History of Jubilee Lodge

The history of Freemasonry in Preston goes back more than 200 years dating back to the founding of the Lodge of Justice No 484 in 1775.

Jubilee Lodge was founded following the petition which was signed by Unanimity Lodge at its May meeting in 1935. The main organiser of the Lodge was George Oakey who was to be the first Master of the Lodge but sadly died before the Lodge was consecrated. The name chosen for the new Lodge was Jubilee as its foundation coincided with King George V’s own silver Jubilee celebrations.

 Brethren of Jubilee Lodge 1935

Brethren of Jubilee Lodge 1935

The consecration of the 300th Lodge in the province of Lancashire, Western Division, took place at the Bull and Royal Hotel on 30th October 1935 under the auspices of Arthur Foster, PrGM and the installation of William Hargreaves as the first Master by William Hannay. John Topping was the first Senior Warden and Arthur Page was the first Junior Warden. There were 200 brethren present at the meeting representing all of the Preston Lodges as well as 6 others. At the first Regular Lodge Meeting on Wednesday 6th November the first 2 candidates were initiated: John Waddington, headmaster and Jim Cross, hotel manager of the Derby Arms in Lord Street. The Lodge had a busy few years, with many double ceremonies conducted in that time.

On 6th April 1938 Albert Hesketh presented the banner formally to the Lodge and gave an explanation of the design.

Lodge Banner 1

Lodge Banner

The badge of Jubilee Lodge depicts the scene at Buckingham palace on the Jubilee night and the Lancashire rose which has 5 petals, the only number present in the Lodge number 5555.

Jubilee Badge

Jubilee Badge

The lodge was also in communication with another Jubilee Lodge 5582 in Kitwe, Rhodesia (now Zambia).

There was no Lodge meeting held in October 1939 because all Lodge meetings were temporarily suspended by Grand Lodge, but the suspension was lifted for the following month. At this meeting light refreshments replaced the normal meal because of war-time rationing.

The Lodge endorsed the provision of a Masonic Temple in the town and was one of the first to hold a meeting at Saul Street on 6th September 1944.

1948 was an even busier year with Jubilee consenting to the formation of a Royal Arch Chapter of the same name in April and 7 months later signing the petition for another new Lodge, Olympia, at the November meeting and providing half of the 18 founders.  

The Lodge remained busy with candidates for membership and still enjoyed successful social events. The Lodge Ladies Evening in 1958 was organised for New Year’s Eve and in the following year the New Year’s Eve Ball was to become an annual event for the Masonic Hall. Then on 7th September 1960 the Lodge raised a brother on behalf of Jubilee Lodge 5582 in Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia.

Jubilee then sponsored its third and last daughter Lodge, Longridge, at its Lodge meeting on 3rd November 1965 and was able to provide 6 of the 26 petitioners including the first Master, William Carefoot. In January 1966 the first Junior Night was held in the Lodge, a feature which was repeated on several occasions. In October 1968 a team of 6 Juniors presented an outstanding lecture on the Second Degree and the team and its successors have been invited to perform in several other Lodges in both West and East Lancashire Provinces over the years.

In November 1980 one of our brothers celebrated 50 years in Freemasonry and had been elected an honorary member 2 months previously. This was to become the norm for the Lodge with 3 other brothers becoming honorary members for the same reason in 1985, 1987 and 1990. 2 of these brothers accompanied the Master of 1985/86 when representing the lodge at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Jubilee Lodge in Kitwe, Zambia.

6th November 1985 saw the 50th year of Lodge meetings coincide with a 50th anniversary in freemasonry for one of the Brethren, who was one of the first 2 initiates of the Lodge and in total 115 attended the double celebrations. 

The Lodge honoured Walter Carefoot on his celebrating 50 years in Freemasonry on the 3rd September 1986 and on the 4th february 1987 made him an honoury member of the Lodge.

Ivor Parker was made an honouary member of the Lodge on the 3rd January 1990 in recognition of his 50 years in the lodge.

The 60th anniversary of the lodge was celebrated at the Regular Lodge Meeting on 1st October 1995.