Sandhurst Lodge No.8505

A Brief History of Sandhurst Lodge

The prime movers in the formation of the Sandhurst Lodge were the Past Masters of the Heather Lodge No 3131. A proposition to sponsor a daughter lodge was placed before the regular meeting of the Heather Lodge on the 26th April 1972 when the brethren gave their approbation.

At a meeting held on the 30th May 1972, in the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the name Sandhurst was given to the new lodge; subject to the approval of both Grand Lodge and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire. It was suggested that the number of founders be limited to twenty five, although in the event it is recorded that there were thirty one founders of the lodge on the day of its consecration. After a postal vote, it was agreed to meet at the Berkshire masonic Centre, Sindlesham. This centre has since become the established home of the Sandhurst Lodge

In the minutes of Heather Lodge of the 24th January 1973, it is recorded that the petition for the formation of a daughter lodge was signed by the Worshipful Master and his two wardens. The preceptors for the class of instruction were urged to begin their work of moulding the ritualistic talents of the petitioners in order to produce masonic ceremonies of high standard befitting the new lodge. The first meeting of the Class of Instruction was held on the 6th of March and has continued to meet at regular intervals ever since.

Charity has emerged over the years as a distinctive trait of the lodge and this characteristic surfaced first at the petitioners meeting on the 29th January 1973 when the Master Designate proposed that the sum of 1OO guineas should be set aside for the Provincial Grand Master's 1973 festival of the Royal masonic Benevolent Institution. Indeed, this trait has continued and, against a backdrop of markedly dwindling numbers, Sandhurst Lodge obtained its Gold Award by contributing £33,709 to the Provincial Grand Master's 2011 RMBI Festival.

The Grand Lodge of England accepted the petition of the brethren and placed Sandhurst Lodge at number 85O5 on its register in February 1973 The Charter or Warrant of the lodge was duly signed by the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Secretary on 14th February.
The date for consecration was set for the 1st May 1973 and was performed by the Provincial Grand Master accompanied by the Deputy and Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.

The foundation of the Lodge having been laid, the founders set about the serious business of building the lodge. The by-laws which had been framed for its government and administration were approved by the R W Provincial Grand Master on the 10th May and by the Most Worshipful Grand Master on the 5th July.

The first regular meeting of the lodge took place on the 19th of September when the Worshipful Master had the unique experience of initiating the first two candidates of the lodge. During the remainder of the first year the lodge progressed well and by May 1974, the lodge membership had increased from 31 to 41.

On the 21st May 1975, It was proposed that Sandhurst Lodge should sponsor a new daughter lodge to be called ' Bearwood Lodge' The proposition was enthusiastically received by the brethren and, after the petition had been duly signed by the Worshipful Master and his Wardens, it was accepted by the Provincial Grand Secretary.

On the 25th March 1976, the Bearwood Lodge No 8664 was consecrated. This was followed by the installation of Worshipful Brother G.A.C.Carter, Founder and Assistant Director of Ceremonies of Sandhurst Lodge, as the first Worshipful Master.

During the lodge meeting on in December 1977, the formation of the Sandhurst Chapter was proposed. The Chapter was subsequently consecrated on the l0th May 1978 and has since flourished abundantly and reflected honour upon the name of "Sandhurst".

At the lodge meeting on the 22nd May 1978, Worshipful Brother A.D.Strudwick proposed that since there now existed a structural relationship between Wellesley Lodge, Heather Lodge, Bearwood Lodge and Sandhurst Lodge' we should invite their respective Worshipful Masters to become permanent guests at all our meetings. This proposition received the acclamation of the brethren and has been enthusiastically endorsed ever since.

For full history see Eric Howells - Sandhurst Lodge No.8505 1973-1983