|Jubilee Lodge No 5582 EC
|Date of Consecration
|November 23rd, 1935
|Regular meeting day
|Fourth Saturday May
|Wor. Bro.S.Dyson D.G.D.C.
|all communication through the secretary
P.O.Box 22151, Kitwe
(with excerpts from “History of English Freemasonry in Zambia to 1970”, by A.M.L.Entzinger, compiled at the request of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia, Ndola, Zambia, MDCCCCLXXI)
It was a long, tiring journey from Mufulira to Kitwe in those days. The road, or more aptly the track, was much longer than it is today as it went through Chambishi to the north west of Mufulira.. Instead of a bridge, there was a pontoon across the Kafue river. To attend a Lodge meeting the Brethren had to leave Mufulira immediately after work at 4.00 pm to be in Nkana by 7.30 and returned home the early morning in time for another day’s work. Nowadays old hands in Mufulira smile when the Charter is handed over to the new Master, “pure and unsullied”, for it is reputed on one of these journeys to Nkana, during a break-down, the Charter actually fell in the Kafue river. It was, of course, immediately dried, but there is still a brown patch on the document to tell the tale. On another journey, in a downpour that only tropical rainstorms can bring, the car carrying some five or six Brethren developed a puncture. Knowing that they did not have much time to lose, one Brother sacrificed his meeting (and probably his suit as well) and got out to change the wheel while the others remained sheltered in the car.
Mufulira Lodge’s move from Nkana back to Mufulira would undoubtedly not have been applauded by members who were resident in Nkana (Kitwe) as they now had to travel the long track to Mufulira at every meeting night. With the economic situation improving, it was not surprising that they began thinking of forming a Lodge of their own in Kitwe. On 20th March 1935 W.Bro. E.G.Hobbs, then acting as W.M., announced that he would bring forward a Petition for the formation of an English Lodge at Nkana/Kitwe, in order that Mufulira Lodge might consider to sponsor it. At the next meeting:
“A Petition for the formation of a new Lodge at Nkana, to be called Jubilee Lodge, was discussed and it was unanimously decided to sponsor the Petition. Proposed by Bro. E.Sweke, seconded by Bro. J.P.Ferguson”.
In August 1935 it was proposed and agreed that the Lodge donate a sum of money towards the new Lodge for the purpose of purchasing a piece of furniture as a gift from Mufulira Lodge and subsequently, that this sum should be £ 10.10.-, a portion of which should be spent on the purchase of a V.S.L., suitably inscribed. As their own regalia did not arrive in time for the Consecration, Jubilee Lodge borrowed from Mufulira Officers’ collars, Working Tools and the carpet.
No record is left of the preliminary meetings leading to the formation of Jubilee Lodge in Nkana (Kitwe). We have seen how Mufulira Lodge transferred its Warrant to Nkana in 1932. During their stay in Kitwe they initiated a number of Brethren in Freemasonry. It was these Brethren that opposed the move back to Mufulira, because travelling on the Copperbelt in those days was not what it is today. It can safely be assumed, therefore, that those Brethren formed the nucleus of the Founders of Jubilee Lodge.
The solemn Consecration of Jubilee Lodge took place on 23rd November 1935. 55 Brethren attended, apart from the official “brass”.
“At 5 p.m. the Brethren rose to receive the District Grand Master, Rt Wor. Bro. Dawn Copely, Consecrating Officer, accompanied by his Officers and visitors of distinguished rank”.
The Consecration was as usual and afterwards Bro. Alfred Heron, an initiate of Lodge Luangwa, was installed in the Chair as first Master of the Lodge.
Originally the Lodge met in a school near the Mine Club, which was then the town centre. For a not recorded reason, the Lodge had to leave these premises in 1938; they have since been demolished.
The name, Jubilee Lodge, had been chosen to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V. Three months after the Consecration of the lodge, H.M.King George V passed away.
“Although not a member of our Order, he was a lover of it and was its Chief Patron. He was always closely in touch with the great charitable institutions of the Craft and he named and personally opened the Royal Masonic Hospital. We trust that God will keep his memory ever green among his loved and loving subjects, particularly Freemasons”. (W.Bro. Cape, Reg.Mtg. 3rd February 1936)
Until the February meeting of 1936, Jubilee Lodge did not do any working. At that meeting, Mr. John Stanger Borwick was initiated and thereby became the first Initiate of the Lodge. He became its Master in 1943.
