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History of the Lodge of Connaught & Truth No. 521

Chapter VI
The Lodge's Jubilee, 1895

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Full Account of Celebrations 29th April, 1896 __ jubilee Circular and Programme
— Officers present — Lodges represented — History by W. Bro. Reuben
Williamson — Congratulations and Greetings — Bro. John Pyrah, Secretary.
THE READER who has perused the foregoing pages of this History will no
doubt readily agree with Bro. John Freeman Dyson, the
Worshipful Master of The Lodge of Truth, in 1896, who, in the course of
his remarks at the Jubilee Celebrations, and with pardonable pride, claimed that
his Brethren were justly entitled to regard the past 50 years as an honorable
history in Freemasonry.
The Brethren had been looking forward with eager anticipation to this
happy event. After carefully planned preparations, a suitable date for the
Celebration was settled, namely, Wednesday, the 29th day of April, 1896.
Distinguished members of Provincial Grand Lodge were invited, and
friends, old and new, from other Lodges. Members were reminded that, as
this would be a most important event in the History of the Lodge, their
attendance was urged. An Emergency Lodge was convened; the Lodge was
opened at 4-0 p.m. and the Festival Banquet arranged for 6-0 p.m.
Illustrations are included at Pages 58 and 59 of : -
( a ) T h e L o d g e S u m m o n s , a n d
( b ) T h e f r o n t p a g e o f t h e P r o g r a m m e .
The two inside pages contained the details of the Programme, with the
Words of the Hymns and Songs printed in full. The following is a précis
1. Lodge opened at 4-0 o'clock.
2. Processional Hymn (Hail Eternal ................. ) during entry of the
Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge.
3 . W o r s hi p fu l M a s t e r 's ad d r es s o f W e l com e . Song—
Gounod's N az ar et h —B r o. W. Riley, P.M.
4 . History of the Lodge compiled and read by W. Bro. Reuben
Williamson ____________ P.P.G.D.
Vocal Duet—Bros. Riley and Arnold.
5 . Congratulations and "Hearty Good Wishes" by Visiting Brethren.
6 . Recessional Hymn during retirement of Provincial Officers.
7 . Lodge closed.
The first point which strikes the historian on reading the
Minutes is a note at the heading that the Lodge of Emergency was held
"in the Upper Room known as the Old Lodge Room."
That was perhaps partly for sentimental memories, the early
Meetings in 1855 onwards being held in that room, and probably the
Banquet was to be in the later and present Lodge Room.
The Officers on this historic occasion were
Bro. John Freeman Dyson W.M.
John Davis S.W.
Charles Frederick Arnold J.W.
W. Bro. Rev. John Dunbar, P.P.G.C. Chaplain.
George Jackson Treasurer.
John Pyrah Secretary.
John William Mallinson S.D.
John Holroyd J.D.
Tom Brook Tunnacliff I.G.
John Lewis Sykes D.C.
William Henry Jones A.D.C.
supported by 30 of the Past Masters and Brethren of the Lodge,
including five Brethren of Provincial Rank.
There were 21 Provincial Officers- including representatives of
the following Lodges :-
Wilson (America) No. 72
Harmony No. 275
Huddersfield No. 290
Philanthropic No. 301
Friendship No. 750
Sincerity No. 1019
Mirfield No. 1102
Saville No. 1231
Zetland No. 1311
Ivanhoe No. 1779
Albert Edward No. 1783
and there were 35 other Visitors, Worshipful Masters, Past Masters and
Brethren of various Lodges, including :-
St. Patrick, Newry No. 77 (America)
The Three Grand Principles No. 208
Harmony No. 275
Huddersfield No. 290
Devonshire No. 625
Holme Valley No. 652
Mirfield No. 1162
Duke of Edinburgh, Liverpool No. 1182
Defence No. 1221
Saville No. 1231
Brighouse No. 1301
Thornhill No. 1514
Albert Edward No. 1783
Clerkenwell No. 1964
Armitage No. 2261
So that there were 23 different Lodges represented at the historic
The Provincial Grand Master (The Rt. Hon. W. L. Jackson) was
unable to fulfil his promise to attend, because of the pressing
emergencies of his Parliamentary and other duties. He sent a special letter
of apology, as also did the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and others,
identifyi ng themselves in suitable terms with the spirit of the occasion.
