodge had completed it’s business. Then dining tables were erected, chairs put in place, crockery and cutlery set out and everything made ready for the festive board. Whilst all this was going on the visiting brethren and some of our senior brethren made their way to the local pubs to have a quiet drink! No doubt the “White Bull” at the bottom of Church Brow. There were no facilities to cook food on the premises so a local caterer provided a three course hot meal which the Lodge Stewards served to the brethren and as the Institute did not have a licence to sell alcohol the Lodge purchased crates of beer from Whalley’s off – Licence in School lane, Bamber Bridge and the beer was distributed free to the brethren.
In practice the cost of the beer was added to the cost of the meal to overcome this difficulty. At the end of the evening the room had to be cleared again and left clean and tidy for use the next day. The Stewards really had to work hard in those days.
The Lodge was very happy at The Institute until 1958 when rumours began to circulate that it was to close its doors. A letter from the Secretary of the Walton le Dale Institute informed the lodge that their present lease would expire in September 1960 and that there was no reason to expect the closure of the premises before that date. In the light of this information and at a meeting of Past Masters and Wardens it was resolved that the Lodge Secretary, WBro R Greenall should obtain full information from the Secretary of Leyland Masonic Hall regarding the financial commitments and if suitable accommodation dates would be available. At the next meeting of Past Masters and Wardens on the 14 November 1958 the Secretary read a letter from the Secretary of the Leyland Masonic Hall Association which included the charges and conditions for member lodges and indicated that the requested dates for lodge and practice meetings were currently available.
After discussion the following resolution was agreed, “That the Past Masters of De Bon Cuer Lodge are resolved to recommend to their members that this Lodge moves to Leyland Masonic Hall for all Lodge meetings. On the 17 November 1958 there was a joint meeting of the Past Masters and Wardens of St Leonard’s Lodge No 6132 and De Bon Cuer Lodge No 6984 to discuss the change of venue, St Leonard’s Lodge decided to stay at the Institute whilst De Bon Cuer Lodge made the decision to move to Leyland.
At a regular meeting of De Bon Cuer Lodge on the 24 November 1958 the following Notice of Motion was given by WBro James Ingham PPrGD “That the Lodge meetings of De Bon Cuer Lodge No 6984 be held at the Masonic Hall, Leyland as soon as possible after approval has been received from the Grand and Provincial Grand Masters to the following alteration to the Lodge By-laws.
By-Law No 1
The Lodge shall meet at the Masonic Hall Leyland on the 4th Monday in the months of September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May at such time as the Master shall direct.
Further to that Notice of Motion at the next regular meeting on the 22 December 1958, WBro J Ingham PPrGD proposed and WBro W Goupe seconded the proposition. The visiting brethren were invited to retire whilst the matter was being discussed. After discussion a ballot was taken and the proposition was carried by 23 votes to 6. This was the 74th and last meeting of De Bon Cuer lodge at Walton le Dale Institute.
Following approval by the Grand and Provincial Grand Master to the change of venue and By-Laws, the Lodge met for the first time at Leyland on the 26 January 1959, the Worshipful Master being Bro George Probert Williams. The first candidate to be initiated into De Bon Cuer Lodge at Leyland Masonic Hall was Mr. James Leslie Ingham.
Following the sale of the Towngate Masonic Hall in 1989 and the construction of our new purpose built premises at Wellington Park another chapter was opened in the history of Leyland Masonic Hall and on the 24 September 1990, De Bon Cuer Lodge had the distinction of being the first Lodge to hold an Installation Meeting at Wellington Park.
Unfortunately the Masonic Rooms on the first floor were not ready for use so the Installation was held in the “‘Richmond Suite” on the ground floor. The Lodge furniture was brought into the room, the chequered carpet was laid and all the other equipment put into their respective places. One or two modifications had to be made however, wax candles were used on the Pedestal Columns because of a lack of power points in the room, and the windows in the entrance door had to be covered with thick brown paper.
The Instal1ation ceremony was a great success and the Worshipful Master, Bro Clifford F Morton duly installed the Master Elect, Bro John Edward Lowe into the chair of King Solomon. Significantly the Representative of the Provincial Grand Master on that occasion was WBro John Blackstone PAGDC, Chairman of the Leyland and District Group of Lodges.
It is interesting to note that we have now enjoyed over 41 years of friendship and fellowship at both Leyland Masonic Halls. The Lodge has had two Grand Officers during its fifty years in the Leyland Group, WBro Lt. Colonel Rudolf Ord MBE PGD who was the Principal Founder of the Lodge in 1950, and WBro Roy Redman PPrGDC who was also a Founder of the Lodge was promoted to PAGDC in 1962.
De Bon Cuer Lodge are privileged and proud to have been associated with four fund raising Festivals during their fifty two years as a member of the Leyland Group.
- Royal Masonic Institute for Girls Festival 1966
- Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Festival 1981
- Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys Festival 1997
- The recent 2010 Festival
De Bon Cuer Lodge is indeed “In Good Heart” and we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm in the knowledge that the brethren of this lodge will continue to express the true values and virtues of Freemasonry and we pray that the Great Architect of the Universe will continue to bless our endeavours as we go forward in the 21st Century.