Teme Lodge No 4267
In the year 1920 several Freemasons in Knighton and the neighbourhood felt that an effort should be made to found a Lodge at Knighton. Members of the Lodge of the Marches, No. 611, at Ludlow, were invited to assist in the scheme.
Geographically, Knighton is situated in the Masonic Province of South Wales, Eastern Division, but as the great bulk of the Lodges in that Province meet far away in South Wales, chiefly in Glamorgan, which is difficult to access from Knighton, it was soon resolved that if a Lodge were formed it should be attached to the Province of Shropshire, which is readily accessible. This naturally presented many problems to the Officials of Grand Lodge in far away London, but the sympathies of the two Provincial Grand Masters concerned – Sir Offley Wakeman, Bart., for Shropshire and Sir Venables-
The Warrant bears the date 14th March, 1921, and is signed by Arthur, G.M.F.T.Halsey, Deputy Grand Master and P.Colville Smith, Grand Secretary.
The Lodge was consecrated on Empire Day, 24th May 1921, by the Provincial Grand Master for Shropshire. He was most ably assisted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. W. Lascelles Southwell, and supported by a Board of Provincial Grand Officers. The Provincial Grand Master for South Wales Eastern Division, was present on the occasion, to the great satisfaction of all concerned. The Provincial Grand Chaplain of Shropshire, The Reverend Canon H.A.P, Sawyer, Headmaster of Shrewsbury School, delivered a most impressive and eloquent oration on the nature and principles of Freemasonry. He stated that ‘SERVICE’ is the true touchstone of the brotherhood, and is the only means by which its moral system can be put into practice. Furthermore, he impressed that we must, if we are are true brethren, devote our energies to increase the welfare and the happiness of our fellow men.
By October 1921 the work of the Lodge was being vigorously tackled by the Master and his Officers, so that by the end of the year, six Joining Members and ten Initiates had been added to the Lodge roll.
The Lodge began its career under happy circumstances, for the Founders had not only discharged the usual expenses of establishing the Lodge, but also provided the whole of the Lodge Furnishings.
Antient Free & Accepted Masons
In June, 1931 an Emergency Lodge was held to mark the First Decennial Meeting with a special service of commemoration held in the Lodge Room, and in May, 1971, a 50th Anniversary Service was held, with full Masonic Clothing being worn in Knighton Church with tea afterwards.
The Lodge originally met in the Board Room at Offa’s Lodge in Knighton and in 1950 a committee was formed to look at possible Lodge Rooms in Knighton Town Hall on a 20 year lease, but the Ministry of Works turned down an application for a licence to spend money on altering the rooms.
On 19th September, 1961, the Lodge moved to Victoria Hall, Knighton, but because the Methodist Church wanted the room back for its sole use, it moved to a fairly small room in the Shirehall, Presteigne on 21st January, 1981, and on 16th September, 1981 to the Memorial Hall, Presteigne, before ‘coming home’ to Knighton, in the Knighton Hotel, on 17th December, 1991. In January, 2017, the Lodge moved from the Hotel to its new home at Whitton, making use of the Community Hall in the redundant School Buildings.
Since the Foundation of the Lodge, regular cross visits have occurred between the Ithon Lodge No. 3320 in Llandrindod Wells, and the Arrow Lodge in Kington, with, normally, the Worshipful Master and Wardens attending each other’s Installation meetings.
The following is the final paragraph of W.Bro. J. Palmer’s history, which is as relevant today as it was 93 years ago.
“Thus, Brethren, we stand today, sharing in the joys of our fellows, partaking in their trials and their sorrows, ever striving to advance true brotherhood, to display true friendship, to render ‘service’ in every possible way, toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, but ever moving onward to our goal – fidelity to our God, honour to our Queen, love to our Brotherhood – our traditions untarnished, their lustre undimmed, ever finding room to deny ourselves and by so doing discovering a road to bring us nearer to the Most High, and a solution to the great mystery of life -
Brethren, may our Teme Lodge flourish so long as the River Teme shall flow!”