Shannondale Lodge 816

In the late 1950’s only one Scottish and one English Lodge were operating in the Ndola Temple. Amongst the members of these Lodges were five Irish Constitution Brethren who had to affiliate in order to keep their Masonic careers active. In January 1959 these five Brethren, namely, Wor. Bro. Edward J. Kidd, Wor. Bro. Stuart Shaw, Bro. Winston Whitten, Bro. Charles D. Greasley and Bro. Bob P. Green, held a meeting, with a view to forming an Irish Lodge in Ndola. As they could only locate five brethren residing in Ndola, it was decided to write a letter to the Worshipful Master of Itawa Lodge E.C. and the Rt. Worshipful Master of Lodge David Ogilvie S.C. asking if any of their members would be willing to join the proposed new Irish Lodge. Both of these Lodges replied giving permission to approach any of their Brethren provided that they were not currently holding office in their respective Lodges.

Permission was also given by the Grand Lodge of Ireland for all Founder Members who were not members of the Irish Constitution to affiliate on the night of the consecration of the Lodge. After the Dedication and Constitution of the Lodge and Installation of the first Worshipful Master, the first item on the Agenda was to obligate Founder Members – Brethren of Sister Constitutions. The total number of Founder Members was 32 and they all signed the Founder’s Petition.

Out of these Founder Members, two were still resident in Ndola on the Lodges’ 25th Anniversary. These were Bro. C. Elkaim and Rt. Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke.

The new Lodge was to be called Shannondale Lodge No. 816 and would operate under The Provincial Grand Lodge of Rhodesia within the District of Zambia, being overseen by a District Grand Inspector, namely Wor. Bro. William Padkin.

The Lodge was to hold its regular meetings on the fourth Monday of each month, which was later changed to the third Friday. The Installation was to be on the Third Saturday in October which was again changed in 1977 to the third Saturday of September. The first Wor. Master was Wor. Bro. Frank Ward who was not a resident of Ndola but was a Past Master of Pioneer Lodge No. 764. The Lodge was sponsored by Downpatrick Lodge No 785, Failte Lodge No. 805 and Pioneer Lodge No. 764.

The Lodge was Constituted and Dedicated on Saturday 22nd October 1960 at 17:00 Hours and the First Installation Ceremony followed at the Masonic Temple, Queen Mary Avenue (now Independence Avenue), Ndola.

The List of Officers was as follows:

Worshipful Master Wor Bro Frank Ward
Senior Warden Bro C D Greasey
Junior Warden Bro B P Green
Treasurer Bro R P Makin
Secretary Wor Bro H S van Zyl
Director of Ceremonies Wor Bro E J M Kidd
Chaplain Bro D Gibson
Conductor Bro A 0 Bostock
Senior Deacon Bro W C Whitten
Junior Deacon Bro W H V Dunbar
Inner Guard Bro C E Higgs
Senior Steward Bro R P Burke
Tyler Wor. Bro. W. Sheffield

 

In the first twenty five years since its formation there have been 24 Masters. The late V. Wor. Bro. D. M. McNab was the only brother to have served twice as Worshipful Master in the years 1968/69 and 1969/70. The first six Masters in succession were all Founder Members and the following fourteen beginning 1971/72, were initiates of the Lodge. The Roll recorded 245 Members at the end of the first 25 years. In the same period there had been 149 Initiates (an average of 6 per annum) and 64 joining members in addition to the original 32 Founder Members.

After Independence in 1964 all Constitutions decided to form their own Districts and break away from the Rhodesian ties. In 1966 The Irish Constitution in Zambia consisted of four Lodges. Lodge Killarney No 818 was having great difficulties in operating in Livingstone and the Warrant was transferred to Bulawayo.

