Shenstonian Lodge, 5544, meets at the Old Silhillians Association clubhouse as they are an old School Lodge; in this case of Solihull School. The clubhouse had a lot of building work done on it recently and, as a result, the storage space used by the Lodge was lost.
The members have always had to set the Lodge up and take it down for each meeting. Following some lengthy negotiations, they managed to get an alcove blocked off with a stud wall with room for all their Lodge furniture, except the Master’s and Wardens’ chairs. These monumental pieces of furniture had always been with them, or so they thought.
The clubhouse contacted the Master Elect a few weeks ago and said that we had to get rid of the chairs as they could no longer hold them in the temporary storage. This was a bit of a problem and so he resolved to photograph them and try to sell them on ebay. Whilst doing so, he noticed some small plaques affixed to the chairs. Reading them was a revelation.
Shenstonian Lodge was consecrated in 1935, these chairs dated back to 1898! They were presented by the founding Master and Wardens, to the Albert Lucking Lodge, No. 2717 in Essex. The Mater Elect checked and, lo and behold, the Albert Lucking Lodge is still meeting and going strong in Southend-on-Sea. He contacted their Secretary who was initially sceptical, but that changed when they spoke and he saw the photographs. He was over the moon and even visited their provincial offices to look at the first minute book and the chairs are mentioned in there.
Of course, the right thing to do was to restore them to their rightful owners. Accordingly a short time ago, they were collected and taken to Essex. A serious win-win situation for all; they got their founders chairs back and Shenstonion Lodge got rid of three items that had become an encumbrance.
Happily, the Secretary and Treasurer from Albert Lucking Lodge were able to come to the recent installation at Shenstonian Lodge on October 10th and the newly installed Master, W Bro Simon Westwood, visited their Lodge in Southend on October 15th; his first visit to another Lodge as Master. They made him very welcome and presented him with a cheque for £250 in aid of Shenstonian Lodge charities.
Article provided by W Bro Simon Westwood, PPrJGW (Worcs)
Worshipful Master, Shenstonian Lodge No 5544