Athelstan Lodge was consecrated on 18th November 1870. Plans were afoot to celebrate this significant event in 2020, but due to circumstances beyond our control, the landmark 150 year celebrations were delayed by a year.
The regular meeting in November within the Lodge Rooms was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Howard L Smith PJGD, W Bro Trevor Siddall ProvSGW and W Bro Andrew Lee ProvJGW very ‘abely’ (sic) supported by W Bro Simon Abel Prov Dep GDC.
The Lodge was opened by the APGM and Provincial Wardens in front of a bumper attendance of 70 including many distinguished visitors from as far afield as, Berkshire Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire.
After the Lodge was called off the focal point of the evening then took place. W Bro Phillip Benson delivered an immensely entertaining and highly interesting presentation on the history of the Lodge.
This included Secretary W Bro Brian Whitmore reading the minutes of the first meeting, a quiz and a fascinating video slide show depicting world and local historical events that had taken place during the Lodge’s 150 years.
Whilst acknowledging the previous work carried out by W Bro JD Austin, W Bro Peter Stickland, W Bro BW Austin, and W Bro R Moore, W Bro Phillip has spent thousands of hours meticulously researching and updating the history and has produced an excellent booklet ‘Athelstan Lodge 1333 – A Brief History’.
A copy of the booklet was handed to, and gratefully received by, each attendee.
He was wholeheartedly applauded by all Brethren and Visitors present for his unique and compelling presentation which was the highlight of a memorable evening. The Asst PGM, W Bro Smith, congratulated W Bro Benson, saying it was a unique presentation, the likes of which he had never seen before at a Lodge. The WM, W Bro Phil Salmon, later presented the AProvGM with a cheque for £1,000 for the 2023 Festival to commemorate the occasion.
The Festive Board followed at the nearby Red Lion Hotel where in addition to the formal toasts the WM and AProvGM cut a specially commissioned cake made by SW Bro Mejar Singh and a local cake decorator. ‘Master Baker’ Mejar also produced a commemorative 1333- inscribed bread for every table fresh from his local bakery business
The numerous messages from both Brethren and Visitors after the event hugely reflect the success of both W Bro Phil Benson’s excellent presentation and a most convivial Festive Board.
Here’s to the Tercentenary …