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Extracted from the minutes as recorded:-

St.Johns Thanet Lodge, No.2753 on the roll of the United Grand Lodge of England, was the result of years of inception. Many times, various members of the Union Lodge contemplated the advisability of founding an offshoot from the ancient home of freemasonry in Margate, and at last it has happened that the brethren whose names will afterwards appear as founders, have accomplished the fact, not with any view to weaken or injure the old lodge, but rather to strengthen it by increasing the good work that freemasonry does amongst us. After many preliminaries on the 28th March, the following brethren, Bro John Brighurst P.M. 127 P.G.J.W., Bro Frederick Stanley P.M. & Secretary 127 P.P.G.Supt.Wks., Bro Henry Wootton P.M. 127 P.P.G.D.C., Bro James Hosking P.M. 127 P.P.G.Stwd (Surrey), Bro Edwin Crosoer P.M. 127, Bro J Moore P.M. 127, Bro James Lashbrooke Hume P.M. 127 & 144, Bros William Henry Hughes, William Henry Bennett, Edward Tomlin Bugden, Albert Tannenbaum, William Henry White, all Master Masons, officers and lay members of the Union Lodge, met at the Kings Arms Hotel, Market Street, Margate, and after Bro Henry Wootton had been elected chairman of the meeting. It was proposed by Bro James Hosking, "That in the interest and furtherance of Freemasonry in Margate, it is desirable to form a new lodge and that the same be called "The St Johns Thanet Lodge" and that a petition, which had been duly signed by fifteen brethren as founders, be presented to the Union Lodge No.127 Margate, at their next regular meeting for their approval and the signature of the W.M. and Wardens. That the same, if approved by them be duly forwarded to the Provincial Grand Master for his sanction. This was carried unanimously by the brethren present and after various other matters dealing with the time and place of meeting and after this had been agreed upon, the important business of electing the first W.M. was entered into.

The first brother nominated was Bro F Stanley (whose exertions on behalf of the new Lodge, as well as everything else in connection with Freemasonry in Margate, all brethren recognise). He however withdrew and the choice of the brethren unanimously fell on Bro J Brighurst, (whom the Provincial Grand Master of Kent had honoured this year, by appointing him Provincial Grand Junior Warden), Bro E Crosoer was chosen as the first S.W. and Bro F Stanley as the first J.W.

The petition duly received the sanction of the Union Lodge, by an unanimous vote and the P.G.M. approving the same. In due time a Warrant was received from Grand Lodge authorising the holding of a Regular Lodge. The P.G.M. in deference to the wishes of the brethren, appointed June 23rd, (the eve of St John the Baptist, the patron saint of our parish, after whom our Lodge is named), as the day for consecration.

Present were:-

The M.W.Bro The Earl Amhurst Pro Grand Master of England - Provincial Grand Master of Kent in the chair. Assisted by The V.W.Bro James Smith - Eastes P.G.D. - Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Kent. W.Bro William Davies P.P.G.S.W. - Senior Warden and W.Bro W C Kennett P M Corinthian Lodge 1208 P.J.G.W. - Junior Warden, W.Bro Rev. W H Robins P M Pentangle Lodge 1174 P.G Chap - Chaplain and 109 Worshipful Brethren and Brethren.

The first Regular Meeting was then held and joining members were balloted for and approved and that a committee was formed to produce the bye-laws of the lodge. The brethren then adjourned to a Banquet at the Kings Head Hotel.

There appears in the local paper called "Keebles Gazette" a full report on the proceedings of the consecration as follows.

CONSECRATION OF THE ST. JOHNS THANET LODGE No. 2753

Consecration meeting of St Johns Thanet Lodge No 2753 Margate, held at the Masonic Temple, New Cross Street. Friday June 23rd 1899.

