One cannot but have the greatest admiration for the Founders of the Old Dovorian Lodge.
Writing some 83 years later, to me 1937 does not seem a propitious time to found a new lodge. The Great War had ended less than twenty years before, the terrible toll exacted on humanity was still raw in the memory and many of the Founders had served with distinction in the First World War and had seen the horrors of war at first hand.
The ‘war to end war’ in H.G. Wells’ famous phrase about the Great War must have appeared a hollow promise as the allied powers, albeit reluctantly, were preparing to face another global conflict. Only the day before the lodge’s Consecration, the Times report on Parliament included the headlines ‘Progress with Air Defence Plans’, ‘100 Squadrons by End of March’, ‘Balloon Defence of London’ and chillingly ‘Efficiency of German Bombers’.
Thus, at this point in history the Consecration was a signal sign of confidence and determination by the Founding Brethren.
Just over two and a half years later, on 3rd September 1939, war was declared and with the benefit of this history we can see how the fledgling lodge coped ‘for the duration’.
Despite low attendances and changes to dates, meeting times and dress, the impression gained is that it was very much a matter of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, although one cannot be unmoved by the poignant entries in the minutes where the deaths on active service of members and their sons were announced.
The lodge, however, did carry on and despite the vicissitudes on the Home Front and the losses sustained among its membership, held its first peacetime meeting, after six long years of war, on 24th October 1945.
Current members of No. 5647 owe a great debt to their early predecessors for steering the lodge through the wartime years, overcoming the difficulties they encountered and above all by ensuring the survival of the lodge.
Bro. Robert McAlpin, the current Secretary, is to be heartily congratulated on researching and writing this interesting account, so we can all appreciate an important chapter in the lodge’s history as we now commemorate the 75th anniversary of V.E. Day on 8th May and V.J. Day on 15th August this year.
To read more about the Old Dovorian Lodge during this time, click hear