Lovekyn Chantry Lodge was founded in 1949 by the then Headmaster, E.W.H (Jimmy) James, Second Master A.D Robinson, and a group of Old Kingstonians who were already Freemasons. They saw it as a good way to allow Old Boys to maintain the friendships developed during the time at the School through the brotherhood of Freemasonry.
Many school Lodges are named after the school but the founders felt that ‘Old Kingstonian Lodge’ might cause confusion with the local football club, and so decided to name it after the school’s ancient and historic chapel, the Lovekyn Chantry Chapel. Since 1995 the Lodge has been meeting in the chapel, although it didn’t to begin with, which makes the choice of name especially appropriate. Before 1995 the Lodge met in the school gymnasium; the chapel would have been the preferred venue, but in the early days it proved impractical. The Festive Board, the dinner that follows all Lodge meetings, is held in the School dining hall.
The Lodge is grateful to successive Headmasters (and now Headmistress) and Governors for allowing us the use of School premises, not just for Lodge meetings and the subsequent dinners but also for Lodges of Instruction meetings and, for many years, the Annual Ladies’ Festival.
New Lodges need to have the recommendation of an existing Lodge to support their petition to the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), and Tiffinian Lodge performed that role for us. Tiffins Boys’ School is just over the road from Kingston Grammar School and their Lodge has been in existence since 1911.
The Warrant for Lovekyn Chantry Lodge was issued on 1st December 1948, and the Lodge was given the number 6807 in the UGLE roll.The Consecration meeting was held on Friday 18th February 1949 at the Kingston, Surbiton and District Masonic Hall, with more than 100 Freemasons present. The first Master of the Lodge was the Headmaster, W.Bro. E.W.H. James, and he was succeeded by W.Bro. A.D. Robinson.
The first regular meeting was held on 22nd April 1949. Initially Lodge furniture and other essential items were rented from Boston Park Lodge No 4576, and purchased outright in 1964. They are now kept in an ante-room by the chapel, and brought out for each of the four regular meetings.
All Lodges have a banner, often very fine pieces of craft work, and ours is no exception. It was made by the wife and daughter of the first Worshipful Master, E.W.H James and dedicated by the Provincial Grand Master for Surrey at the fourth meeting on 24th February 1950. Sadly he died just two years later, in 1952, but there is a perpetual memorial to him in the Lodge as pieces of his Headmaster’s gown are incorporated into the black and white flooring depicted on the banner.
The Lodge held celebrations in 1999 for its 50th anniversary, and to mark the event a full and detailed history of the Lodge was written. If you’d like to see a copy, it can be downloaded here. 2009 saw another milestone, the 60th anniversary, which was especially significant as it coincided with the 700th anniversary of the consecration of the Chapel.
The Lodge continues in good heart, with its regular meetings well supported by visitors from other school Lodges in the area, including Tiffinian Lodge, Old Hamptonians’ Lodge and Rutlishians’ Lodge. We have at present 28 subscribing members, and are delighted to have recently welcomed into our ranks a young Old Kingstonian, with interest being expressed by other potential new members.
If you would like to know more about the Lodge then please contact us here.