Owing to the rapid growth, in recent years, of Freemasonry in Margate, and to the fact that the Union Lodge has, numerically, been getting some- what unwieldy, it was thought necessary to found a new lodge, and this named the St. Johns Thanet Lodge, was consecrated and opened with the usual ancient ceremonial and ritual on Friday, the 23rd ult. There was a very large muster of Provincial Grand Officers and brethren, which taxed the capabilities of the commodious Temple in no small degree, but the whole of the arrangements were admirably carried out by the founders, and everything passed off most successfully. Among those present were the following. (Here were listed every name of the brethren and their Lodge numbers who attended making a total of 127). The ancient and impressive ceremony of consecration was performed by Bro. Earl Amhurst, Pro G Master Eng., Prov. G. Master, assisted by Bros. James Smith Eastes, P.G.D. Eng., Dep. P.G.M.; William Dawes, acting P.S.G.W.; Woldemar O. Kennett, P.G.J.W.; Alfred Spencer, P.G.Sec.; Charles W. Blaxland, P.G.Reg.; and Horatio Ward, acting P.G.D.C. The brethren having assembled in the Temple and the Prov. Grand officers having filed into their places, the Lodge was duly opened and the founders of the new lodge then took up their appointed places. These were Bros. J. Brighurst, W.M. designate; E. Crosoer, S.W. designate; Fred Stanley, J.W. designate; J.L.Hume, Sec.; H.Wootton, J.Moore, W.H.Hughes, W.H.White, Albert Tannenbaum, J.Hosking, T.J.Carter, W.H.Bennett, E.T.Bugden, Leonard Hill and J.Healing.

The petition and warrant were read, and the M.W.Pro. Grand Master consecrated the lodge, after which the anthem "Behold how good and joyful a thing it is, Brethren, to dwell together in unity" was sung by the choir, and then came the usual dedication ceremony. The Consecrating Officer addressed the brethren on the motive of the meeting and in doing so his Lordship stated that it had long been in his mind that, as Freemasonry had made such strides in Margate, a second lodge would be, sooner or later, a necessity. The Prov.G.Chaplain, Bro. Rev. W.H.Robins, gave a masterly oration on the principles of Freemasonry, and after the prescribed ceremonies had been performed, including the scattering of corn, (the symbol of plenty); wine, (the symbol of joy); and oil, (symbolical of peace and benevolence) were poured and salt was sprinkled, (the symbol of fidelity and friendship). Then followed the anthem "I will lift mine eyes" (Dr. J.Clarke Whitfield), the solos being sustained by Bros Hosking and Tarling; the other members of the choir being Bros. E.Coleman, W.H.Bennett, F.Stanley and F.J.Doughty. At the close of the consecration service, Bro. J.Brighurst was impressively installed as the first W.M., and the usual investitures and appointments took place, the first list of officers being as follows: Bros E.Crosoer, S.W.; F.Stanley, J.W.; H.Wootton, I.P.M.; J.Moore, Treas.; J.L.Hume Sec.; W.H.Hughes, S.D.; W.H.White, J.D.; Albert Tannenbaum, I.G.; J.Hosking, D.C.; T.J.Carter, A.D.C.; W.H.Bennett and E.T.Bugden, Stwds and Geo. Lawrence, Tyler.

The second Regular Meeting was held on Monday 2nd October 1899 and more joining members were balloted for and approved. The bye-laws were then adopted after some alterations.

The third Regular Meeting was held on Monday 6th November 1899 and more joining members were balloted for and approved. A petition was presented by eight brethren residing at Westgate on Sea, praying that a warrant should be granted by the St Johns Thanet Lodge to hold a Lodge of Instruction, the same to be held alternately at Margate and Westgate on Sea.

The next meeting was an Emergency Meeting, held on Monday 13th November 1899 to initiate the first candidate who was the Rev. Walter Henry Trelawney Ashton Gwatkin, (Vicar of St. Johns Parish Church) who was balloted for and initiated by the W.M.

The fourth Regular Meeting was held on Monday 4th December 1899 and it was proposed by Bro. F Stanley J.W. and seconded by Bro. W H Bennett, "That the sanction of The St. Johns Thanet Lodge be given to the petitioners to hold a Lodge of Instruction alternately at Westgate on Sea and Margate, under the banner of The St. Johns Thanet Lodge, to be called The St. Johns Thanet Lodge of Instruction, and the W.M and Wardens be authorized to sign such sanction as soon as the Instruction Lodge shall have been created. The Secretary to be asked to send notices to all members of the Lodge and to the petitioners at Westgate, for a meeting to be held at a time and place to be arranged, at which meeting the officers are to be appointed and the time and place of meeting arranged and by-laws committee appointed". Carried unanimously.