In 1937 first mention is made of the existence of a Building Committee. How they got it is not recorded, but on 24th March 1938 a combined meeting of Lodge Nkana and Jubilee Lodge was held to solemnly consecrate a new Temple. This Temple was originally a small staff house, belonging to a local contractor. It was situated where we now find the Z.O.K. Department store.
“It was built of Kimberley bricks, each about 18 inches long by 6 by 8. We had one long room, about 30 feet long and about 15 feet wide. That was our Temple. A wall had, evidently, been knocked down in the middle, to make it into the size wanted. There was no refectory. For the Festive Board we had a little place outside with a tent over the top. Rafters kept it up, the tent that is. I don’t remember what we used to do in the rainy season.” (W.Bro. V.M.Bisset, Master 1938-39)
The Consecration Ceremony was performed by the District Grand Master of the English Constitution and the Depute District Grand Master of the Scottish Constitution, R.W.Bro. Dawn Copely and Rt.W.Bro. R.H.Cooper respectively. To allow an E.A. to be present it had been agreed to do the whole ceremony in the first degree.
The Treasurer got a rap from the elected Auditors in 1939, when one of them reported to the Master that
“……..the Lodge accounts, kept in the present method, could not be audited and should be simplified. He suggested that, since they were interested in actual income and expenditure, only a cash book and ledger should be kept.” (Reg. Mtg. 6th February 1939)
Another rap was:
“A suggestion was made that, seeing Jubilee Lodge issue Emulation Rituals, this Lodge adhere to the working contained therein.” (Reg. Mtg. 1st April 1940)
Jubilee Lodge seems to have been a very quiet and well-established Lodge. They may have had their fair share of joy and sorrow, but there is certainly no record of these.
After the war Kitwe began to develop into quite a town. The Masonic Temple gradually found itself in the heart of the business centre. Several of the larger enterprises began to cast furtive eyes on the plot and when the Temple building began to need some major repairs it was decided to consider sale of the property. Several offers were received and at its meeting of 3rd October 1955 the Board of Trustees decided to pursue the offer of O.K.Bazaars Ltd. In the meantime the Trustees had applied to Kitwe Municipal Council for plot 604 in the Parklands area but it would still be a long time before anything definite could be said about the move.
In the meantime word had gone around and in reciprocation of earlier hospitality:
“A letter was read from Mufulira Lodge offering Jubilee Lodge the use of their Temple during the building of the new Temple at Kitwe”. (Reg. Mtg. 2nd January 1956)
Jubilee Lodge held its last meeting in the old Temple on 10th September 1956 at which a dispensation from the District Grand Master was read enabling the Brethren to wear their regalia in public on the occasion of laying the first stone of the new Temple. The records do not indicate that any attention was paid to the fact that this would be the last meeting in a Temple the Lodge had used for more than 18 years.
The meetings of October, November and December 1956 were held in the Buffalo Hall of the Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes, those of January, February and March 1957 at the Temple in Mufulira. The reason some meetings took place in the Buffalo Hall is most probably because the Buffaloes had offered to keep some of the furniture in storage (regalia cupboards and carpet).
The ceremony of laying of the Foundation Stone for the new Temple was set for 22nd September 1956 to coincide with the Installation meeting of Lodge Nkana of the Scottish Constitution.
As the ceremony was held under the auspices of Lodge Nkana, there is no record of it in the books of Jubilee Lodge, but all that those of Lodge Nkana, No 1378 S.C. say about it is:
“V.W.Bro. R.H.Cooper then announced that he was going to adjourn the Lodge until 7p.m. and asked all Installed Masters to return to the Lodge after the ceremony of laying the Foundation Stone.” (Inst. Mtg. Lodge Nkana 22nd September 1956)
W.Bro Arthur Wroth’s memories include:
“A unique ceremony in the history of Northern Rhodesia Freemasonry was the stonelaying ceremony in Kitwe. I say this, not because I had the honour of laying one of the stones, but the fact that there were two stones. In 1927 the Broken Hill Foundation Stone had been laid by Charlie Spencer, and Lodge Luangwa had presented him with a silver trowel to do the job. Charlie, who was managing the Kitwe Club, gave us his trowel for the Kitwe ceremony. A record of this ceremony and subsequent Dedication on 7th September 1957 may not be in the records of Jubilee Lodge as the Scottish Lodge Nkana took responsibility for them, but herewith is a copy of my oration for the Stonelaying Ceremony: (abridged – Ed)
“We are here today to lay the Foundation Stone of this building, the Kitwe Masonic Temple, which is about to be erected to the Honour and Glory of the Most High, and in humble dependence upon His Blessing. The ceremony of this afternoon, however, is unique, in that two Foundation Stones are being laid, one by Representatives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and the other by Representatives of the Grand Lodge of England. This is because our building will be jointly owned by a Lodge of each Constitution. And in having the two Foundation Stones continually before you and before those who will afterwards follow in our shoes, we trust that all will be reminded that respect, regard and happy association should continue to feature in our relationship from generation to generation.” (W.Bro. Arthur Wroth)
This was followed by raising of the stone and prayer.
