Saxony Lodge History

Saxony in Embryo by MWBro Len Wheatley-Perry †

History of Saxony Lodge up to its consecration on the 8th May 1957

Although some German Lodges were reformed late in 1945 by permission of the occupying powers, the essential recognition, as far as the U.K Freemasons were concerned, continued to be withheld by the U.K Grand Lodges.

In these circumstances it was not only impracticable but also forbidden for members of U.K Constitutions to have fraternal relations with or to visit German Lodges.

However, notwithstanding this insurmountable obstacle when a number of British Freemasons were in company their conversations, not unnaturally, turned to matters Masonic which eventually, as the few became the many, devolved into regular meetings which were held in private at the home of one of the members of the discussion group.

The success of these meetings was so apparent by the ever increasing attendance that a decision was taken to form an association and conduct the meetings on proper Masonic lines with a Past Master in the chair.

The initial intention was that the association would confine itself to discussions and research but as time went on some of the discussions of necessity required physical illustration and before long whole portions of the ritual were being demonstrated.

In 1949 the control of the various groups operating in Liineburg, Bad Oynhausen, Bad Salzuflen and Herford was centralised and the Association of British Freemasons came into being.

In 1953 the Hannover Branch was affiliated and it was from there that the seeds of Saxony Lodge were sown.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s hundreds of Freemasons home from the Home Constitutions found themselves serving in West Germany without any facilities to meet and practice their Masonic art. This situation was brought about in some measure by the decimation of German Freemasonry by Hitler and his Nazi regime but mainly because the Home Grand Lodge had withdrawn all fraternal contacts and recognition.

The functions of the various groups had now been so extended as to become unofficial lodges of instruction, which further enhanced the interest and membership. Those attending the Hannover Branch invariably exceeded thirty in number. In consequence it was no longer possible to meet in the home of one of the members, so a committee of three were charged with the task of finding suitable accommodation.

Having acquired accommodation in which to operate (albeit on an unofficial basis) some furniture was essential and although service tables and desks were brought into use as pedestals and billiard cues made to serve as wands, it was not long before our enterprising craftsmen produced folding pedestals and other impediments necessary to conduct a Lodge of Instruction with a modicum of Masonic decorum. The Hannover Branch met at Least once a month but not necessarily on a fixed day or date because as unofficial temporary tenants we had to fit our meetings in with the availability of the accommodation.

In the four years preceding the consecration of Saxony Lodge many different locations were used but the majority of the meetings were held in Stirling House the Headquarters of Hannover and Hamburg Military Districts.

The meetings were conducted to conform with standard Masonic procedure in so far as they referred to committee meetings, the openings, ceremony rehearsals and closings, other than Preceptor, Treasurer and Secretary there were no other permanent officers as no brother was allowed to retain an office for more than one meeting.

All offices other than the three mentioned were filled on voluntary basis and such was the keenness that most offices had a waiting list except the post of candidate which nobody wanted to fill.

However this problem was overcome by the position being filled by the Preceptor, who thus became the permanent candidate.

This very interesting and enjoyable state continued until early 1957 when the joyous news was received to the effect that fraternal relations and recognition had been restored between the U.K and German Constitutions.

This information signalled the state of some very feverish activity culminating with a petition to Grand Master AFAM to form a Lodge under the German Constitution with a special disposition to conduct the business and ceremonies (which were to be according to Nigerian Emulation) in English.

A meeting with Dr. Vogel the Grand Master was arranged and after granting the necessary authority he gave us the utmost assistance in getting matters finalised with the minimum of delay.

It was through his good offices that the home for the new Lodge, to be named SAXONY, was 2a Magnusstraße, Celle.

When Stirling House was for one reason or the other not available we had the onerous task of transporting the folding pedestals and other Lodge furniture to another location, more often than not the British Military Hospital Hannover, which was a considerable distance from our general base.

The final meeting of the Founders prior to the Consecration was held in the study of 9 Gesenius Weg, Hannover on 27th April 1957.

It must have been very gratifying to the members of the Association of British Freemasons in Hannover who in turn provided the founder members of Saxony Lodge. Their endeavours in forming a Lodge under German Constitution assisted in no small way the speed with which Masonry in Germany re-established the Light of Freemasonry which for many years had been dimmed but never extinguished.

Then followed the detailed work in connection with the procurement of essential regalia, wands, working tools and so on.

VWBro Ted Jones †, Founder.

Picture taken at the 50th Anniversary of Saxony Lodge.

28th April 2007