More than a memory
The written records generated by masonic lodges and chapters can give revealing insights into the masonic people, places and events of an era that would otherwise be lost
When a lodge or chapter ceases to meet and is erased, the lodge is asked to return its records (usually via the Provincial or Metropolitan office) and they are sent to Great Queen Street, where the archives team at the Library and Museum ensure that the records are preserved. Materials are cleaned, sorted, repackaged and catalogued to safeguard the legacy of the lodge.
The Library and Museum has recently created a display for Albert Coveney Lodge, No. 3519, which met in Birkenhead in the Province of Cheshire, revealing the history of the lodge from creation to its erasure in February 2013. The lodge was formed in 1911 and was named after the Provincial Senior Grand Warden Albert Coveney (1846-1912). Coveney had become a Freemason in Combermere Lodge, No. 605, in 1874 and worked for the local brewery. He was a member of several lodges in the Province.
The records include a complete set of minutes together with declaration books, attendance books and summons to its important meetings. Lodge minutes sometimes reveal objects that have since been lost. At the end of the First World War, the lodge produced a memorial tablet with a Roll of Honour listing members who had served and the lodge’s two casualties. The tablet was unveiled in 1921 but is now known only from a photograph.