To write a history of one hundred and thirty years of Freemasonry in Grenville Lodge in a few pages is no easy task; it is impossible to mention every Brother who has contributed to the life of the Lodge. We have, therefore, attempted to highlight interesting events and the very important parts played by some of the Brethren. This has been gleaned from the well-kept records of our nineteen Secretaries to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their work without which this account could never have been written.
We must also thank W. Bro. H. Mairs, P.P.J.G.W., and our Secretary from 1953 – 1958 for compiling a most interesting history of the years 1880 – 1954 and to W. Bros. P. J. Wagland and M. M. Coombs for subsequently updating the history from 1954 to our centenary in 1980. Further updating took place in 2005 again by W Bro. M. M. Coombs with assistance from W Bro. P. Bullen for the 125th Anniversary when the Lodge History was once again created into a presentation booklet and this text recreates the booklet updated from 2005 to the present day.
Consecration to 1900
Although our Charter or Warrant from the Grand Lodge of England, signed by John Hervey as Grand Secretary and The Earl of Skelmersdale as Deputy Grand Master, was dated 29th October, 1878 the Lodge was not consecrated until Thursday, 29th January, 1880 by V.W. Bro. The Rev. J. S. Brownrigg, Past Grand Chaplain of England, one time Rector of Moulsoe. He consecrated no less than fourteen Lodges.
The Founder Members were:
- The Rev. A. J. Riddle
- R. Slator
- K. Tibbetts
- J. Gough
- D. Clarke
- J. Denton
This and other early meetings of the Lodge took place in the Buckingham Town Hall. It is interesting to note that after the Consecration Bro. J.R. Slator was not only invested as the first S.W. he was also appointed to the offices of Secretary and Treasurer. The Book of Constitutions would not allow this today!
The first regular meeting of the Lodge was held on Tuesday, 24th February, 1880 when five of the seven visitors were asked to act as Officers of the Lodge. Four Buckingham Candidates proposed at the previous meeting were then Initiated – J. Christmas and T. C. Hudson, Bank Clerks, W. Carter, Stationer, and G. E. Reynolds, Grocer.
The same evening the following were proposed as future Candidates : W. Thorpe, Manufacturer of Artificial Manures and P. Pringle, Draper.
Meetings were held at this time on the fourth Tuesday of the month. At the second meeting the W.M. was not present and his place was taken by a P.M. of Watling Street No. 1639 who promptly passed the first four Candidates. At the next meeting the same Master completed the promotion of the same four. The early Brethren of Grenville seemed to be determined to get on with the work. If more evidence is required, one of the four, Bro. T. C. Hudson, was J.D. by October and S.W. by January 1881.
In July 1880 there were insufficient Brethren present to form a Lodge. This occurred again in July 1881 and 1882. In May 1883 the meeting day was changed from the fourth to the third Tuesday of each month and the meetings for June, July and August were discontinued. September meetings were discontinued in 1900.
Egerton Hubbard, of Apollo Lodge No. 357 was elected a joining member in March 1882. Thus began a long association with Grenville of the Brother who in 1889 succeeded his Father as the second Baron Addington. He became Provincial Grand Master for Buckinghamshire in 1895.
In December 1882 it was agreed that Messrs. Nelson and Young, of Well Street should be paid one guinea per year for the use of the harmonium. Bro. H. Young was the organist.
In these early years the Installation Meetings were held in January, and the 1883 meeting shows a record number of twenty-two members and six visitors present who afterwards “Adjourned to the White Hart Hotel to keep the Feast of St. John”.
The work completed in the first three years:
- 1880 – 81 – 7 Initiations, 7 Passings & 7 Raisings
- 1881 – 82 – 6 Initiations, 4 Passings & 4 Raisings.
- 1882 – 83 – 4 Initiations, 4 Passings & 6 Raisings.
