Wilson-Iles Lodge

Lodge Number: 2054
Consecration: 23 July 1884
Meeting Place: Halsey Masonic Hall – Watford
Meeting Dates: Last Saturday March (Installation)
Last Saturday April
1st Saturday June
Last Saturday October
1st Friday December

 

Wilson-Iles Lodge was consecrated at The Four Swan’s Hotel, Waltham Cross under the authority of a warrant dated 22nd May 1884.  The Lodge had the honour to bear the name of Dr. Francis Henry Wilson-Iles, Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 1879 and a highly respected surgeon of Watford. He died of blood poisoning, resulting from a scratch sustained whilst operating on a child infected with diphtheria; a grievous loss to his profession, to Freemasonry and the many people who knew him. He is buried in St Mary’s graveyard and in 1993 his grave was restored with donations from Freemasons. The Latin inscription on the Crest adopted by the Lodge is translated to read ‘Life and Honour’.

The Lodge was consecrated on Wednesday, 23rd July 1884 at The Four Swans Hotel at Waltham Cross. In 1886 moves were made to move to Watford. Prior to 1920 The Lodge moved to several venues in Watford, Bushey and Rickmansworth. In 1920 however, a move was made to construct the Halsey Masonic Hall and two members of the Lodge were elected to represent the Lodge on the building committee. A management company was incorporated on 20th April 1925 and the Lodge moved to the present building when it was completed in completed in 1926. The company continues to this day where our member, W.Bro H J Collins is and has been a Director since 2003. The building is the only purpose built Masonic Hall in Hertfordshire.

In 1939, with the advent of war, the Army requisitioned the ground floor of Halsey Hall for military purposes. Meetings continued however with the Festive Board being held in the Stuart Temple.

Celebrations have been held to mark the Lodge’s 50th, 75th, 100th & 125th anniversaries. It is interesting to note that in the group photograph of Lodge Officers, W.Bro F Longman featured in the 50th,75th & 100th! At the 125th anniversary, which was attended by our then Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro. Colin Harris minutes were read of the meeting held 100 years ago. It was interesting to note that on both occasions the candidates were unable to attend.

There have been meetings where the Lodge Temple and Festive Board were filled to the 120 capacity. That however was in the day when we had over 60 members; these days however, with our membership at 22, we consider an attendance of 40 to be large meeting.