On Thursday 10th January 2019 Queenborough Lodge No 3893 held their Centenary Meeting at the United Masonic Club, Sheerness; 115 members and guests attended the ceremony. The Principal Guest was the Head of East Kent Freemasons, Neil Hamilton Johnstone, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Peter Williams, and leading senior members of the Province.
Queenborough Lodge No 3893 in East Kent, was Consecrated on Tuesday 3rd December 1918 at the Masonic Hall, Albany Road, Sittingbourne; although it had originally been planned to hold the Consecration at the Sheerness Masonic Hall, War Restrictions in force at that time prevented access to the Isle of Sheppey by anyone other than residents and officially authorised members of the military. St Michael’s Lodge No 1273 kindly offered the use of their Temple in order to allow the Consecration to take place on the planned day.
Following luncheon at 1.15pm, the Consecration Ceremony commenced at 3.15pm: it was undertaken by the (then) Head of Kent Freemasons, Colonel Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis CBE, DL, JP; the Founding head of the lodge was J S Bills. The Minute Book records 94 names; the very first being that of Colonel Cornwallis. Before the Ceremony ended, four new Candidates were Proposed and Seconded, the most notable being that of Almeric Hugh Baron Queenborough (the Lord Queenborough), who was thereafter Initiated during the fourth Regular Meeting of the Lodge on Thursday 13th March 1919.
Queenborough Lodge initially held their meetings at Sheerness for two years before moving to their own premises in Queenborough; Lord Queenborough specifically purchased two properties in the town for the Lodge which he let to the Lodge for a peppercorn rent of £5 per annum (he later transferred the deeds to the Lodge, which was a very kind gesture on his part). The back gardens of both houses were then combined to allow the building of a new Temple into which the Lodge eventually moved on the 12th May 1921. They continued to hold their meetings there until May 1970 when – for financial reasons – the Lodge was forced to move back to Sheerness, where they have remained ever since.
Whilst Queenborough Lodge would have ideally wished to have celebrated their Centenary in December 2018, this coincided with their Annual Installation Meeting, so the decision was taken to postpone it until the following month in January 2019.
During the Ceremony, Neil Johnstone presented, Stephen Dawson, with the Centenary Warrant, and congratulated the Lodge on attaining 100 years of existence.
Following the meeting, a splendid 5-course Festive Board was enjoyed by all present, rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable day to remember for many years to come. This was a rewarding and fitting testimony to the hard work of the Lodge Centenary Committee who had been planning this for the last three years under the leadership of Allen West.