Lodge of Happiness, Birmingham (Warwickshire Province) | History
The Lodge of Happiness was formed in 1962 by senior members and Founders of the Lodge of Faith and Hope No 4772.
Worshipful Brother Neville Gilbert was to be the first Master, and the fact that he was a New Zealander, inspired the idea of a New Zealand name for the new Lodge. A number of Maori names were considered, but as these can be a little difficult to pronounce, only two seemed to be suitable; Kiora, meaning Welcome, and Koa-ana, meaning Happiness. Koa-ana seemed to be the obvious choice. Grand Lodge did not approve of this or the proposed Lodge Emblem featuring a kiwi surrounded by tree ferns. However they stated that they had no objection to the name ‘Happiness’. A photograph of Piha, a beach about 30 miles north of Auckland, appeared to symbolise a delightful haven of happiness. This was accordingly drawn up as the Emblem and was accepted by Grand Lodge.
By this time, Mrs Neville Gilbert had already embroidered about half of the proposed Banner, also featuring a kiwi surrounded by tree ferns, and the Brethren therefore agreed that the Banner should be completed and put into use, thus creating the unusual situation of having a Banner and Emblem which were completely different.
The list of Founders consisted of 11 Brethren from the Lodge of Faith of Hope and two from Frances Davies Lodge No. 5035, in the adjoining Province of Worcestershire.
The Ceremony of Consecration took place on Wednesday 3rd June 1964 at the Edgbaston Assembly Rooms. It was led by the Right Worshipful Brother, The Rev. Michael Clarke MA, Rector of Westonbirt, Provincial Grand Master. Immediately following this ceremony Worshipful Brother Neville Gilbert was installed as Master of the Lodge by Sir Stanley J. Harley, Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
Among the visitors attending the Consecration were the Master and Wardens of the Lodge of Happiness No. 5353, in London and contact has been maintained between the two Lodges since that time.
The 25th anniversary of the Lodge of Happiness. Our first major milestone since our consecration in 1964.
A new Banner was produced and formally dedicated to the Lodge of Happiness in a ceremony held on Thursday 11th November of that year. Our new Banner now incorporates the picture of Piha beach.
The lodge formally adopted a website having secured Provincial approval. The reception from fellow brethren at home and abroad has been very favourable. The initial search engine rankings have also proved to be very encouraging.
In April we celebrated our 300th regular meeting. Brethren were honoured to have the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, David F. Macey in attendance. At the same meeting we our 49th Worshipful Master was installed. Our website became a year old in September and we had several excellent enquiries about joining our Lodge.
The website passed the 1 million hits mark in October. The Lodge of Happiness initiated their 1st Website Candidate a month later at the November meeting.
The Lodge of Happiness initiated their 2nd Website Candidate in February.
The April Installation meeting on the 10th of April 2014 marked the start of the 2014/15 Masonic year and the start of the Lodge of Happiness’ 50th Golden Jubilee Festival year. During the year we will be holding a number of events to celebrate the milestone. A number of honoured Brethren will be attending the April Installation meeting. Keep an eye on our News page for updates on our 50th Golden Jubilee Festival Year.
For more Lodge history you may like to have a look at our family tree.