Black Country Heritage Lodge No. 9702
New Lodge - Old-Fashioned Principles
The Black Country Heritage Lodge No 9702 was created to reflect the warm spirit of the Black Country; with a simple philosophy that freemasonry will thrive and prosper if it is both enjoyable and affordable.
Could this philosophy be feasible and sustainable? Read on and judge for yourself.
From Conception to Chaos
A group of masons from that fine Province of Warwickshire but themselves Black countrymen, often discussed the idea of a ‘Black Country Lodge,’ where members could be as they bist, spake how they spoked and replace such mundane adjectives as ‘very good’ with the more meaningful ‘bostin.’
In March 1997, at the Lodge Of Assembly No. 5747, in Birmingham, on the occasion of their ‘Olde English Night’, The ‘Brummy’ members had their customary light hearted dig at us ‘yam-yams. We responded in jest by saying it was time to start our own Black Country Lodge. There was an immediate expression of interest which inspired us to go ahead with the idea. A series of meetings led to the decision that the Lodge would be based in the Black Country to celebrate our industrial heritage. We believed that good ritual and good humour could prevail harmoniously without compromising the dignity and integrity of freemasonry or the landmarks of the order. All we needed now, was sumweer to ode it up at!
The Royal Oak Pub in Dudley Port Tipton with an absolute ‘gem’ of an ancient Lodge Room attached to it, was the ideal venue. (Go and visit it while you still can!) Sponsorship was kindly offered by that very fine and ancient Staffordshire Lodge, Noah’s Ark No. 347. The new Lodge with lots of new ideas, no pastmasters to say ‘yo cor do that!’ and a growing list of membership applications, was now ‘dyin ter get gooin!’
Following a meeting with the then Provincial Grand Master of Staffordshire, he very kindly proposed consecration of the Lodge on the conditions that it conducted its activities and ritual to the established traditions practiced in the Province of Staffordshire. He also suggested we perform our ‘Black Country Workings’ as a demonstration. The founders gave this assurance and the Provincial Grand Master duly consecrated the Black Country Heritage Lodge No. 9702 on Tuesday 30th November 1999 at the Masonic Hall in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, with 36 founder members, and seven sponsors.
Starting Off As We Day Mean Ter Goo On!
With joining members from Provinces near and far, and our initial lack of experience, we ran into difficulties in the early days of the Lodge. However, with sure support from the Provincial Grand Secretary, some dedicated Staffordshire masons and excellent ritualists, the Lodge soon got into its stride. The “bonding effect” in transforming a “Lodge of strangers” into a consolidated fellowship, gave us the outcome we had hoped for. Returning visitors began to tell us how much they enjoyed our ceremonies, our festive boards and our company.
If It’s That Good, Bring The Missus & Kids
We involve our partners and our families as much as possible, resulting in a healthy social side to the Lodge. In addition to our formal ladies evenings, we have at least three or four social events each year. This strong social side has helped towards supporting our charities, and some favourable local press coverage. Members own children are welcomed at all our social events including Ladies Festivals.
Keeping Up With The Old Times
Following a steady growth in membership and a consistent healthy turnout of visitors, we sadly outgrew our home at the Royal Oak in Dudley Port Tipton. We were however, warmly welcomed by members of the Walton Walker Lodge in Edwards Street, West Bromwich. This very fine historic building has been sympathetically restored to its former glory by some very dedicated masons, particularly our friends of Walton Walker Lodge No. 3847 .
Future Prospects - Consigned To History
Having been so fortunate as to see our original dream become a reality, we can only conclude that if the Black Country Heritage Lodge continues to dwell in the past, it will surely remain successful in the future and that will be bostin!
Come And See For Yourself
Whether you’re a mason wishing to visit, or maybe not a mason at present but would like more information, please contact us and we will arrange a visit for you to share our Black Country hospitality.
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