In 1889 the Lodge voted for the dissolution of the combined Provincial Lodge of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Buckinghamshire resumed in 1890. In 1895 Lord Addington, who had been a member of Grenville for thirteen years became Provincial Grand Master. His first Provincial Lodge meeting was held at the Grenville Lodge Masonic Hall in June 1896. Over a hundred Brethren attended, some travelling by special train from Aylesbury. A banquet was held in the Town Hall.
In April 1898 the Addington Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was consecrated. A loan of £50 at 3% per annum was granted to the Chapter from Lodge Funds. There is no record of this loan being repaid.
1900 to 1930
We observe that in 1900 the Lodge made its third attempt to form a Lodge of Instruction, this time “in accordance with the Book of Constitutions”. In 1904 a Secretary was appointed but within a short time attendance dwindled. In 1910 the Lodge of Instruction was revived and it has continued ever since. The first meeting of 1912 was their first one in the Yeomanry Hall.
In 1902 the Lodge presented their organist Bro. Young with a gold watch and chain, and a purse of 10 guineas.
This period of Lodge History is primarily remarkable for the amount of work performed. Calling off from labour to refreshment, which was provided by the Worshipful Master, and calling on became regular practice. Some examples from the year 1908, which is the first year entertainment is recorded as “provided” at the festive board. In March a raising, calling off, calling on, then an initiation. In May, a raising, passing with tracing board, calling off, calling on and then three separate initiations. The charge after initiation however, was on this occasion, delivered collectively.
In 1912, W. Bro. Hooker became Director of Ceremonies and the die of our Lodge working from then on was cast. The Lodge furnishings were completed with the purchase of two wands for the Director of Ceremonies and his assistant.
In October 1914, Great Britain had been at war with Germany for a little over two months. The minutes record that letters of thanks be sent to the Acting Tyler as the Tyler Bro. W. Coleman was at the front, and to all members of the Lodge on active service wishing them a speedy return to their Lodge. Later, festive boards were restricted to coffee and biscuits and banquets were changed to suppers.
Several emergency meetings were held at this time to enable Brothers unable to attend their Mother Lodges to be passed or raised. The minutes mention the loss of an Army Captain, a merchant seaman promoted to Captain and then lost, torpedoed or mined, off Folkestone. There were several distressing reports of the loss on active service of Brethren and the sons of Brethren. We quote one family as an example. W. Bro. C. A. Bennett, a member since 1880, Master in 1889, Secretary 1897 – 1904, Treasurer 1908 – 1913, Mayor of Buckingham 1900. His son Bro. C. H. Bennett was initiated in 1908 and W. Bro. Bennett gave the charge.
Promoted to Captain Bro. C. H. Bennett was wounded at Gallipoli and while at home recovering was able to attend just one Lodge, in 1915, with his Father. Captain Bennett returned to France and was killed in battle in October 1918.
In spite of such times the minutes show that “the Junior Brethren must be given instruction in the proper method of giving certain signs”.
Also, in October 1915, the Lodge incurred a fine of £1. 0. 0. as no member of Grenville attended Provincial Grand Lodge. After an explanation from the Secretary the fine was cancelled but the Provincial Secretary made it quite clear that if there was a repetition the Lodge would not be let off again. The S.W. suggested the Initiates’ aprons should be cleaned. The Secretary was instructed to arrange for this to be done and as far as is known, from the appearance of the aprons, successive secretaries are still working on it.
Later in the war the same S.W. drew the attention of Brethren to the fact that the room was cold. This was due to 10 cwt. of Lodge coal being under Military guard which was immovable without the permission of W. Bro. Captain Cole. The secretary was instructed to arrange to have a supply of coal in the Lodge room. He has included in the minutes that” …. No Lodge Secretary worthy of his position should be concerned about such petty details and extraneous matter”
In 1917 the Provincial Grand Master Admiral Inglefield wished to be present at our Installation meeting, which was re-arranged to accommodate him. At the last minute War Business” interfered” and his visit was postponed for three years. When he did attend he witnessed two passing’s with Tracings Boards, two Initiations with the charge, followed by the Installation of W. Bro. Major Hooker, as Master for 1920.
