25th September at Burton Masonic Hall, Trisantona Lodge celebrated their centenary in fine style. The Lodge was opened by the Worshipful Master W Bro D.W.Fern and following the first items of business the Provincial Centenary team entered the Lodge led by Right Worshipful Brother Arthur Steven Varley, Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire who accepted the gavel and took the Chair.
The Centenary Warrant was presented by the Provincial Grand Master and read in full by W Bro Martyn Bailey - Provincial Grand Secretary.
The Brethren received a fascinating talk detailing a potted history of the Lodge which had been the brainchild of the founding Worshipful Master - Major F.R.Graystone D.S.O., M.C. He wrote a letter proposing the founding of a new Lodge which was received by the secretary of Royal Sussex Lodge on Armistice day, the 11th November 1918.
The environment at that time was conducive to a large growth in the numbers of Freemasons - many men were no doubt seeking the brotherhood and camaraderie missing from their lives after their experiences in the first world war. Additionally, new industries were emerging in the town of Burton and waiting lists for men wishing to become Freemasons were growing longer. The proposed name of the new Lodge was the “Hughes-Hallet” Lodge but this was later changed to “Trisantona”. The name was derived from the Romano British name for the river Trent - a reflex of the combined Proto-Celtic elements *tri-sent(o)-on-ā- meaning through-path or ‘great thoroughfare’.
The Lodge was eventually consecrated on September 25th 1919 as a daughter Lodge of Carnavon and hence the Grand-daughter of Royal Sussex. The meeting was very well attended, even for those days with 140 sitting down for dinner! In 1919 Freemason’s dinners must have been very grand – the records show that the menu was as follows:
- Turtle Soup
- Grilled Salmon with Tartare Sauce
- Vol-au-vent a la Toulouse
- Roast Saddle of Mutton with Redcurrant Jelly; French Beans and Potatoes
- Fruit Salad
- Port Wine Jelly and Savoury Dessert.
All of this was accompanied by an extensive wine list!
The meeting then continued and the Worshipful Master W Bro DW Fern resumed the chair. To the surprise of the Provincial Grand Master, the Lodge then presented a cheque for £6000 towards the 2025 festival fund – a large cheque for display purposes and a handy size version to take to the bank! The chairman of the 2025 festival W Bro Mick Hitchcock was present and no doubt will have been pleased to see this take place.
There is no doubt that everyone who attended on the evening would have felt privileged to be there and to celebrate 100 years of Freemasonry at Trisantona.
A wonderful festive board followed, enjoyed and appreciated by all. Everyone attending received a very interesting book entitled “A centenary celebration of Trisantona Lodge” based on a comprehensive study by W Bro Dennis Grimsley P.Prov SGW.
This really was a night to remember!
Photos on the evening by courtesy of Bro. Jack Dent