70 years of
Serving the Province of Middlesex
Osterley Lodge A Short History
No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons' guilds during the middle ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity's rituals come from this era.
In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, the rest as they say is history.
Suffice it to say the Grand Lodge of England is celebrating 300 years of continuous fraternity in 2017
A Local Story of Success
1947 - 2017
The Formation of the
The Consecration of the Lodge
During the Second World War the vast majority of Lodges of Instruction (set up for the Brethren to learn the Masonic Ritual) were disbanded. One of the few which continued to meet was at the Osterley Homes and it was at these meetings that three of our founders W.Bro.H.F.O.Bence, Bro.A.D.Silk and W.Bro.F.J.Johns(and thought to also be members of Osterley Bowls club) conceived the idea of forming a new Lodge in Osterley. It was W.Bro.Bence who sought the assistance of the very experienced W.Bro.Wright, our founding Secretary, in forming the Osterley Lodge at the end of hostilities.m a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
The new Lodge was Consecrated at a ceremony held at Freemasons Hall on Monday 2nd June 1947 by the then Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro.A.Burnett Brown and was attended by a total of 160 Brethren. W.Bro.Harry Bence was installed as the first of a very distinguished band of Masters, whose combined commitment to the services of Freemasonry has been a credit to our Lodge and has continued from generation to generation.
The Lodge Banner
Many of our Lodge furnishings and artefacts were donated by the founding members at the consecration meeting and in the earliest years. The generosity of the membership can be viewed in the many outstanding and cherished artefacts with which the Lodge has been graced. One such item was the Lodge Banner. This magnificent and stunning Banner was generously donated by one of the early lodge stalwarts, W.Bro.Wally Davey, in 1956 when he was Senior Warden. The Banner was hand embroidered in silk at the Royal school of Needlework in Kensington (now based at Hampton Court) and is truly a work of art. The Banner was dedicated at the Installation meeting held in October 1956. In 2014 the banner was returned to the Royal school of needlework for some minor repairs, much needed after many years of being displayed at every Osterley lodge meeting and occasional display at provincial ceremonies, now restored to its former glory and ready to grace many more future meetings.
The first meetings
After the Consecration meeting the Lodge held its meetings at the Red Lion Pub in Hounslow, however in February 1965 the Lodge met for the first time at Cole Court, Twickenham, where it continues to the present day. The change in venue was due to the Red Lion being no longer available for meetings and Lodge of Instruction after 18 years of continuous use.
The Early Years
From its formation in 1947 Osterley Lodge went from strength to strength due in no small part to the Founder and first secretary W.Bro.W.Wright. He was undoubtedly the moving spirit behind the formation of the Lodge and for the next seven years his work and influence was an inspiration to all who he came into contact with, extending far beyond the confines of the Lodge.
The first Initiate was W.Bro.O.M.Lillyman who became Worshipful Master in 1953 after only 6 years in the Lodge and later became Chaplain and both Secretary and Treasurer of the Lodge of Instruction. He also introduced his son, W.Bro.J.M.Lillyman, into Freemasonry in 1950 and was a Founder of our daughter Lodge, Syon Lodge No.7394.
W.Bro.J.(John)M.Lillyman was W.Master in 1963 and only died in 2008, 45 years after being W.Master (John’s wife Leah died only recently in May 2017).
Since those first halcyon early years Osterley Lodge has continued to prosper and develop. In no small way due to all those who rendered good service throughout those early years and in particular those hard working Secretaries and Treasurers who keep the Lodge running on an even keel. Believe it or not in its 70 year history the Lodge has had only eight Secretaries and nine Treasurers. Initiates and Joining Members of a first class quality have continued to join the Lodge and maintain its reputation of being a lodge of character and achievement.
A number of members of the Lodge were also instrumental in the formation of Osterley Chapter in 1981, with W.Bro.Stanley Lyle being installed as the first M.E.Z.
Throughout the formative years two great pillars remained constant throughout the Lodge. W.Bro.Stanley Lyle and W.Bro.Frankie Johns represented all that was cherished and respected in Freemasonry. It has been said that their unstinting loyalty and commitment to the ongoing success of the Lodge may never be matched again. It was therefore felt that the sad loss in 1994 of the last of the original thirteen founders, W.Bro.Frankie Johns, just prior to his 95th birthday and the death of W.Bro.Stanley Lyle in 2001 marked the end of an era in Osterley’s history.
Osterley Lodge is immensely proud of its high standard of ritual, in no small way due over the years to the Lodge of instruction. It can be no coincidence that the likes of W.Bro.Clive Jarvis, W.Bro.Alan Hewett, W.Bro.Andrew Elliott, W.Bro.Malcolm Woolgar, W.Bro.John Foster, W.Bro.Billy Burt, W.Bro.Martin Burt, W.Bro.Ron Davidson, W,Bro.Chris Winter, all current members of the Lodge, have all been excellent ritualists in recent years.