The seven Initiates of 1917 presented W. Bro. Bray with a collar and silver pendant on which their names were inscribed. This was to mark a unique occasion as no Master previously or since had initiated seven Brethren himself.
In March 1919, the first mention of a brother being initiated by his Father is recorded. W. Bro. J. L. Bowley, Vicar of Hillesden, and Master of Grenville initiated his son Lieutenant C. G. L. Bowley, R.F.C
In May 1920, every member of the Lodge pledged themselves to give 1 guinea per year for five years to the Masonic Million Peace Memorial Building Fund. The aim was to build a Temple in Great-Queen Street, London. A Memorial to Masons from all over the world who gave their lives in the Great War.
Five years later the brethren borrowed £116 18s. 0d. to complete their quota of £493 10s. 0d. towards this fund and thus qualified as a Hall Stone Lodge. At a Grand Festival at Olympia, Hall Stone Medals were presented to each qualifying Lodge. W. Bro. Hooker first wore the medal presented to Grenville at the Lodge meeting in October 1926. It is now transferred with due ceremony to his successors in October every year.
In December 1932, the Grand Master presented the Provincial Grand Master of Buckinghamshire with a Provincial Hall Stone Medal as every Lodge in Buckinghamshire had qualified as a Hall Stone Lodge. This was an unique event and Buckinghamshire has a room named after the Province at Freemasons’ Hall. In July 1933, the new Temple was dedicated by the Duke of Connaught, Grand Master of England, third son of Queen Victoria. There is a letter of thanks from the Duke of Connaught, Clarence House, St. James’, dated 21st July, 1933 in the minutes of every Lodge in the British Empire at that time.
Throughout these years the work of the Lodge continued as usual with many accolades being showered on Grenville for its high standards and its fine Temple. The minutes for this period are immaculate. It is interesting to note that apologies for absence were always in writing and the Secretary read them. Brethren proposed and seconded them, and a ballot was taken, before the apology was accepted. This explains why we report absences today under the heading” Secretary’s Communications”
The summonses for Lodge Meetings for this period have been bound into volumes, and each has a précis of the minutes added, plus comments on the festive board. Suppers, except for Installation, cost about 3/6 and entertainment, provided by two or three of the Brethren, was a regular feature.
Attendances had risen to about the same as today; for example, in 1924, thirty-two members and thirty-five visitors attended the Installation of W. Bro. F. J. Pollard.
In January 1925, W. Bro. Major Hooker was installed once more as Master. He remained in office for twenty-two months when the Installation meeting was altered to November of each year. In 1926, W. Bro. Major Hooker became our first Grand Officer when he was appointed Assistant Grand Sword Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England.
In October 1927 the Lodge of Instruction Bye-Laws were drawn up and approved by the Provincial Grand Lodge.
In January 1928, the meeting day was changed from the third Tuesday of the month to the third Wednesday. In November 1929, it was agreed that the Lodge should meet, as it does today, on the second Wednesday of the month.
1930 to 1980
At the outbreak of War in September 1939, Grand Lodge decided no further Lodge meetings should take place until further notice. Grenville decided to ignore this and carried on as normal. In November Bro. L. N. Cole was installed as Master. Shortly afterwards he became a serving officer with the Royal Air Force and it was difficult for him to attend every meeting.
The 1940’s again saw the Lodge passing and raising Brethren who were unable to attend their Mother Lodge, sometimes due to a Lodge being closed down for the duration.
The wearing of white gloves was suspended to save clothing coupons. The agenda was reduced to half size to save paper. Bro. Mairs, Senior Warden, who worked in Slough, declined Mastership for four years to save petrol.
