Bi-Centenary Celebration of Trinity Lodge 254

It Nearly Did Not Happen!

The independence of Trinity Lodge from higher authority was exemplified by events surrounding the celebration of the Bi-Centenary held at the Matrix Hall, Coventry.

The application for the official recognition of 3rd December, 1755 as the date of the foundation of Trinity Lodge having been obtained from the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, steps were immediately taken to arrange a suitable celebration in 1955.

The Bi-Centenary celebration was to be held on 5th December 1955 at the Matrix Hall, Fletchamstead Highway Canley, Coventry, by kind permission of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Sir Stanley J. Harley who was the Managing Director of The Coventry Gauge and Tool Co. Ltd., the owners of this Hall which was adjacent to their main works.

In recognition of the Bi-Centenary, Trinity Lodge was honoured to install as Master, The Very Reverend H. G. Michael Clarke, M.A. Provincial Grand Master.

To add further 'icing to the cake' Trinity Lodge were to be further honoured by the presence of The Most Worshipful The Grand Master, M.W. Bro. The Rt. Hon. Earl of Scarbrough K.G., together with a very eminent retinue.

When The Grand Master arrived with his retinue on the morning of the event, a discussion took place regarding the proceedings. The Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies said that the Grand Master expected to open the Lodge (this is accepted practice for a senior dignitary and in most lodges this would be accepted and welcomed). The Past Masters of Trinity spearheaded by the assertive and determined W. Bro. Dennis Brandish (who was both the Trinity Director of Ceremonies and Acting Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies) insisted that he could not do so, since by tradition only a Brother who had been installed as a Master of Trinity Lodge could sit in the Trinity Chair and that only the Master at that time or a Past Master acting as Master could carry out the duties of The Lodge. This instance provoked quite an argument and the Past Masters of Trinity maintained that if the Grand Master were to persist with his demand they would cancel the ceremony!

This was indeed serious, and for a time a 'stand off' ensued. All of Trinity Lodge and The Earl of Scarbrough and his esteemed retinue awaited the outcome as discussions continued at W. Bro. Dennis Brandish's house on The Kenilworth Road, Coventry, until mid afternoon. After further lengthy discussion a compromise was reached. The Grand Master would be presented with the Gavel (this is an offer to open The Lodge) on entering The Lodge, only on the condition that he would refuse it!!

Such was the strong feeling about the discipline and traditions of TRINITY LODGE No. 254 around this period of history. Great pride was taken in its ancient unique ritual and the manner in which its ceremonies were to be conducted.

The Bi-Centenary Celebration meeting took place as planned and The Most Worshipful The Grand Master, M.W. Bro. The Rt. Hon. Earl of Scarbrough K.G. presented Trinity Lodge with its Bi-Centenary Warrant.

Despite all that had happened in the afternoon, the Celebration was a resounding success, but following the celebrations the drama continued when the Grand Master was driven to Coventry Station to collect his train back to London, only to watch it steaming away from the platform just as he arrived.

An urgent phone call, however, from the local stationmaster to his Rugby counterpart saved the day by ensuring that the locomotive was detained there for a substantial period, which enabled the distinguished guest, after a frantic car dash from Coventry, to take up his allotted place; and brought considerable relief to the escorting Coventry Brethren.

The 'twist in the tale' is that the chauffeur from Coventry was none other than W. Bro. Dennis Brandish who apparently displayed all his renowned motorcycle racing skills during the car journey, but it is not recorded that the Grand Master enjoyed the journey.

Click here to open the Bi-Centenary Menu and Toast List.

Click to View 250th Anniversary Poster

          Click to view larger version.
Bicentenary Celebration Menu - Click to open.Above: Original Menu and Toast List.

Bicentenary Jewel

Visit the Triniy 254 book store for a more detailed version.
Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire Please note: We cannot guarantee that any link or feed from this site has been approved by the United Grand Lodge of England or the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Neither can we guarantee that any subsequent link from their pages are recognised by, or have the approval of the United Grand Lodge of England or the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire.
Home | About | History | News | Freemasony | Membership | Contact © Trinity Lodge 254, 2010-2017