The fifth Regular Meeting was held on Monday 5th February 1900 when the first candidate, Rev Gwatkin was passed to the degree of a fellowcraft. He was raised at the sixth meeting held on 5th March 1900. The Traditional History, third degree Tracing Board and the working tools were delivered and explained by W.Bro H Wootton at the eighth meeting held on 7th May 1990 Bro Crosoer was elected Master for the ensuing year and a Past Masters Jewel be purchased for 5gns and be presented to W.Bro Brighouse in recognition of his valuable services as W.M. during the past year. The Rev. Bro. Ashton Gwatkin was appointed Chaplain of the Lodge.

The Installation ceremony was held on Monday 25th June 1900. W.Bro Crosoer was installed in the chair of King Solomon. The next meeting was held on Monday 1st October 1900. W.Bro Crosoer was absent due to illness and the I.P.M. took the chair. It was proposed by W.Bro F Stanley, Seconded by W.Bro J Brighouse that a letter of sympathy be sent to our W.M. Bro E Crosoer expressing the regret of the brethren for the great trial that had overtaken him and his family through his serious illness. Carried unanimously.

At the next meeting held on Monday 5th November 1900 the Secretary read a letter he had written to the W.M. W.Bro H Crosoer in accordance with the vote of the Lodge passed at the last meeting and the reply to same.

2nd October 1900

Dear Bro Crosoer,

At the regular meeting of our St Johns Thanet Lodge held last evening, the one thought that was paramount in the minds of the brethren and the one idea that found general expression was that of regret that you were not amongst us to take your place as W.M. and deep sorrow for the cause of your non-attendance. In informing you that on the proposition of your S.W., seconded by the I.P.M. from the chair, it was unanimously decided that a letter of sympathy should be sent to yourself, Mrs Crosoer, and your family in the great trial that has overtaken you all in your severe and unfortunate illness. Let me assure you it was no formal vote but voiced the true and genuine feelings of every brother, and we all trust that the G.A.O.U. will soon see fit to restore you to health, that you may again resume your work, both in Masonry and in the outside world, work which you have performed with so much credit to yourself and to the welfare of your fellow creatures. Assuring you of my own personal regards and good wishes.

Believe me to remain

Yours most sincerely and fraternally,

(Signed) J.W.L.Hume

P.M. 144, 127. Secretary 2753.

REPLY

Mr J.L.Hume,

Dear Sir,

Father wishes me to write you and thank you for your kind and sympathetic letter conveying to himself and family, the sincere and kind resolution passed at the last meeting of St.Johns Thanet Lodge, and begs to thank the officers and brethren of the Lodge for their kind thought and sympathy with him in his illness. Although father is better he is not yet able to leave his bed, but hopes some day to have the pleasure of meeting you all again. With his kind and fraternal greetings to all the brethren. Believe me,

Yours sincerely                

(Signed)

M Crosoer

 

The meeting of December 3rd 1900 recorded the sad news that the Worshipful Master, W.Bro E Crosoer, had passed away the previous morning and special funeral hymns were sung at the opening and closing ceremonies. The festive board was abandoned. W.Bro Crosoer was, as a Past Master of the Union Lodge No.127, laid the foundation stone of the New Cross St. Temple in 1894.

Extra minutes entered into the minute book

The mortal remains of our late W.M. was borne to their last resting place and "received into the cold bosom of the grave" on Thursday December 6th in the presence of the members of his family, personal friends and a large gathering of members of the craft, who had assembled to show "the last sad tribute of respect to departed merit".

The signatures of the brethren (who numbered close on 80), are recorded on a roll and preserved with the records of the Lodge. They comprise the names of the whole of the brethren of The St.Johns Thanet Lodge, a large number of Union Lodge No.127 and representatives of Lodges, both from the neighbouring towns and London.

The first part of the funeral service was held in St.Pauls Church, Cliftonville, where our brother had for some years been Churchwarden, and the internment at Margate Cemetery at both places the service was conducted by the Rev Bros Gerald Lewis and W.H.Trelawney Ashton Gwatkin  (the Lodge Chaplain). The Sprig of Acacia was thrown as a final leave taking.