As will he seen from the Programme Précis, a History of The Lodge
of Truth had been prepared by W. Bro. Reuben Williamson, P.P.G.D.,
and read by him at this Meeting. The Minutes say that
"he read a concise consecutive and interesting sketch of the career
of the Lodge and the salient features of its History be gi nni ng
wi t h i t s form at i on i n 1845. W i t h a grace ful manner and in
literary terms full of feeling he traced its difficulties,
development and progress referring tersely to the character and
services of its more eminent Past Masters : particularly he
emphasised the honorable and proud distinction of Bro. George
Frederick Samuel Robinson then Viscount Goderich's initiation by
The Lodge of Truth 521 who was its Worshipful Master in 1855-
56, and who subsequently was elected R.W. Prov. G. Master
of West Yorks, and Most Worshipful the Grand Master of
He furnished the following facts
Ther e fol l ows s o m e B LANK s pa ce i n t he M i nut e B ook,
obviously reserved for the Secretary to write up the matter from Bro.
W i l l i a m s o n ' s n o t e s , b u t U N F O R T U N A T E L Y i t w a s n e v e r
completed, and the Minute Book remains BLANK. At a subsequent
Meeting, a few days later, on the 4th May, 1896, a very hearty Vote of
Thanks was given to W. Bro. Williamson, and it was also Resolved that the
History be printed and bound, but no trace can be found of any such
bound copy or of the manuscript or typewritten notes. The Brethren will
appreciate how useful this record would have been to the writer of this
present History, who has had to cover all the 100 years, including the 50
covered by Bro. Williamson. The loss of this valuable Lodge archive is
most regrettable.
After hearing the History read by Bro. Williamson, various
Brethren rose to give speeches and messages of congratulations and
greetings, including :-
The Prov.G.S.Warden W. Bro. Harry Allen (Ivanhoe, No. 1779)
The Prov. G. J .Warden W. Bro. J. A. Godwin (Zetland, No. 1311)
W . B ro . C . L. M as on ( P h i l an t h ro pi c , No . 3 01 ).
W . B r o . W . H a r r o p ( H u d d e r s f i e l d , N o . 2 9 0 ) . C h a i r m a n o f t h e
t h e
Charity Committee.
W . Bro. Ed. Armi t age (Harm ony, No. 275).
In the course of his remarks, W. Bro. Harrop said that The
Lodge of Truth had done itself credit by its generous support of the
Charities. (There are ample evidences of this in the Minutes on many
And there were interesting points in the speech of W. Bro. Ed.
Armitage (of The Lodge of Harmony, No. 275), who spoke as a Mason of
over 50 years' unbroken membership, and said he had one son who was
W.M. of his Mother Lodge near London, and another son who was J.W.
of The Lodge of Harmony, No. 275.
After this there followed an interesting presentation by the
Provincial Grand Assistant Secretary, who handed to the Worshipful Master
a copy of the Addresses of the late Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master,
Bro. T. W. Tew.
S o ended t he p roc eedi n gs i n t he "U pper R oom . " In t he
absence of any notes or information as to the "after-proceedings" at the
Banquet, it is left to the imagination of the reader to draw his own picture of
that part of the Celebrations; doubtless they were appropriate to the festive
This Chapter would not be complete without a special reference to
the Secretary of the Lodge at the time of these Celebrations, and upon
whom so much extra work would fall. It was none other than Bro. John
Pyrah, known by present-day members of the Craft as the father of Bro. J.
Faux Pyrah (of Huddersfield Lodge, No. 290), whose name is associated with
the 150 years' History of The Huddersfield Lodge, No. 290. Bro. Faux Pyrah
is a great friend of and frequent Visitor to The Lodge of Truth, and on
several occasions has made presentations to the Lodge in commemoration of
this association and his father's memory.
Bro. John Pyrah received the eulogistic thanks of his Brethren at
the next Lodge Meeting in May, 1896, for his services in connection with the
Jubilee Festival, and the words of the Secretary's reply form a fitting
finale to this Chapter of History :-
"The Secretary briefly responded rejoicing with the Brethren that
the spirit, hz.rmony and sentiments of the Festival
throughout under the able and sagacious direction of our
esteemed Worshipful Master had yielded results alike satisfactory
and creditable."