The “tradition” in Grenville, of opening and closing in the three degrees at every meeting started at this time. The minutes record that grateful thanks were sent to the Provincial Grand Secretary and Masons of Victoria, Australia for several food parcels some of the Brethren had received during hostilities. In 1946 W. Bro. Bunker took part in a third degree ceremony for the fiftieth time.
In 1948 the first Past Masters’ Meeting on record took place. This Past Masters’ Meeting was repeated in 1954 and has remained a feature of Grenville every year since. In March 1952, our second Grand Officer was appointed when W. Bro. E. A. G. Bishop was made Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies of the United Grand Lodge of England.
In 1953 payment by Grand Lodge of 1,500 guineas to the Lord Mayor of London’s fund to help victims of the East Coast Floods is recorded in the minutes. Although it is known donations had previously been made to non Masonic charities this is the first one on our records.
In 1956 the Lodge finances came under some scrutiny, in particular with regard to the loss on dinners. There was an overdraft at the Bank and two years Electricity and Gas Bills owing to our landlords. It was observed that the Lodge was not paying its way, and the annual subscription was raised to three guineas.
There is a reference in the minutes to the post card system of ordering dinners being a complete failure. One month there were twenty-five dinners ordered but fifty brethren stayed to dine. The Secretary offered a prize to the member who guessed correctly the number of diners at the next meeting. In consequence W. Bros E. Savage and C. I. Taylor with Mrs. Savage, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Camm undertook to provide good hot meals for 5/6d. This arrangement continued for three years when the accounts were handed over in proper order and a caterer was re-employed to supply meals at 7 shillings.
Our records show that in January 1958, the minutes of a meeting held fifty years before were read.
In 1961, Bro. E. S. Dewing made a statement concerning the Royal Masonic Boys’ School at Bushey. An earlier decision to close the school and move to Ascot was abandoned in favour of a modernisation programme at Bushey. He spoke of the happy atmosphere at the school and their examination successes. The Brethren voted to support this decision and the school continued until 1975.
In 1965 the Lodge opted to use the permitted alternative form of Penalties in the obligations for a minimum of five years. This option was exercised until 1986 when the Lodge Officers had to learn the new “symbolic” working by which the traditional penalties were removed from the Obligations but retained elsewhere in the ceremonies.
In January 1966, the Lodge agreed to donate £1. 0s. 0d. per member to the Grand Master’s Fund to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of Grand Lodge. This fund is used for non-Masonic charities and endows research units under the auspices of the Royal College of Surgeons which are reported on in the Lodge every year. A commemorative jewel to mark this event now adorns the Master’s collar.
Among the initiations in November 1968, was Brother G. Stanton, the Master of Grenville in our centenary year. In October 1969, the first Special Dispensation for many years was granted to enable W. Bro. G. O. Bell, Master of the Lodge No. 7701 to be installed as Master of Grenville during the same period. In 1972, the Lodge of Instruction held its first Festival of Masonic Work which was well received by the Brethren.
In May 1978, W. Bro. G. O. Bell seconded the proposition of W. Bro. B. Tustian that Grenville should sponsor a daughter Lodge. The proposition was carried and the Verney Lodge No. 8849 was consecrated in Yeomanry Hall on 16th January, 1979. Among the founder members were seven members of Grenville. W. Bro. Sir Ralph Verney, Bt. was the first Master and W. Bro. B. Tustian the first Secretary.
1980 to date
In June 1981 Grenville Lodge manned a Bottle Stall at Buckinghamshire Provincial Grand Lodge Garden Party at Hall Barn, Beaconsfield, the home of the Provincial Grand Master, Lord Burnham. Further Bottle Stalls were organised and manned at Garden parties held in 1998 and 2003.
In March 1982 the minutes of 50 years previously were read in honour of W. Bro. H. Mairs who was initiated into Grenville in 1932. December 1982 saw a visit by the Master and Officers of Verney Lodge. The next year a similar visit was made by the Master and Officers of the Wineslai Lodge.
