On the 19th April 2016 the brethren of The Lord Warden Lodge No 1096 held a celebration at the Masonic hall in Deal to mark the 150th Anniversary of the lodge’s first meeting.
There was a large gathering of Brethren at the meeting including the head of East Kent Freemasons, Geoffrey Dearing, Provincial Grand Master, to mark the lodge’s milestone. As Brethren gathered the atmosphere was full of anticipation of the celebration ahead and there was a real buzz around the lodge room.
The lodge was opened by its Master, Paul Gear, who before the meeting was full of the anticipation and excitement that a ceremony of this nature could stir. Paul installed his successor, Raymond Horton – a Past Master of the lodge – into the Chair, after which Ray then despatched the remaining lodge business very quickly. He said it was a proud day for the lodge and they were all delighted with the turnout.
Past Master Marc Gidman then presented a short but very informative history of the lodge.
On 26th February 1866 the Provincial Grand Master of Kent, William Archer, Viscount Holmesdale (later to become the 3rd Earl Amherst) recommended the formation of the new lodge. Two days later a warrant was issued and The Lord Warden Lodge No 1096 was officially designated.
The consecration ceremony took place on Saturday 21st April 1866 at the Royal Standard Hotel, Dover Road, Walmer. This lodge is therefore a Walmer lodge, differentiating it from the other Deal lodges.
Lord Warden is a 13th century term, prior to which the office was known as the Keeper of the Coast. Some famous Lord Wardens over the years were:
• 1493-1509: Prince Henry, Duke of York (King Henry VIII)
• 1829-1852: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
• 1941-1965: Sir Winston Churchill
• 1978-2002: HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
• 2004 to date: Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce.
After the short historical presentation, the new Master presented the Provincial Grand Master with a cheque for £1,500 towards his appeal for the restoration of the North West Transept at Canterbury Cathedral.
The Brethren then retired to the dining room where the evening was concluded with a very enjoyable Festive Board.