Square & Compass Lodge No. 1336 was consecrated on 11 March 1871 in Wrexham. And after delays due to the pandemic, it is finally able to celebrate its long history
Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,plans to celebrate Square & Compass Lodge’s 150th anniversary were put on ice until Tuesday, 1 March 2022, St David’s Day, a fittingtribute to one of the oldest Lodges in North Wales.
A total of 120 members and guests gathered in Maesgw yn Hall, the home of Square & Compass that dates back to the purchase of the building by a group of Wrexham Freemasons in the 1960s. Maesgw yn Hall is just 500 yards away from the Racecourse Ground, home of Wrexham AFC, formed in 1864 and the world’s oldest international football stadium. A home match on the same evening, with the floodlights on and a capacity crowd, added to the occasion.
RW Bro John Charles Hoult, Provincial Grand Master, together with Dep PGM Wynford Owen Davies, APGM Philip James and members of the Executive and Provincial team paid an official visit to mark the celebrations.
North Wales Freemasons has just launched its 2028 Festival with a spectacular video of the PGM flying down the wire at Zip World – the fastest zip line in the world, where you can travel at speeds of more than 100mph while taking in breathtaking views of Snowdonia.
During the Lodge Meeting, WM Terry Williams presented the PGM with a generous £10,000 donation on behalf of the members to ensure #FEST2028 gets off to a good start – the Province is targeting £2.5m.
The PGM promoted W Bro Peter Chalk and W Bro Kevin Jones to the rank of PPJGW in recognition of their long service to the Lodge. W Bro Rob Hughes delivered a brief and entertaining history of the Lodge, before W Bro Bob Butcher, together with a group of ‘light blues’, delivered an excellent explanation of the 1st Degree Tracing Board.
Guests came from far and wide to the Lodge’s 1,421st regular meeting, including members of Lodge St James, Newton upon Ayr, which will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in April. Square & Compass has a long, proud association with this Ayrshire Lodge, visiting Scotland for the annual installation in December and welcoming Scottish brethren for the return fixture to Wales in February for their installation.
Guests were treated to a sumptuous festive board and a commemorative programme offering an insight into the Lodge’s history. Everyone in attendance went home with engraved whiskey glasses and the raffle raised the magnificent sum of £850, which will be donated to local charities. The Lodge collection had earlier raised £367 for the Red Cross, in aid of the distressed in Ukraine.
Square & Compass has a strong family tradition, with members Gareth Overthrow and his father Steve Overthrow able to trace family membership of the Lodge back four generations to great-great-great-grandfather John Abbott Harris, an accountant inFrwdd Iron Works, who was initiated in 1877.
More recently, brothers Paul Maddocks, ProvJGW and ProvGCO, and Martyn Maddocks, ProvGStwd, enjoyed the honour of attending the celebration as members of the Provincial team.
Square & Compass is looking forward to the next 150 years with enthusiasm and strong membership. Perhaps one day Wrexham will play in the Premier League – although members will no doubt recall the night when our 150th anniversary was celebrated with Wrexham winning 2-0 against King’s Lynn, in front of 8,173, to become third in the National League table.