To those with a keen eye for detail, it may be of interest to know that the Architects of the building were Horace Williams and partners, the Contractors Messrs. Van der Straaten Ltd, and the concrete was done by Elgin Construction Ltd. Total cost, not recorded anywhere in detail was about £27,000.
Of the Consecration Ceremony on 7th September 1957, there is no record anywhere. The Trustees’ records have only a copy of the Balance Sheet of a dance held that night, for which 112 tickets had been sold at £2.2.- each.
Jubilee Lodge had already met in the new building since 15th April 1957, but again no record is made of that fact.
The solemn Consecration of Bancroft Lodge No 7549 (since renamed Konkola Lodge – Ed) took place on 21st September 1957, at an Emergency Meeting of Jubilee Lodge, who were sponsors, in the Observatory building in Bancroft. The ceremony was conducted by the District Grand Master R.W.Bro. Capt. A.J.Thompson assisted by the Deputy District Grand Master W.Bro A.Wroth and W.Bro. D.J.Jones, P.D.G.W.
Up until now the meetings of Jubilee Lodge had started at 8.00 p.m. In December 1959 a motion was put to the vote, and carried, that the Lodge be opened at 7.00 p.m.
“We found that many visitors could not stay for the Festive Board as often they had to travel long distances home. By starting earlier and promptly we found that many could stay. Our Festive Boards became livelier and more interesting”. (W.Bro. R.O’nions)
Bro R.D. Buissinne, an Initiate of Jubilee Lodge was raised to the Third Degree in Jubilee Lodge No 5555 in Preston, England. A number of Copperbelt Masons made a point of attending this meeting.
“All these Brethren wish to place on record their very sincere appreciation of the hospitality extended to them by Jubilee Lodge No. 5555. Following the ceremony a copper square and compasses, suitably inscribed, were presented to Jubilee Lodge No. 5555 from the Brethren of Jubilee Lodge No.5582.”
In the meantime the Trustees did everything in their power to maintain the building and its contents. They had much trouble with the old electronic organ, which nobody seemed able to repair, also with the airconditioning plant, which led to many heated discussions. The Lodges managed to buy a new carpet and improve on many items of accommodation and sorted out lighting and air conditioning in the Temple .Almost like a bonus, they received, in 1965, from Bro. Jimmy Davison, a practically new baby grand piano.
Jubilee involvement – arrangements for the Consecration of the District Grand Lodge of Zambia on 26th January 1967: Jubilee Lodge under the guidance of the D.G.M. Designate, W.Bro. E.S.Speck, and the D.G.Secretary W.Bro A.E.Garner, realising that Lodge Luangwa, under whose banner the ceremony was to be held, was too far away from Kitwe to take a hand in the practical arrangements, organised the reception of visitors, seating in the hall, Masters’ and Wardens’ fixtures, printing of programmes and the catering. The O.B.Bennett Hall in Kitwe was chosen as the venue because of its size, and Lodge Luangwa was to open and close the meeting, being the oldest Lodge in the District. The banquet after the meeting was to be held in the Nkana Mine Mess, which was equipped for such occasions.
In 1985, three Brethren from Jubilee Lodge No. 5555 in Preston, England, together with their wives, visited Zambia for the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Jubilee Lodge No 5582. The following is a short excerpt from a diary of this visit.
May 25th: This was the great day – the Fiftieth Annual Installation of the Master Elect of Jubilee Lodge No 5582 at the Masonic Temple, Kitwe, District of Zambia with Rt.Wor.Bro. J.Wesson, District Grand Master and Wor.Bro, E.N.Molver, Master Elect, commencing at 13.30 hrs.
The three visiting members of Jubilee Lodge, Preston, England looking very smart left to take part in the ceremony:-
- Bro. I. Billington of Lodge 5555 was to present the Kitwe Jubilee Lodge with three English Oak Gavels
- Bro. J.T.Cross P.G.Std.B. would respond to the toast to Grand Lodge
- Bro. W.Carefoot P.Pr.G.W. would respond to the toast to Our Visitors
The Brethren returned at 9 p.m. obviously very pleased with their Golden Jubilee Celebration and the rest of the evening was spent very happily.