St Georges Lodge was Consecrated at Freemasons’ Hall London on Saturday, 30th of October 1920.
Post World War One
The years immediately following the end of the Great War had seen an upsurge in interest in Freemasonry with which existing lodges were unable to cope, and in the period 1919-1921 close to 500 new lodges were founded under the English Constitution, 12 of them in the province of Essex.
Prior to 1920 a man in Grays wishing to become a Freemason was faced with a somewhat limited choice for, although there were many accessible lodges in the greater London area, only one lodge, St John’s Lodge No. 1343 actually met in Grays.
By 1919 St John’s had become a very large lodge indeed, with a membership approaching 200 and with a further 20 applications in the pipeline. It accordingly made sense to petition for a second lodge to be established in Grays, and thus it was that St Georges Lodge, the third Daughter lodge of St John’s, was founded a year later.
The Nineteen Founder Members of St Georges were all members of St John’s, and it made sense to choose a ritual favoured by St John’s, (Logic), for the new lodge. They also elected to hold meetings , like St John’s , on Wednesday’s.
[Wednesday was early-closing day in Grays and this may have given rise to the incorrect notion that the Founders chose it because they were shopkeepers – an occupation followed in fact by only two of them.]
During the next ten years of it’s existence the development of St George’s was influenced by two factors in particular – the rapid growth of membership, (54 names had been added to the role by 1930) and the continuing association of some of its more senior members with their mother lodge, St John’s.
World War Two
The membership of St Georges rose steadily and the lodge was largely unaffected by the war. Few members were liable for service in the armed forces, most being to old or in occupations which would ensure their exemption. One member however was lost through enemy action, killed in an air raid on his place of work. Although attendance at war-time meetings was understandably reduced, membership remained at a reasonable level and, as men returned from the services after 1945, the lodge could look forward to a further influx of new blood.
Post World War Two
For some years there as a steady increase in the membership, and by the late 1950’s the was 71 on the role, despite the wider choice by then available to aspiring Freemasons thanks to new lodges being established locally. Meetings continued to be well attended with the number of guests in particular remaining high.
The Cross Keyes Masonic Centre
As with the other Grays based Lodges, St Georges moved to the new built Crosse Keyes Masonic centre in September 2012.
The building dedication of the building took place on the 30th April by the Rt. Worshipful Provincial Grand Master John Michael Webb.