Date of Consecration : 19 October 1981
Meetings : 3rd Wed Sep, Nov, Jan, Mar, May
A brief history of THE KNOLE LODGE No 8996 – 1981 – 2015
It was in 1980 that the idea of a day time Lodge in Bournemouth was first discussed. W. Bro Gordon Anstee was the driving force behind the idea, with W. Bro Freddie Garrett, Frederick Rocker who became Secretary Designate and W. Bro Phil Corbett.
W. Bro Anstee was an hotelier who owned the Broughty Ferry Hotel in Boscombe and who felt that there was a need for a Lodge in the area to cater for brethren who could not meet in the evening. Bournemouth being a holiday town, fellow hoteliers fell into this category together with caterers and entertainers. This concept also appealed to Brethren who did not wish to dine in the evenings.
Many names were suggested for the new Lodge; Tregonwell & Page Croft were amongst the favourites being part of Bournemouth’s history. Some were rejected by Province on the basis that they had not been Freemasons, although it was difficult to explain why so many Lodges that meet at Knole Road were named after non masons. Finally it was agreed that the Lodge should be called The Knole Lodge after the localMasonic Building, and this was accepted by Province.
Octa Lodge 4397 agreed to sponsor The Knole Lodge at their March 1981 meeting, this was proposed and the proposition carried. The Worshipful Master was W. Bro B E J Luker, who was to become a founder of The Knole Lodge 8996 and later its’ Director Ceremonies. It later became an established custom that Octa would take the SW chair at future installation meetings of The Knole Lodge.
The date for the Consecration was to be the 19th October 1981 and to be held at the Town Hall Bournemouth, Gordon Anstee being at this time, Mayor of Bournemouth.
At the Consecration The Knole Lodge 8996 had 39 founder members
Bro.T I Adams: W.Bro G R Anstee PGStB: Bro. AH J Armstrong MBE: W.Bro M.S. Biggs: Bro H. Corbett OBE: W. Bro P.J. Corbett LGR: Bro C.R. Cutler: Bro. L.O. Danby: Bro. E.E. Ellery: Bro J.T. Fletcher: W. Bro F.G. Garrett: Bro. P.H.G. Gibbs OBE: W.Bro H.A. Gomme PPAGDC: W. Bro R.C. Gymer W. Bro C.H. da Silva Haley: W. Bro W.J.W. Harris: Bro J. Harvey: Bro D.J. Hollington:W. Bro G.A.L. Hutton LGR:W. Bro G.F. Jacobs: Bro F.J. Knopp W. Bro G.E.P. Lane PPSGD :W. Bro B.E.J. Luker: W. Bro E.J. Luker PPJGD: Bro B. Manton: Bro Dr A.G. Milbourne: Bro B. Millard : W.Bro N. Misner: W. Bro P. Packer: Bro J.A. Potter: W. Bro G.W. Rice PPDGReg W. Bro F Rocker W. Bro W. Rowley LGR : Bro H. Samuels. W. Bro G.J. Teideman W.Bro A.F. Walton PAGPurs: Bro E.G. Wingrove: Bro A.B. Withers: Bro P Woolcock
The Consecration team was lead by RW Bro TB Langton MC, Prov Grand Master Hampshire & IOW, assisted by VW Bro Surg.Capt GS Irvine CBE PG Swd.Br Deputy Prov Grand Master.
The consecration Banquet was held at the Pavilion in Bournemouth
Donations to the Lodge included:- Square & Compasses By Octa Lodge, Working Tools by Bro Ben Millard, VSL by Leonora Corbett wife of W. Bro Phil Corbett, D C Baton by W.Bro Keith Spicer PADC
At the first meeting on the 18th November 1981 there 13 Joining members and two candidates for initiation Anthony John Drake and Ernest Marsden. Tony Drake was duly initiated and has become a very valuable member of the lodge , and is now the Lodge Director of Ceremonies.
W.Bro G Anstee became the Lodge’s first Master and fellow officers were:
• IPM W. Bro F. G. Garrett
• SW W. Bro H.A. Gomme PPAGDC
• JW Bro P.H.G. Gibbs OBE
• Chaplain W. Bro G.E.P Lane PPSGD
• Treasurer W. Bro G.W. Rice PPDGR
• Secretary W. Bro F. Rocker
• DC W. Bro M.S. Biggs
• SD Bro Dr A.G. Millbourne
• JD Bro D.J. Hollington
• Charity Steward W. Bro P. Packer
• Almoner W. Bro N. Misner
• ADC W. Bro R.C. Gymer
• Asst Sec W. Bro B.E.J. Luker
• Inner Guard Bro J.A. Potter
• Tyler Bro P. Woolcock
• Stewards Bro B. Manton
• Bro F. J. Knopp
• Bro A. B. Withers.
Acting organist Bro J Sheldon
The early years of the Lodge were very active and appealed to many Brethren especially people in retirement, in the first year we had 19 joining members and 7 initiates. Amongst the Brethren were Bro H Corbett of Sooty fame and Bro Nigel Hopkins Musician and Entertainer, known as the Boy with the golden trumpet, It was obvious that Sooty, had to become a mason and was duly initiated. See photo.
As Gordon Anstee was the owner of the Broughty Ferry Hotel, it was natural that many of the social activities were held there, with entertainment being supplied by the members.
At the 25th Anniversary of the Lodge a dinner was held at the Ocean View Hotel, with an identical menu as the consecration, with the guest of honour being Janet Anstee, who said that how proud Gordon would have been. Although the Lodge had 39 founders, time and circumstances have taken their toll, and at our January 2015 meeting, 5 remaining founders were present,
(Photo) although since then W.Bro Geoff Jacobs has passed to the GLA. During this time the Lodge has honoured with two active Provincial appointments W.Bro Tony Drake as Prov. Steward and W.Bro Fred J Knopp as Prov JD.
Being a day time Lodge, at two of our meetings we take the opportunity to invite wives partners and friends for lunch at a local hotel, these are very successful.
As we now reach 2016, this Lodge like many others is suffering from membership numbers, but has a lot to offer, as it the only day time one in the area, it has many benefits. Although through these up and downs over 35 years, we still enjoy the hospitality & friendship laid down by its founders.
W.Bro Fred J Knopp PPJGW