The 100th installation of Rokeby Lodge
Rokeby Lodge No. 4118
June 1920 - October 2020
100th Installation Meeting
2nd October 2020
On the 28th June 1920 a new lodge was consecrated in Rugby by RW Bro Colonel WF Wyley and it held its first meeting under the mastership of W Bro R C Foort on 6th of October that same year. Present at this first meeting were 20 members and 8 visitors
Who would have believed that 100 years later, the installation of the new….(ish) Master would take the format it did!
Just over 5 years ago, the Lodge started to plan for its centenary year and the subject of the position of Master was discussed. Rokeby Lodge was in a pretty unique position in that up to now, it had never installed a Master either twice or for more than 1 year and it was looking as though they would get to the centenary without having to. What an achievement 100 years and 99 different Worshipful Masters. It was decided that they would honour the centenary by installing a Past Master in the chair to guide the lodge through this exciting and very busy year. The plan was to hold the installation in the October, with a lavish Festive board (Similar in many respects to the Consecration feast) and hold a centenary celebration at the November meeting with the presentation of a Centenary Warrant, Centenary jewels and a large dinner to include ladies, prospective candidates, dignitaries from Rugby etc.
Well how these plans had to change. They went from original plan to a maximum of 30 attendees with social distancing down to a maximum of 6. Now this might seem to be disappointing, but this is far from the truth. The first decision was "do we continue to hold the meeting, proclaim the WM for a second year or press on with our original plan in some way, shape or form." The answer was a unanimous, "do what we can, safely and legally".
A large installation for a new Worshipful Master, especially one who is an Assistant Provincial Grand Master in Warwickshire is what would be expected and would have been a splendid affair, but to do the installation with just 6 was not only challenging but memorable. It was very intimate, sincere, enjoyable and will be historic. In another 100 years, someone will have to explain to the attendees at the bi-centenary why they only had 6 brethren at the centenary meeting, none of the officers were invested and how they finished the full meeting in 47 minutes!
How many Past masters of lodges can name every one of the attendees at their installation?
What an event it turnout to be;
Everyone had a job in the opening to cover the situations and duties, the WM had his own prayers to do and who would have thought that the ‘working tools’ of a Covid safe lodge would be the mask, sanitiser and sandwich bag.
Two sets of the Volume of the Sacred Law, and Squares & Compasses, Books of constitutions and by-laws in zip-lock bags and no singing or perambulations.
What stood out was the combined effort to make sure that this ceremony took place. Was it perfect? No! but it was great fun, done in a way that was safe, considered and with humour and Rokeby Lodge 4118 has its first re-cycled Master.
The culmination of the evening was that they could all retire to a local Thai restaurant and enjoy a meal whilst toasting the foresight of their founders, the tenacious nature of the lodge to continue in difficult circumstances, their absent and missed brethren and the next 100 years.
What does the rest of the year have in store? Who knows! All I know is that the brethren of Rokeby Lodge 4118 will meet each challenge as it arrives and we’ll continue to enjoy our Centenary year, honour those who’s vision formed the lodge and to find a way to enjoy our hobby to the full.
David JM Greenwood PSGD APGM
(Worshipful Master – Rokeby 4118)