The objective of Phoenix Lodge is to promote Freemasonry in the Province of Yorkshire North and East Riding in a way that supports those that have limitations on their time but who wish to actively promote their masonic education and embrace the five core principles of Integrity, Kindness, Honesty, Fairness and Tolerance.
Phoenix Lodge, No. 9963 aims to make Freemasonry more accessible to young and or working men who often struggle due to time commitments of family and work pressures to enjoy their Freemasonry (if they are already members) or those who have not yet joined the Craft for those same reasons. Measures to try and combat this are to adopt an abridged and streamlined running order at our regular meetings, to only hold five meetings a year, and start later than a normal Lodge. Phoenix doesn’t hold a festive board at the end of each regular meeting, with the exception of the Installation, however, traditional toasts are included in the meetings.
As the Lodge only meets five times a year Phoenix Brethren are encouraged and supported in visiting other Lodges when they are able to. Family and working life should always take precedence.
The vision of the Lodge is also to take Freemasonry ‘back to its roots’ by reconstituting the old Phoenix Lodge No. 368. Like the Old Phoenix we hold our regular meetings in an upstairs room of a Public House, with Lodge workings and business conducted around a table, as our early Brethren would have done. It is not anticipated that the reported drunken revelries leading into the small hours be practised, however. Thus Phoenix blends old Masonic traditions with modern needs to cater for a working modern society, with a unique ritual that incorporates elements of the Ancient Workings.
In May 2017 the concept behind founding the New Phoenix Lodge in Kingston-Upon-Hull began to take form. W Bro. James Steele, who was Provincial Grand Lecturer at the time, had been researching for a lecture on masonry in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. He foundthat a lot of the atmosphere and old traditions early brethren enjoyed had been lost to history. A separate discussion took place one evening with W Bro. Richard Theaker and W Bro. Daniel Betts regarding how some good men can be deterred from becoming Freemasons due to time constraints and work pressures. The brethren amalgamated their ideas and recognised that there was a potential need for a new vibrant Lodge within the Province that could take masonry back to its origins, resurrect the use of the ancient ceremony and make masonry more accessible to working men. W Bros Paul Hillary, Mark Richardson, Craig Maurier and Edwin Wildman joined the group and the first formation committee meeting took place on 10th June 2017 at the Village Hotel in Hull. These likeminded brethren, with guidance of the Provincial Formation Officer W Bro. Mark Hall, discussed formation ideas and principles that would support working men, have an abridged running order and also look to resurrect an old lodge that used to meet in taverns within the city of Hull, namely the Phoenix.
A pro forma was circulated Provincially and soon the formation committee were joined by eager brethren ready to support this endeavour and all met on 29 July 2017. It was agreed that W Bro. Steele should stand as Primus Master and W Bro. Richardson as Primus Secretary. W Bros Eddie Wildman and Craig Maurier worked tirelessly over many months to write the Phoenix ritual book that incorporated Humber, Ancient Workings and Emulation, creating a truly unique blend of ritual. W Bro Wildman also designed the Lodge’s logo and gifted it to Phoenix.
The petitioners met again on the morning of 7thOctober 2017 at the Masonic Hall, Dagger Lane, Hull. The founding officer’s ballot took place, with the names of all brethren being drawn from a hat for the offices they had put themselves forward for. History was then made by the signing of the Petition to Provincial Grand Lodge by the members who were present at the meeting.
On Saturday 18th November 2017the petitioners visited the Technical Lodge, No.5666’s Installation meeting. After a brief description about the journey Brethren must take when founding a new Lodge, W Bro Mark Hall, invited W Bro Mark Richardson, Secretary designate of the proposed Phoenix Lodge to request that W Bro Jonathan Sykes, the newly installed Master of Technical Lodge and his Wardens sign the petition to show Technical Lodge’s commitment in supporting the proposed new Phoenix lodge. Following the signing of the petition the Worshipful Master wished the Phoenix Lodge every success in its application. Consecrated
On Saturday, 20th October 2018 at 11.00am the Phoenix LodgeNo.9963 was consecrated by Right Worshipful Brother Jeffrey Gillyon, Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire North and East Riding and His Team of Officers at the Masonic Hall, Beverley Road, Hull.
The main event, the Consecration ceremony, was delivered by the Consecration Team with flair in what was a beautifully conducted ceremony. The Founders of the lodge were presented to the Provincial Grand Master and reminded of their obligation to support and nurture their new lodge and uphold the values of Freemasonry for future generations.Following this, those below the rank of Installed Master retired from the Temple. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V. W. Bro. William Henry Fisher, then installed the Primus Master, W Bro. James Steele, who went on to invest his officers. The Address to members was delivered by the Provincial Grand Master. The By-Laws were adopted andthanks were given to Brethren who had contributed to the Lodge with honorary membership confirmed on key members of the Consecrating Team as well as W Bro.’s Alex Scott and Alistair Scott the last Secretary and Master of Reliance Lodge No 7476 who had kindly donated several pieces of lodge furniture to the Phoenix with Lodge of Reliance having returned their Warrant to Grand Lodge the previous year.
Following the meeting, a spectacular Festive Board was held and the brethren in attendance experienced a musical treat by the Provincial Choir under the direction of W Bro Edwin Wildman. Amongst the formal toasts the Lodge was presented with a single bottle of ‘Phoenix Beer’ brewed in Mauritius and a multi pack of straws much to the amusement of the brethren. Those in attendance joined together and delighted in a memorable and lively festive board.
The Formation Committee: W Bro. Paul Hillary, W Bro. Daniel Betts, W Bro. Edwin Wildman, W Bro. James Steele, W Bro. Mark Richardson, W Bro. Richard Theaker, W Bro. Craig Maurier.