In January 1984 Bro. Peter Bullen, Junior Warden, a civil servant, was posted to Germany for two and a half years and all lodge officers moved up one place. Bro. Bullen subsequently became Senior Warden and Worshipful Master of the Star of Saxony Lodge 853, German Constitution. In 1991 he was appointed Past Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany.
In November 1984 the Lodge saluted W. Bro. Peter Wagland and Bro. Claude Riches with three on their appointments as Provincial Grand Junior Warden and Provincial Grand Steward respectively.
On 12th December 1987 the Lodge entertained fourteen widows to sherry in the Lodge and a Christmas dinner in the dining room. This idea was conceived by W. Bro. Tom Crawley and continued as an annual event until Christmas 2001. Due to lack of support from the widows the function was not held in 2002 and 2003 but every year from 2004 a Christmas Lunch as been organised, initially held at the Buckingham Hotel but since 2008 the venue changed to the Villiers Hotel. This got a very good reception, the ladies preferring a lunchtime meal to that in the evening.
In October 1988 to mark 100 years of Buckinghamshire as an independent Province, the Bucks Centenary (1990) Charity Fund was announced which made provision for donations to be given to non-Masonic charities within the Province. In May 1989 joint fund raising ventures for the Centenary Fund were arranged, including Grenville, Verney and Claydon Lodges.
In January 1990, W. Bro. Roy Norris took on the responsibility of having the old Grenville Banner restored and hung in a method of his own design. The cost was approved by the Brethren, the work was completed and the Banner hung in the Lodge for the October meeting of that year. W. Bro. Norris had also been responsible for overseeing the making of the new banner before the 1980 Centenary Meeting.
During August 1990 a Masonic Summer Ball was held at Stowe including all North Bucks Lodges as a fund raising event for the Bucks Centenary Fund. As this was so successful a further ball was held in August 1992.
1991 saw W. Bro. Peter Wagland, our Secretary for many years, appointed Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
In February 1994 the Provincial Grand Master announced a Festival in support of the Grand Charity. Money was to be raised by the end of 1999 in celebration of the millennium. The Grenville target was set at £23,000.
Visits to Grenville were made by the WM’s and 12 brethren of Wineslai, Verney and Claydon Lodges in May 1994. At the January 1995 meeting Grenville held a Lodge of Instruction demonstration of the 2nd degree ceremony. In 1986 W Bros Peter Wagland, David Spicer and Paul Lewis became founder members of the Claydon Lodge which meets in the neighbouring town of Winslow.
During 1997 W. Bro. Ted Griffin organised a Jazz Festival in Winslow in support of the 1999 Festival for the Grand Charity; over £1,000 profit was made. A second Festival held in April 1998 resulted in additional profit of £800 for the Grand Charity. In the same month W. Bros. A. R. Cersell, T. W. Stubbings, A. C. Hough and Bro. D. Phelps were Founder Members of the Grand Union Lodge No 9641. In March 1998 the Grenville Lodge 1999 Festival fund raising had reached £19,000 towards the target of £23,000.
In December 1998 the Lodge held a “white table” meeting. The Lodge of Instruction demonstrated the Opening and Closing of the Lodge in all 3 degrees followed by the Festive Board attended by wives and partners. These “white table” meetings have since become an annual feature of our December meeting with the singing of Christmas Carols (usually organised by W. Bro. W. Lines) and a traditional Turkey meal being the order of the day.
The Lodge meeting in February 1999 was attended by The Provincial Grand Master, Lord Burnham, who congratulated the Lodge on exceeding its target of £23,000 for the 1999 Festival in aid of the Grand Charity.
In 2001 the Lodge suffered the tragic loss of W. Bro. Peter Wagland their much loved and dedicated Secretary. W. Bro. Peter had managed the affairs of the Lodge impeccably for 26 years. The Assistant Secretary, W. Bro. Roy Norris, also of 26 years service and life-long friend of W. Bro. Peter managed Lodge duties until W. Bro. John Morris, who was himself not at all well, stepped into the breach and did an excellent job as caretaker Secretary until W. Bro. Peter Bullen was appointed as Secretary in 2002.