The majority of the brethren returned to the Masonic Temple where orations to the memory of the departed were delivered by Bro. John Brighurst I.P.M. The St.Johns Thanet Lodge, Bro J Hosking W.M. Union Lodge and Bro. Hale W.M. Royal Navy Lodge.

The meeting of January 7th 1901, a letter was read from Bro W H Hughes J.W., Mayor of Margate, thanking the brethren for accompanying him to church the Sunday following his election as Mayor.

Extra minutes entered into the minute book

On Tuesday January the 22nd 1901, the whole of the British nation was plunged into mourning by the death of our most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, who for 63 years had reigned over this our Empire, the esteem, love and reverence in which she was held by the whole of Europe, as well as her own subjects was shown on the day of her funeral, Saturday February 2nd, when she was followed to the grave by Kings, Emperors and Princes representing every nation on the continent, whilst throughout the whole of Great Britain, business was suspended and the day marked as one of national mourning. Her late Majesty had especially endeared herself to Freemasons, not only as mother to our Most Worshipful Grand Master (who now ascends the throne as King Edward V11) but also as the interested and liberal patroness of our order and charities, whilst her amiable and virtuous life will ever render her character an example of the loftiest kind for our future guidance.

On the day of the funeral a solemn memorial service was held at the Parish Church of St.Johns, which was attended by his Worship the Mayor Bro W H Hughes (J.W. of the Lodge), the corporation and other public bodies, the brethren of this Lodge, as well as of the Union Lodge joining in the procession to the service at the church. The service was conducted by our Chaplain, Bro. the Rev W H Trelawney Ashton Gwatkin, Vicar of Margate, who also delivered an able address.

By command of Grand Lodge, all Lodges under the English Constitution go into mourning for three months.

Extra minutes entered into the minute book.

On Wednesday July 17th 1901, his Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was installed Grand Master of all Freemasons under the English Constitution in succession to his Majesty the King, who has graciously taken to himself the title of Protector of English Freemasonry. The ceremony was performed in the Royal Albert Hall by the Rt.Hon.Bro. the Earl Amhurst, M.W. Pro Grand Master of England and Prov. G.M. of Kent. The official minutes of the Especial Grand Lodge, together with the names of the distinguished Grand Officers present are preserved in the archives of this lodge.

St. Johns Thanet Lodge was represented by the W.M., the Wardens, I.P.M., Secretary and other brethren.

The meeting of October 7th 1901 Bro Tannenbaum presented a Deed Box to the Lodge for the reception of books and papers.

On Tuesday September 16th 1902 a Lodge of Thanet Freemasons, held under the United Banners of the Union Lodge No.127, the Royal Navy Lodge No. 429, the Lewises Lodge No.1209, the Bradstow Lodge No.2448 and The St.Johns Thanet Lodge No.2753, took place at the Masonic Temple, New Cross Street, Margate, when a humble address of congratulations to H.M. King Edward V11 (Grand Patron of English Freemasonry) and his Royal Consort Queen Alexandra, on their Coronation was moved, carried unanimously, signed by the brethren present and forwarded to the King.

The brethren assembled at the Masonic Temple and then repaired to the Parish Church of St.John, where a service was held and a sermon preached by Bro the Rev W H Trelawney Ashton Gwatkin, Vicar of Margate. On the return from Church, the Lodge was opened by Bro F J Wraight W.M of the Royal Navy Lodge occupying the chair (in the absence of Bro E L Dixon W.M of the Union Lodge through an accident). Bro W H Bennett S.W of the Union Lodge acting as S.W. and Bro Solly secretary of the Lewises Lodge as J.W. Bro F Stanley W.M. of The St.Johns Thanet Lodge acting as secretary. The National Anthem was sung. The motion for the address put and carried, and the Lodge duly closed. The brethren then adjourned to the Granville Hotel, Ramsgate, where a Banquet was held.

The meeting of December 1st 1902 it was proposed that by-law numbers 5 and 6 to read as follows. By-Law No.5 to read "The fee for initiation shall be Eight Guineas" and By-law No.6 to read "The fee payable by a brother already initiated in another Lodge under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England, for joining this Lodge, shall be Two Guineas, and under the Constitution of any Grand Lodge �2.12s.6d". This resolution was carried unanimously after being supported by the W.M.