An Invitation was sent to The Most Worshipful The Grand Master to visit Zambia and in June 1966 he held two meetings in Lusaka and Kitwe. The Kitwe Meeting was held on Tuesday 25th January 1966 which was a special communication of the combined Copperbelt Lodges, to discuss the break-away from Rhodesia. The Chair of this meeting was taken by the Wor. Master of Pioneer Lodge, the Senior Warden’s Chair by W. Master of Failté Lodge and the Junior Warden’s Chair by the reigning Master of Shannondale Lodge in the person of Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke. Nothing conclusive emerged and the Most Worshipful Master left with many arguments and discussions to follow.

Altogether, about 100 Brethren attended a subsequent meeting when it was finally agreed that an Inspectorate would be formed with Wor. Bro. W. A. Padkin as Grand Inspector. He in turn appointed Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke as his Assistant.

The Most Worshipful The Grand Master, Rt. Hon. the Earl of Donoghmore approved both appointments and a meeting was held in 1968 for the Investiture of these Brethren. Rt. Wor. Bro. Sidney Smallwood came from Rhodesia to install them.  Wor. Bro. Padkin stayed in Zambia until 1970 and on his departure recommended Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke as his successor. Wor. Bro. Cooke subsequently recommended Wor. Bro. John Adams as his Assistant.

Both these appointments were approved by The Grand Master. Wor. Bro. Padkin invested his successor before his departure and Wor. Bro. Cooke appointed and invested his Assistant in January 1975.

Zambia Master’s Lodge No 856 was founded and consecrated at the Masonic Temple, Ndola. Rt. Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke being the Presiding Officer and V. Wor. Bro. D. M. McNab the Installing Officer, again 6 Brethren were Founder Members.

Late in September 1975, Zambia was honoured with the visit of Rt. Wor. Bro. James O. Harte, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, who was accompanied by his wife, Margaret. He arrived on Wednesday 1st September and upon his arrival at Ndola was met by Brethren of Shannondale Lodge and was driven to Kitwe for a 1st Degree Working by Failte Lodge. He returned to Ndola later that evening and on the following day he was taken to various places of interest on the Copperbelt.

The climax of his visit was the Constitution of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Zambia and the Installation of Rt. Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke as Provincial Grand Master on Saturday 4th September.

The Grand Secretary and his wife were then driven by the Provincial Grand Master to Kabwe, Lusaka and Livingstone before returning to Ndola on Thursday 9th September, prior to his departure from Zambia. In his Report to Grand Lodge, Rt. Wor. Bro. Harte makes special reference of the memorable and happy times he had spent with the Brethren of Shannondale Lodge and the beautiful gifts presented to him and his wife, which reminded him of the days enjoyed amongst the wonderful Brethren in Zambia.

In December 1975 after many local complications Cashel Lodge No. 863 of Luanshya was Consecrated and Shannondale Lodge members were active in its formation and sponsorship. Fourteen of the thirty-three Founder Members being from the Lodge. They were still very active in the day to day support of Cashel Lodge.

In 1981 Rt. Wor. Ro. F. R. Cooke decided to retire as Provincial Grand Master and was only too pleased to hand over to his Deputy, Rt. Wor. Bro. John Adams who in turn appointed his Deputy in Wor. Bro. lfor Davies. He also requested the Grand Lodge of Ireland to allow him to appoint a Provincial Assistant Grand Master. This was granted and once again Shannondale Lodge was honoured to provide for this Office in the person of Wor. Bro. Wyndham Morgans, who held this Office until January 1983 when another Shannondale Lodge member was honoured with the appointment, namely Wor. Bro. P. Riley, who held the Office until the end of the first 25 years of the Lodges’ existence.

Since the formation of the Provincial Grand Lodge in Sept. 1976, eleven Worshipful Brethren of Shannondale Lodge have been accorded with the rank. Of all the Brethren who went through the Province, mention must surely be made of Wor. Bro. J. D. H. Wilson who was initiated into Shannondale Lodge in 1968 and then served as Wor. Master in the year 1974/75 and was subsequently invested as Provincial Grand Master of The Province of Southern Cape, R.S.A. on Friday 8th February 1985.

