Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset

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For Lodge L137 - Amity.

A brief history of the Lodge of Amity No. 137

A Lodge at Poole was warranted on 1st April 1765 and the first meeting took place at the Lion and Lamb Inn, in the Old Town, on 5th June of that year. Bro John Taylor was installed as Master (or Right Worshipful Master as the title was at that time) by Bro John Wise of Bristol. There were in all probability seven Founders of the Lodge.

The landlord of the Inn, William Lodder, was made a Freemason on the same night.

The Lodge was then numbered 338 and its title 'Amity' was not resolved until May 1779. Since that date the Lodge has endured six changes of number, the last being in 1863, before arriving at the present number of 137 in the Register of the United Grand Lodge of England.

After meeting for seven years at the Lion and Lamb, the Lodge moved to the Old Antelope Inn in the High Street in 1772.

Following a dispute over the cost of meals in 1805, the Lodge moved to premises in Barber's Piles, owned by the RWM, Bro G.W. Ledgard.

In 1881 the Lodge moved to a building in Market Street (now called Market Close) where it has remained to this day. The building currently has a Grade II Listed status.

The Lodge of Amity is the oldest surviving Lodge in the Masonic Province of Dorset and the only one to meet eighteen times each year, a legacy from the early days when many of its members were seafaring men who were in Poole infrequently but could be sure of there being a Lodge meeting when they were in port. Even today we do not expect members to attend every meeting. Because of its long history the Lodge has steadfastly retained many of its ancient customs, but it is readily accepting modern innovations to stand alongside its traditions.

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