The meeting of February 2nd 1903 a letter of resignation was received from Bro. The Rev Ashton Gwatkin (the first initiate in the Lodge). This was accepted.

Proposed by Bro J L Hume, Secretary, and seconded by Bro F Stanley, W.M. that Bro. The Rev Ashton Gwatkin be elected an Honorary member. Carried.

The meeting of February 1st 1904

Bro J Brighurst stated that on behalf of Bro J P Robinson, he was asked to present a very handsomely framed portrait of H R H The Duke of Connaught M W G M The same to be a joint gift to the Union Lodge No.127 and The St. Johns Thanet Lodge No.2753. Bro F Stanley on behalf of the St.Johns Thanet Lodge accepted the gift and proposed that a hearty vote of thanks be accorded to Bro J P Robinson, the same to be recorded on the minutes, this was seconded by Bro Albert Tannenbaum S.W. Carried unanimously

The meeting of November 7th 1904,Bro A P Williams Freeman purchased and presented to the Lodge an ancient Masonic Jewel, framed and mounted, bearing the following inscription. "Presented to Bro McAdams by the Brethren of the Union Lodge No.207, Margate, as a token of their regard, for his services rendered to the Lodge during 14 years that it was held in his house. Voted with the thanks of the Lodge the 16th January 1828". The jewel is a silver copy of the I.P.M. jewel (collar) on blue enamel and surrounded by some very fine paste.

Proposed by the W.M. Bro A Tannenbaum, Seconded by the S.W. Bro W H Bennett P.M. and supported by Bro F Stanley P.M. that the best thanks of the Lodge be given to Bro Williams Freeman for the gift and the same to be inscribed on the minutes. Carried unanimously. This Jewel was stolen from the Temple in 1982.

A communication from the Trustees of the Masonic Temple, requesting that the future rent payable for the use of the Lodge Room and Temple by The St.Johns Thanet Lodge be Five Guineas.

The Installation meeting Tuesday June 27th 1905 was by special dispensation as the By-Laws state that it should be held on St.Johns day. A Past Masters Jewel was presented to W.Bro A Tannenbaum on behalf of the brethren of the Lodge at a cost of  ï¿½55.0s0d

The meeting of April 2nd 1906

The emergency meeting of May 14th 1906. The W.M. informed the brethren of his successful result of his Stewardship for the Girls School. The amount of his list being the largest individual amount in the Province of Kent.

The Installation meeting on Tuesday June 26th 1906 was by special dispensation. The secretary read a communication from the Masonic Temple committee that the rent would be £10.10s.0d per annum.

The meeting of October 1st 1906. The business of the communication from the Trustees of the Masonic Trust, re. the increase of the rent to be paid by the St.Johns Thanet Lodge was taken. After considerable discussion, it was proposed that a committee be formed to consider the matter.

The meeting of November 5th 1906. The committee formed at the last meeting were of the opinion that the sum of  ï¿½10.10s.0d be paid for the rent and that it should include the Lodge of Instruction, this was adopted.

The meeting of January 7th 1907. The following letter from the Trustees of the Masonic Temple was reported :-

31st December 1906

Dear Sir & Bro.,

In reply to your letter of 10th November, re. the offer of �10.10s.0d as the rent payable to the Trustees of the Union Lodge, for the use of the Temple, I am directed to accept the offer made therein, that the amount include the rent payable by the St.Johns Lodge of instruction, with the proviso, that the Trustees reserve the right to reconsider the whole question when in their opinion, The St.Johns Thanet Lodge, is in a position to pay an increased rent.

I remain Yours faithfully & fraternally,

F Stanley. Sec to the Trustees.

The meeting of February 4th 1907. It was proposed and seconded that the Tylers annual remuneration be fixed at five guineas.

The meeting of April 6th 1908. A letter was read regarding the rent to be raise by the Trustees. This was left to a meeting of P.Ms to appoint a deputation to the trustees and to report to the Lodge. The W.M. on behalf of himself and the Wardens, presented the Lodge with a set of gauntlets, to be worn in the principle chairs. W.Bro J Robinson presented a framed portrait of the M.W. the Earl Amhurst to the Union Lodge and St.Johns Thanet Lodge. A letter of thanks to be sent to him.

