Doric Lodge

Lodge Number: 7686
Consecration: 30 March 1960
Meeting Place: Halsey Masonic Hall – Cheshunt
Meeting Dates: 1st Wednesday March (Installation)
1st Wednesday January
1st Wednesday May
1st Wednesday November

It was in a mood of optimism after the period of post-war austerity that Freemasonry in this country was flourishing. Like minded men were flocking to join and enthusiasts found that they might have to wait many years before reaching the Chair of their mother lodges.

Such a group of Master Masons and Past Masters were bemoaning this fact in the Cheshunt bar  when the Steward, W. Bro. Bert Edwards, said in his usual forthright manner and using adjectives more suited to the bar than theTemple, “Why don’t you get on and form a new lodge?”

Thirteen such brethren got together in 1959 with this in mind, and to allow keen Master Masons to fulfil their ambition of becoming Worshipful Masters. They received considerable encouragement from the Province and Grand Lodge; their petition was granted and a Consecration date set for 30th March 1960.

The Founders came from a number of Hertfordshire Lodges; King Harold, Goffs Oak, Cheshunt St. Mary’s, Theobalds, Eleanor Cross, Churchgate and Crossbrook and it was agreed the latter should be the sponsoring Lodge.

It is uncertain why the name “Doric” was chosen and it is assumed it was to make clear the founders desired to form a strong lodge. We must all agree that they did in fact lay a strong foundation some fifty years ago.

In those early days a very high standard of work was expected and maintained under the severe tutelage of W. Bro. John Aupers, known to the younger brethren rather unkindly as, “Awkward Aupers”. John also served as Treasurer and Ladies Festival Secretary for 28 years.

It was also agreed that a high standard of Festive Board be maintained and the newly appointed young caterer at Cheshunt Centre was the Lodge’s first initiate! The eight course banquet menu can be seen in a copy of the Consecration Brochure The Initiation fee was set at 30 guineas, the annual subscription was 8 guineas (the average was somewhat less at 6 / 7 guineas)

The Founders came from many walks of life; several were nurserymen in theLeaValley, and one  supplied flowers for the festive board to be sold for three half crowns for charity, a tradition carried on by his sons and indeed to this day. Others members were a jovial North London butcher (who became DepProvGDC., and the first of four Grand Officers in the lodge’s history), a garage owner,  an electrical contractor, the Halsey Hall manager, a local licensee, two funeral directors. and the Superintendent of the EnfieldCrematorium.

One of these, Les Murray, has received  his 50 year certificate  and is holder of the PGM’s Certificate of Service to Hertfordshire Masonry  (2007) . He has been the stalwart of the Doric Lodge for many years being our longest serving secretary and master on two occasions.

Some seven members introduced their sons to  the Doric Lodge adding unity and tradition .to the Lodge. The mid seventies saw the Lodge’s largest membership with just under 50 members. The Lodge has long supported the Masonic Charities, most recently the Grand Charity in 2009.

We have held  Boxing Dinners, and an OldTimeMusic Hall  and regularly entered  the Provincial Bowls Competition. Doric held lavish Ladies Festivals, mostly at Firs Hall, Winchmore Hill; and later at the Chanticlair at Tottenham with  in excess of 200 guests. At one Meeting the Lodge raised £7,000 — the highest figure for any lodge meeting at the Cheshunt centre.

The Lodge acquired its banner which was dedicated by the then PGM Guy Halsey on 29th September 1976. That year also saw the annual subscription rise to £20. By 1990 the subscription had risen to £85!

In 1987 the Lodge sponsored the Adastral Lodge No. 9220 with a number of our members acting as Founders— Lou Raven, Les Murray, John West, Jack Palmer, Sid Greatorex, Brian Kempsell, and Tony Ostler.

As we look to the future, with social conditions very different from those of fifty years ago, it is hoped that the present members of the Doric Lodge with the help of the GAOTU will continue to take up the challenge of their predecessors in maintaining a strong, happy lodge within theProvince of Hertfordshire.