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Our Lodge is one of a group of Lodges that meet at The Centre Point, Five Heads Road, Horndean.
The history of Excelsior Lodge No 4505 E.C.
The first meeting of the founder members was held in September 1922. A minute book shows the third meeting dated 6th November 1922.-W. Bro. G.J.Winn of Lodge No. 2074 was elected as the chairman of the first meeting. Two names for the Lodge were considered. Excelsior and Duke of York. Meetings were agreed to be held at 79 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, on the first Thursday of the month, August and December being closed months.
A petition for a new Lodge, supported by the members of the Duke of Connaught Lodge No. 1834 was signed by the Worshipful Master and Wardens in open Lodge at a regular meeting of the Duke of Connaught Lodge on the 23rd November 1922. A document from Grand Lodge reveals that on the 20th December 1922, it was recommended by the Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and the Duke of Connaught Lodge, that a Lodge called Excelsior beformed. The principle reason for forming a new Lodge was to provide an overflow for other local lodges. For example Carnarvon Lodge at Havant had 160 members. The Duke of Connaught Lodge had 171 members. The Portsmouth Temperance Lodge had 346 members, and St. Clair Lodge had 513 members.
Subsequent meetings of the founders were chaired by W. Bro.G.H. Nicholls P.P.A.G.D.C. of Lodge No. 2068 who became the Primus Master. His son J.C. Nicholls was the first Junior Warden and was W.M. in 1930 and again in 1973 for the Golden Jubilee of the Lodge. Later meetings agreed that there would not be more than 30 founder members each paying £10-10s (£10-50p) and the total number of members should never exceed 125. These would normally be drawn from members of the professions and men of an approved executive status. Each founder member could introduce one joining member and each founder member and joining member could introduce one initiate. The Founders Committee agreed that all first officers would present to the Lodge the Jewels of their office. The Committee agreed that the initiation fee would never be less than £10-10s. (£10-50p). After lengthy discussions the initiation fee was set at £25. (A substantial amount of money in 1923.)
Excelsior Lodge was warranted on 18th December 1922 and consecrated at the Masonic Hall 79 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, on 8th March 1923, by W. Bro Commander Hubert Giles R.N. Deputy Provincial Grand Master, owing to the illness of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. BroSir Augustus Webster, Bart
The Consecration Banquet was held at the Craven House restaurant at a cost of 15s. (75p). The Lodge continued to meet at Commercial Road until the Summer of 1928. when the Masonic Hall was closed for alterations. During late 1928 and early 1929 the Lodge met by dispensation at the Phoenix Lodge Rooms, 110 High Street, Old Portsmouth. For the following ten years until the Summer of 1939 the meetings were held at the Masonic Hall Highbury Street Portsmouth. The Lodge then moved to the Masonic Hall, Derby Road, North End.
During the period of the Second World War, August 1939 to August 1945, the Lodge had 82 members, held 58 meetings with an average attendance of 25 members and held 13 initiations. The meeting of December 2nd 1971 and an emergency meeting on 16th December 1971 was held by dispensation to change the bye laws, so that the January 1972 meeting could be held at the Masonic Hall Commercial Road, Portsmouth. ( The Lodge currently meets at The Centre Point, Five Heads Road, Horndean. )
Old English Night – Since 1953 Excelsior has held an old English Night, the first one recorded in November 1953, and for several years these were held in December. From 1977 it has been a tradition for the song, Excelsior to be sung by two eminent brethren. W.W.Bro Dr. Rev. Michael Morgan P.G. Chap. P. Asst.P.G.M. and W. Bro. Huw Jenkins PPDep G Reg to the delight of all the Brethren present.
The Lodge has passed through some difficult years, but now has a promising future with a number of young active Master Masons willing to continue the traditions of Excelsior. The Lodge crest depicting an eagle perched on a lofty eminence with the motto “Ever Onward Ever Upward” expresses the constant aspiration of its members, who intend it to be increasingly true as the years go on.