London School Board Lodge

2611

About

The London School Board Lodge originated from the London School Board. This was set up under the Public Elementary Education Act of 1870 and covered the whole of the London Area. It was one of a number throughout the country and the Board, split into 10 divisions was the first of the Metropolitan authorities elected on a democratic vote as all ratepayers, both men and women were allowed to vote. Originally aimed at the 3R’s its task also included building schools and training teachers as well as enforcing school attendance. It was closed in 1903 and its powers passed to the London County Council.

In 1896, ten members of the Board, who were already Freemasons, founded our Lodge to ‘promote the association of past and present members of the London School Board’. Hence our name. Originally only open to this small band, most of whom were Grand Officers it was mainly a Dining Club and met in full evening dress. In 1902 its membership was extended to admit all Managers of Board Schools and since then has been fully opened, whilst retaining the exclusivity of size. The Lodge is now over 100 years old and retains many of the old traditions and whilst no longer dining in full evening dress we are one of the very few who meet in Dinner Jacket. An old tradition is that we, unlike all other Lodges, do not wear white gloves – said to be a hangover for the time we switched from tails to DJ during the Second World War, when the traditionalists were adamant that gloves were only worn with tails.

In 1925, the London School Board Lodge was made a Hall-Stone Lodge. The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the London School Board Lodge was celebrated by a special dinner at the Holborn Restaurant WC1 on 27th March 1946. The Centenary of 100 years of the lodge was marked by a special Ceremony on 1st of October 1996 at Mark Masons Hall with the presentation of a Centenary Banner, followed by a splendid Dinner. Centenary Jewels were struck for all the Lodge Members.

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