In October 2002 W. Bro. Tony Cersell was requested and elected to continue as Worshipful Master for a second year. Coincidentally, on relinquishing the Chair in October 2003 he was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden for the Province of Buckinghamshire and on relinquishing this position was appointed Tyler of Grenville Lodge.
The year 2003 marked the Centenary of the Bucks Masonic Benevolent Fund, which was founded by Lord Addington, a former member of Grenville Lodge. To celebrate this centenary, during the latter part of 2002, Lord Burnham, Provincial Grand Master announced a “100 year celebration” during which time funds would be raised to support the fund. In January 2003 Grenville donated £1,500, immediately qualifying them as Patrons of the fund. This was followed by further donations in May 2003, May 2004 and October 2004 resulting in honorific of Grand Patron being granted to the Lodge. In recognition of this achievement at the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Buckinghamshire on 25th October 2004, the Rt. Hon. Lord Burnham, Provincial Grand Master presented a Grand Patron’s certificate to our Charity Steward, Bro. Ron Hartnell.
In his will the late Rt. W. Bro. Sir Ralph Verney Bt bequeathed his Masonic regalia to our daughter Lodge, Verney Lodge 8849, which is named after his family and of which he was the first Master. In response to this request this regalia has now been mounted and framed and is displayed in the Temple.
To the great delight of members of Grenville Lodge, W. Bro. Roy Norris announced that Mrs Joan Wagland, widow of the late W. Bro. Peter Wagland, wished to donate his regalia to the Lodge. W. Bro. Wagland’s Regalia is now displayed above the Secretary’s desk where he spent so many fruitful years and W. Bro. Norris, who had been asked to produce this display, was delighted at Mrs Wagland’s enthusiasm for the venture and she was most helpful. Along with the regalia is a picture of W. Bro. Wagland looking down on the business of the lodge which was drawn by W. Bro. Norris. The dedication of the display took place during our 125th anniversary meeting.
In 1890, when Buckinghamshire resumed as an independent Province there were eighteen Lodges, today there are over one hundred and twenty lodges. The Senior Lodge is Buckingham No. 591 and youngest The Old School House Lodge No. 9770.
The only subscribing Brother with a close relationship to one of the earliest members is W. Bro. William Lines. Brother William, who was initiated into Grenville Lodge in 1980, is the Great Nephew of W. Bro. J. Christmas, Grenville’s first initiate exactly 100 years previously.
In 2005 Grenville celebrated its 125th Anniversary with a meeting held at Yeomanry Hall and a festive board afterwards at the Buckingham Hotel. W. Bro. G. P. Lannen was the Master and with special dispensation the meeting was held on Saturday 29th January 2005. This was attended by V. W. Bro. D. G. Varney the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in Charge along with three Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and two Past Assistant Grand Masters. In total the attendance was 35 members and 51 visitors.
Grenville Lodge is very proud of its traditions which have been passed down over the years; however, in 2008 it was felt that these should be put on a more formal footing. W. Bro. W. D. W. Smith and W. Bro. R. Norris undertook the task and the result was a booklet that would be presented to every Brother on becoming a Master Mason.
In October 2006 Bro. R. Hartnell, after 14 years as Charity Steward passed over the office to W. Bro. A. C. Cersell. Bro. Tony set about creating a Charity Committee involving some of the younger Brethren. Since 2007 various events of a more social nature have been organized including annual BBQ’s, race nights and in 2009 a game dinner was held. This is one of the first events in more recent times to be held in the temple, with tables laid out for a dinner of pheasant and duck terrine followed by venison, this was a very successful event with W. Bro. Lannen organizing the cooking of the venison which had been shot by Bro. C. Henderson.