There have been five father/son memberships, as follows:

Wor. Bro. E.J.M. Kidd Bro. E. M. Kidd
Wor. Bro. Bob P. Green Bro. R. W. Green
Rt. Wor. Bro. F. R. Cooke Wor. Bro. M. R. Cooke
Bro. M. Chambers Bro. J. A. Chambers
Rt. Wor. Bro. P. Riley Bro. Paul Riley

The Lodge is well represented on the Board of Management of The Masonic Charity Fund of Zambia and has contributed large amounts annually towards worthy causes. it has also undertaken various projects to assist on an individual Lodge basis and can re-assure recipients that the brethren will continue to fulfil their obligation in this respect over the coming years.

During the First 25 years the Lodge had seen fit to honour certain brethren for their distinguished service to Shannondale Lodge in the form of granting honorary memberships.

They were:

Rt. Wor. Bro. P.A. Padkin Bro. C. A. Hubbard
V. Wor. Bro. J. B. Gascoyne Wor. Bro. J. Carr
Rt. Wor. Bro. W. G. Morgans Rt. Wor. Bro. P. Riley

Throughout the 25 years, Shannondale Lodge had been blessed with an abundance of prospective candidates and double ceremonies were necessary in certain workings to reduce waiting lists. Shannondale Lodge stepped into its second 25 years proud of its past but even more determined to make it a better future, ever mindful of those thirty-two Founder Members whose courage, determination, foresight and dedication created the Lodge we have today, and handed down to us that birth right we are obliged to hand on pure and unsullied to those who shall succeed us.

So Mote it Be

The Next 25 Years

The Lodge continued to flourish in the midst of difficulties of maintaining memberships levels.

The first 15 years had a number of movements in its membership as more and more members left the country for various reasons. The following 10 years proved even more difficult in as membership fell to an unprecedented level. The minimum level reached almost 6 to 7 brethren in total, just making the minimum quorum for regular meetings.

But the Lodge had been fortunate in that almost all members were very active brethren who gave their all in continuing with activities which even raised significant funds in building up Lodge finances. Almost on an annual basis each incoming Master strived to make his year in Office a success and brethren rallied together in support. In May 1993 it even became necessary to levy Brethren with a sum of K 50,000 to boost up its coffers in order to meet its financial obligations.

There had been 19 Masters in the subsequent 25 years with 6 having to occupy the Chair for two and even three years in some cases. Three of them having occupied the Chair for two years in succession, three with intervening years and one for three years. In each case Provincial Authority was sought for and obtained. This proved necessary due to lack of new candidates.

In 1990 Wor. Bro. H. E. Smith, an Affiliate and a Past Master of Shannondale Lodge was appointed to take over as Provincial Grand Master, needless to say a member of Shannondale Lodge. Rt. Wor. Bro. Smith held the position for 4 years subsequently handing over to Rt. Wor. Bro. Edward Florence, a member of Downpatrick Lodge No. 785. Rt. Wor Bro. Michael Walker, The Grand Secretary, was invited to install the new Provincial Grand Master. The Grand Secretary was suitably entertained and a mock second degree working was held at Cashel Lodge No 836 in Luanshya, Zambia. Another worthy event to note was the appointment of Rt. Wor. Bro. W. G. Morgans, a member of the Lodge and a  Master in the Chair in 1978-79 who was appointed as Provincial Grand Master of Southern Cape in South Africa.

Two Brethren and Lewis’s and original Shannondale members of the Lodge, Bro. Y. M. Kaka and Bro. I. D. Kaka, sons of Bro. I. M. Kaka, who had emigrated to South Africa went on to occupy the Chair of King Solomon in a Lodge in South Africa. The two brethren went into the chair in consecutive years.

