A small group of Methodist Masons from the Tooting and Mitcham area, held the first two formal meetings at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Wimbledon, on Wednesday Aug 22nd 1928, to discuss the formation of a new Lodge in Surrey. They agreed to name it “The Welcome Lodge” after their local Church Hall.
The Lodge became the 102nd lodge in Surrey and was consecrated by W.Bro. G. H. Redwood, P.G.D.Deputy Provincial Grand Master, on the 29th October 1928, bringing another Lodge into the Province over which, Bro. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales ruled as Provincial Grand Master.
W.Bro. Edward Barras, Past Master of Home County Lodge No.3451, Founder of Morden Lodge 4958, and lay preacher at Lynwood Road Methodist Church, Tooting, was installed as the first Master.
In 1929 after its first year in existence, the Welcome Lodge decided to qualify as a Hall Stone Lodge. With a donation of £1000. When you consider that in 1929, a three bedroom terraced house cost less than £500, and a new car around £100, one can not imagine how they managed to raise such a large sum.
In 1930 a panel in the George Cowen Temple, at the Surbiton Masonic Halls was purchased by the Lodge, and the name of every Master has been added since then.
Up to the meeting on the 5th December 1996, all the Lodge minute had been written by hand, these where the first typed Minutes, moving the Lodge into the modern age.
On Thursday the 15th May 2003, we held our 75th Anniversary Meeting at the Surbiton Masonic Halls. A re-enactment of a 1765 Installation ceremony was performed.
And at the Festive Board afterwards we seated 100 diners.
On the 24th May 2006 the Installation of W.Bro. Eric Stuart-Bamford, as the Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent designate for the Province of Surrey took place in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall London.
W.Bro. Eric Stuart-Bamford, was Initiated as a Member of the Welcome Lodge on the 21st March 1974, and became Worshipful Master in December 1980.
He held the Office of Assistant Director of Ceremonies until December 2006.
As our Lodge Banner was very old and beyond repair, a new Banner was commissioned, paid for from a Donation to the Lodge by Bro. Henry Wood who passed away in December 2005.
He was initiated in May 1933 at 20 years old; he had a special dispensation from PGL.
He was subsequently excluded for non-payment of Lodge subscriptions in 1954, as he was living in Seattle USA.
In a Letter from his solicitor, Bro Wood left a legacy of £1000 to the Lodge.
The Banner Dedication took place on the 15th March 2007.
The R.W. PGM W.Bro. Eric Stuart-Bamford, was the Dedicating Officer.
Our Longest standing Brother of 55 years, is Bro. Fred Wallis, who was initiated on the 18th May 1961. W.Bro. Trevor Rains PAGDC, AProvGM presented Bro. Fred Wallis with a Certificate in September 2011, celebrating his Fifty years in Freemasonry.
We are now in our 89th year.