Date of Consecration : 30 June 1958
Meetings : 1st Mon Sep-Jun (except Oct, Jan, May)
- Name and number of Lodge:
Sojourners Lodge 7597
- Day of meeting:
1st Monday in the month.
- Number of meetings:
7 per year: February; March; April; June; September, November, December.
- Age profile:
The majority of the brethren are of pensionable age; some newer members are in their 40s and 50s.
- Special Interests:
The Lodge was founded to welcome Jewish brethren in particular; there is presently a roughly even mix of Jewish and non-Jewish brethren. Professionally, we come from a typical mixed background.
- Social activities:
The age of the majority of the brethren mitigates against too much sporting activity! Recent social functions include ‘Ladies’ lunches and/or evenings, quiz nights etc.
Brethren of the Jewish faith in Bournemouth had been seeking a sponsor for a projected ‘Israel’ Lodge since at least 1950.
Two Brethren, W. Bro. Sydney Frank and W. Bro. Freddie Gomm, both members of Horsa Lodge, No. 2208, were themselves very interested in the project and acted as advisors. W. Bro. Frank convened the preliminary meetings and acted as Secretary.
Having an exclusively Jewish lodge would of course have been incompatible with Masonic principles, but by early 1958 the various problems connected with the formation of a new Lodge had been resolved.
The Lodge of Hengist, No. 195, had now agreed to act as the sponsoring Lodge, and the name, Sojourners Lodge, was approved by the United Grand Lodge of England.
The petition for the formation of the lodge was signed by nineteen founders (six of whom were non-Jewish) and submitted to Grand Lodge.
The Warrant of Constitution of the Lodge was granted on May 7th, 1958.
Having received the Warrant, Sojourners Lodge No.7597 was Consecrated on June 30th, 1958, at Bournemouth Town Hall, by Right Worshipful Brother Dr Wilfred Attenborough, the Provincial Grand Master, assisted by the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters, W. Bro. Major-General R. L. Bond and V. W. Bro. Rev. G. W. Page, and attended by a retinue of Provincial Grand Officers.
Apart from the Consecrating team and the Lodge Founders, 212 visitors were present.
The first Worshipful Master and Officers of the lodge were duly installed.
A total of 181 attended a celebratory dinner held in the Bournemouth Pavilion, at a cost of £1.12s.6d (approx. £1.63p) a head.
The first Regular meeting of Sojourners Lodge, 7597, was held on September 1st, 1958. The first Joining Members, Bros. Louis Kay and Frank Potts, were balloted for, accepted and admitted.
A ballot was also held for the first candidates for initiation, Flt. Lt John Meredith and Mr Abraham Kay. Following the successful ballots, Flt. Lt. Meredith was initiated into the ‘mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry’.
Since then the Lodge, meeting at Freemasons Hall, Knole Road, Bournemouth, has prospered, welcoming Jewish and non-Jewish members alike.
In June 2008, Province granted the Lodge Dispensation to hold its June meeting on Monday 30th, to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Present were 16 officers, 21 members and 49 visitors, including the then Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Brian C. Bellinger, and ‘a retinue of Grand and Provincial Grand Officers’.
Sojourners Lodge is quietly proud of its record of service to Freemasonry, supporting, in particular, Zetland Court (local RMBI home) and the Bournemouth Lodges Holiday Committee’s endeavours; and we have recently been honoured as a Grand Patron of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.
In 2018, the Lodge celebrated its 60th anniversary, and is still thriving; long may it continue!