The meeting of May 4th 1908. It was proposed and seconded that the W.M. and the Secretary form a deputation to apply for the holding of Provincial Grand Lodge in Margate, together with Union Lodge No. 127.

At the meeting of October 5th 1908 it was proposed and seconded that a very hearty vote of thanks be accorded to the joint Secretaries of the Festival of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Kent, held at Margate on St.Johns Day, Wednesday 24th June last, for the very excellent manner in which they carried out the arduous and multitudinous duties connected therewith, and that such a vote of thanks be recorded in the minutes of the Lodge and the Secretary shall write to the joint secretaries:- W.Bro Saxby P.M. 127 and W.Bro Hause P.M. 127,144 to this effect.

The meeting of November 2nd 1908. A communication was read from the Secretary of the Masonic Temple Trustees, dated 26th October 1908, stating that the question of the rent payable by your Lodge to this Trust has been adjourned for twelve months. The W.M. reported having, with the Secretary and W.Bro Tannenbaum P.M. and the S.W. attended the meeting of the Trustees as a deputation from the Lodge, respecting this question, and had conclusively shown that the Lodge was not in a position to pay an increase rental at the present time.

The meeting of January 4th 1909. It was proposed by the I.P.M. and the W.M. that:- Bro. Charles Biddle, initiated in Lodge Royal Alfred No.420 S.C. Luous Town, Cape of Good Hope S.A. on 7th February 1893. Passed 11th February 1893 and raised to the 3rd degree 7th March 1893. Late Colour Sergeant R.M.L.I. and now caretaker of Lloyds Bank ltd., Margate Branch be admitted as a serving Brother and that he be elected Assistant Tyler at the remuneration of three shillings for each regular meeting, his duties being to assist Bro George Lawrence, the Tyler, and further, that the remuneration to be paid to Bro Lawrence, the Tyler, after the Installation meeting in June next, be three pounds three shillings per annum and the sum of two pounds two shillings per annum be paid to the Trustees of the Masonic Temple towards the cleaning fund. Carried.

The Meeting of May 3rd 1909. a Proposition that a hearty vote of thanks be accorded to W.Bro F J Wraight for the handsome Reading desk he had presented to the Lodge for the use of the Secretary and the same to be recorded on the Lodge minutes. Carried.

The Meeting of October 4th 1909. It was proposed that a change in the By-laws was as follows..... By-law No.2. To delete the words "and on St.John the Baptist's day in Summer" and substitute the word "June".

By-law No.3. The annual subscription shall be Thirty Shillings, payable as follows, Seven shillings and sixpence on January 1st, Seven shillings and sixpence on April 1st, Seven shillings and sixpence on July 1st and Seven shillings and sixpence on October 1st and each such subscription shall be deemed and taken to be a subscription in advance and that the subscription payable on January 1st shall include the annual fees payable to Grand Lodge Fund of Benevolence and Provincial Grand Lodge.

By-law No.4. To delete the word "May" in the fourth line and substitute the word "October" and to delete the words "St. Johns day in Summer, unless such day falls on a Sunday, or public holiday, when the installation shall take place on the following Monday." and substitute the words "First Monday in November."

The meeting of November 1st 1909 an amendment to By-law No.3. proposed at the meeting of 4th October 1909, was that the quarterly subscriptions shall be eight shillings payable as stated in the proposition and of that amount, the sum of sixpence be credited to a special fund to be called "The Lodge Charity or Benevolent Fund". To be used for the purpose of subscribing to one or other of the Masonic Charities in the nuance of the Lodge as occasion shall permit. Carried unanimously.

By-law No.4 and By-law No.2 Carried unanimously.

It was proposed that the Lodge shall pay to the Trustees of the Masonic Temple the annual rent of Ten pounds ten shillings as a regular rental and in addition, the sum of one pound one shilling for every new member initiated into the Lodge, up to five new members in any one year, but that Fifteen pounds fifteen shillings shall be the maximum rental in any year.

This was carried unanimously