Stivichall Lodge Celebrates 75 Years

Mick Connolly

WM Mick Connolly & his Wardens

Stivichall Lodge was consecrated on the 13th September 1939, just 10 days after the outbreak of war.

In the 1930’s Coventry’s industry was expanding fast and was the fastest growing city in the country. This attracted many people to Coventry and the waiting list to become a Freemason grew to nearly five years. The PGM at the time RW Colonel W. F. Wyley, highlighted the need to for more lodges.

W Bro Stanley Harley headed a team of committed Masons who set out to create the new Lodge, Stivichall Lodge. After 6 months of dedicated preparations, the consecration of Stivichall Lodge was set to take place at the ancient guildhall of St Marys with a banquet to follow at the Masonic Rooms at Little Park St.

On the 30th of August the founders held a final preparation meeting. The situation in Europe was critical as Poland was bracing itself for invasion. With just 2 weeks before the planned consecration they started making contingency plans to change or even cancel if needed. Of course on the 3rd of September we were at war with Germany and it looked like all plans would be cancelled. However the PGM convinced the founders to continue and the consecration of Stivichall Lodge was held on the 13th September, all be it, the celebrations were scaled back with the ceremony being held at the Masonic Rooms at Little Park Street and the banquet became afternoon tea!

 

Stivichall Cuff Links

Stivichall cuff links were presented to all present

75 years later and still going strong the WM of Stivichall Lodge, W Bro Mick Connolly and his Wardens processed into the lodge rooms at the Coventry Masonic Heritage Centre to start the celebrations of 75 years of Masonic history in the Lodge.

After the opening ode the Provincial Deputy Grand DC called for a column to escort the RW Bro David F Macey, Provincial Grand Master together with 4 Grand Lodge officers into the rooms. The escorting column numbered 11 Provincial Lodge Officers consisting of both Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, Provincial Grand Chaplain, Provincial Senior and Junior Grand Deacons, Provincial Assistant Grand Chaplain, two Provincial assistant Grand DCs, two Provincial Grand Stewards and the Provincial Grand Tyler.

The PGM together with his Wardens opened the lodge in a superb manner and handed the gavel back to the WM.

The WM then presented the PGM with a members handbook for the Lodge, together with Lodge bye-laws, having been elected as an honorary member earlier in the year.

WM Mick Connolly and W Bro Lee Haggan, DC

WM Mick Connolly & W Bro Lee Haggan, DC

The WM began the historical presentation of the Lodge history, which was continued by a number of the members each presenting a unique part of the history. W Bro Des Ashley, WM of Victory Lodge 4009 then read the minutes of Victory Lodges 125th meeting when the petition for the new Lodge was presented for approval. The minute book and original petition was handed to the WM and PGM for review.

The presentation didn’t just focus on the Lodge history; each decade was punctuated with little snippets of history and audio clips. We’re not sure if “The Rolling Stones” have ever been played in a Lodge meeting before!

Bro Luke Connolly, SD (son of the WM) always ready to entertain

Bro Luke Connolly, SD (son of the WM) always ready to entertain

The 75th Anniversary Festive Board

The 75th Anniversary Festive Board

After the presentation the PGM ended the meeting with some kind words and observations on Stivichalls history. Greetings were given by the 19 Lodges there represented, which coincidentally is exactly the same number of Lodges represented by the founding members.

A column was formed and the PGM escorted from the Lodge prior to the Lodge in due harmony before being formally closed. 54 Brethren were present and a very enjoyable evening and Festive Board was enjoyed by all. £239 (pre gift aid) was raised for one of the PGMs famous five charities ‘The Birmingham Children’s hospital’ and the raffle a further £156 for the Almoners fund.

 

W Bro Rich Edge & W Bro Lee Haggan were interviewed at the Coventry Masonic Heritage Center ahead of a live interview on the Breakfast Show with the RW PGM David Macey

The RW PGM David Macey interviewed live on Shane O’Connor’s Breakfast Show (the BBC C&W) 12th Sept 14

BBC C&W Broadcast 12th Sept 2014

BBC C&W Radio Interview 12Sept14