One of the more significant years in the Lodges’ history was the appointment of Rt. Wor. Bro. Hiri J. Bodalia to the Office of Provincial Grand Master in November 2000.  The Lodge financed the fare for Rt. Wor. Bro. Wyndham Morgans who travelled from Cape Town, South Africa and was in the Provincial Grand Master at the time who in fact had initiated, passed and raised Bro. Hiri into Freemasonry. Rt. Wor. Bro. Morgan installed Wor. Bro. Hiri as Provincial Grand Master for Zambia. Rt. Wor. Bro. Hiri in turn appointed V. Wor Bro. Manhar Patel as his Provincial Grand Secretary and V. Wor. Bro. John Kerry as Provincial Grand Treasurer. Rt. Wor. Bro. Hiri served in Office for a period of 6 years and V. Wor. Bro. Manhar Patel served the Province for 9 years before making way for his successor to take over the position. V. Wor. Bro. Kerry served for under two years before handing over to his successor. A year after his appointment the position of Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies was handed over to V. Wor. Bro. Dilip T. Desai, the previous Director of Ceremonies having completed a tenure of 10 years as per Grand Lodge Law. Wor. Bro. Desai is currently in position of that office. It is worthy of note that Brethren Bodalia, Patel and Desai are Shannondale members and currently active.

In the same year 2000, five brethren attended the 275th Anniversary at Grand Lodge together with their families.

  1. Wor. Bre. Dilip T. Desai and Manhar Patel were nominated for Grand Lodge Honours by Rt. Wor. Bro. Bodalia in 2005. Both received their Honorary Grand Rank of Past Grand Steward in 2005. V. Wor. Bro. Manhar Patel went on to attend Grand Lodge in June 2010 to be examined by Rt. Wor. Bro. Michael Ward and Wor. Bro. Paul Kenny, both Senior Brethren of Grand Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Instruction. Bro. Patel was to become the first in the Province of Zambia to be appointed as an approved Grand Lodge Instructor. In 2006, due to lack of membership, Cashel Lodge No. 863 was removed from Luanshya to Lusaka under the authority of Grand Lodge. Three Past Masters and three brethren of the Lodge affiliated to Shannondale Lodge which boosted its membership.

Contribution of the Lodge towards the Ndola Masonic House Committee was significant in that Rt. Wor. Bro. Hiri served as Secretary for 21 years, V. Wor. Bro. Desai served in maintenance capacity for 18 years and Bro. Desai also served as Bar Manager for the committee for 6 years boosting the net worth of the Bar from K 800,000 to a handsome figure of over K 64,000,000 when he relinquished the position to another member Lodge.

During the years the Lodge contributed to the House Committee by renovating the Bar, installing split-level air-conditioners in the Temple and raising substantial sums towards maintenance of the Lodge premises and Charity collections.

Over the past few years, ten members of the Lodge worked their way up the Provincial ladder and passed through the position of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden. Wor. Bro. Aroon J. Desai was awarded the rank of Past Provincial Senior Grand Warden (Hon.) after long service in the Province and has since migrated to the United States. During the past 25 years, the Lodge held annual fund-raising and outside activities where members and their families went on out of town visits on camping trips.  Ladies and family members were entertained through evening dinners at local venues and occasionally at the Temple premises.

There have been 45 Initiate and 9 Affiliating members; 7 affiliated from within the Constitution and 2 from Sister Constitutions. Numerous workings have been conducted and brethren invited to carry out workings at Irish Lodges in the Province with small memberships.  Four members of the Lodge are also Past Masters of the Copperbelt Lodge of Installed Masters. Visiting has been a strong activity of the Lodge, both at Irish Meetings and Installations and at Sister Constitutions. Current Past Masters of the Lodge are also active members of Zambia Master’s Lodge No. 856.

In conclusion, Shannondale Lodge remains in a healthy position financially and membership stands at 13.

The future of the Lodge looks strong and healthy and certainly meets the requirements laid down by its founding members.