In 2007 W. Bro. A. C. Cersell was then honoured with his appointment to Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. In October 2008 W. Bro. Trevor Stubbings was requested to act once again as Worshipful Master a role he had previously held in 1996. Coincidentally, on relinquishing the Chair in October 2009 he was appointed Provincial Junior Grand Warden for the Province of Buckinghamshire and on relinquishing this position will be appointed Tyler of Grenville Lodge
On the 11th March 2009 after apologies had been accepted, the Secretary informed the Worshipful Master that additional correspondence had been received which he would like to pass forward for his perusal. The document was perused and signed by the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden and the Secretary. W. Bro. W. D. W. Smith was conducted to the pedestal and presented with a framed certificate confirming his 50 years in freemasonry, having been initiated on 11th March 1959. W. Bro. R. M. Norris gave an oration on W. Bro. Smith’s masonic history and presented him with an engraved decanter and two wine glasses on behalf of the members of the lodge. W. Bro. Smith thanked the brethren and although not quite speechless remarked it was an evening he would never forget. Likewise in our February meeting in 2010, W Bro David’s brother, Bro Anthony (also known as “Tiger”) was congratulated on achieving 50 years in masonry and presented with a gift on behalf of the lodge.
In October 2009 the Lodge was informed that following the death of her husband W. Bro. M. M. Coombs, Susan had kindly arranged for funds to be made available for an audio loop system to be installed within the temple, it was hoped that this would help those who were hard of hearing.
At the start of the 2010 Buckinghamshire festival for the royal Masonic trust for Girls and Boys W. Bro. Gavin Lannen undertook a bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats this raised over £4,500 towards the appeal. A further bike ride organized for the end of the festival this time on a grander scale and involving other charities and riders including those from the Royal British Legion, the Pace Centre, SSAFA and the Air Ambulance. The ride took place in July 2010 and was from Gibraltar to Stowe. The riders ended at Stowe with a celebration ride home on the day of the end of Festival Garden party. However, a welcome home party was arranged for the previous weekend when the riders arrived back in Buckingham to a crowd of over 200 greeting them with a reception on the Lawns of the University. The rock ride rose over £75,000 for the various charities involved.
The installation meeting in October 2010 was a special family occasion for not only the New Master W Bro Charlie Henderson but also his father. After the installation ceremony members of the Buchan St John, No 636, Scottish Constitution presented to Bro Walter Henderson, his mother lodge, a 50 year certificate and a brief history into the lodge and life of Bro Walter.
Our unofficial clerk of works W. Bro. David Spicer now performs regular inspections of the building to ensure that it is maintained to a suitable standard and programmes of works are prepared on an annual basis to keep everything in good order.
Over the years the carpet in the lodge had become worn and in 2011 it was necessary to obtain a new floor covering. This was last replaced in 1961 and at the time was second hand and cost £50. The decision was taken to obtain a brand new carpet for the lodge, the first new carpets since 1892, at a cost of £4,500. On the 11th of March the provincial chaplain W Bro David Sawyer attended the regular meeting and dedicated the carpet for the benefit of future masons. The old carpet would be retained and used at the Stowe Lodge meeting held once a year at Stowe School at which the various items of Masonic furniture from Grenville were used by Stowe.
11th April 2012 was a red letter day for Grenville. After much discussion and correspondence the lodge was admitted as the 52nd member of the United Grand Lodge Universities Scheme. In both celebration and confirmation of the occasion the lodge was honoured by the visitation of R W Brother David Williamson, Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. Also present to mark the occasion was our Provincial Grand Master, R W Brother Gordon Robertson who was accompanied by W Bros Mike Stimson and Peter Moody, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters together with W Bro Paul Bird the Provincial Director of Ceremonies who ensure the smooth running of the evening. However the highlight of the evening was a double initiation ceremony for Mr Oyeniyi Sodipo and Mr Adetokunboh Sangodoyin, both former students of Buckingham University.