The masonic history of St Laurence Lodge is included in our publication “The First Fifty Years”.
The idea of this masonic history occurred to W. Bro. Ralph E. Ball in the early part of 1982. He commenced the research about a year later. In a draft preface, he declared his objective as “an attempt to combine a catalogue of facts with an appealing glimpse of personalities and events which would provide not only a useful reference but also a fascinating insight into the characters of those worthy men who conceived the lodge’s birth and fashioned its development.”
“A meeting of brethren interested in the formation of a new lodge of Craft Masonry in Upminster was held at the Bell Hotel, Upminster, on Friday the 9th March, 1934. Chairman; Bro. E.A. West of St Barnabas Lodge No. 3771.”
So begins a book entitled on its inside front cover “Minutes of proposed new Lodge of Craft Masonry in Upminster (Taylor’s working)”, a book that becomes the first minute book of the General Purposes Committee of our Lodge. Thus we commence 50 years of the masonic history of St Laurence Lodge No. 5511.
The second page of our book quotes as one of the Reasons for Presentation of a Petition that this “… is a very rapidly growing district, many of the brethren who are new residents desire to attend a Lodge near their homes.” To fully understand this, it is necessary to imagine Upminster in the years leading up to 1934.
Many brethren may have difficulty today in imagining Upminster as a new housing development but, of course, that is almost exactly what it was in those years. It was participating in that explosive increase in private home building that occurred in the early thirties, following the Great Depression.
To read more about our masonic history, a copy of the publication can be viewed here.
For the history of Freemasonry in general you may wish to visit the history page on the United Grand Lodge of England’s website.