Culford Lodge No. 8482

Date of Warrant, 8th November, 1972. Consecrated, 7th April, 1973.

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Culford School came into being in 1935 when the East Anglian School for Boys transferred from Bury St. Edmunds to Culford after the death of the 6th Earl Cadogan and the sale of the Culford Estate. The Lodge was founded in 1972 when a group of ‘Old Boys’ from Culford School decided to form a Masonic Lodge, thereafter known as Culford Lodge.

The Lodge was to be open to any Old Culfordian or to any father or son of any Culfordian. This was amended some twenty years later as the number of applicants had so diminished that in order to keep the Lodge going it was decided to open membership to anyone with no Culford School association. The Lodge was to meet four times a year on the second Saturday in March, June September and December. The June meeting being the Installation meeting. This was amended in 2019 to fall in line with member’s family and work commitments and the Lodge would now meet on the second Saturday in March, May, October and December, the October meeting being the Installation meeting.

The Founders met several times in the Dining Room at the Bury St Edmunds Masonic Hall in Chequer Square to discuss the Lodge intentions. Emulation was to be the preferred ritual, but having realised that as members were scattered throughout several Provinces, no Lodge of Instruction was envisaged in the early years. The date of the Warrant being granted was 8th November, 1972, and the Lodge was Consecrated on 7th April, 1973.

It was agreed to hold a Ladies Night and all members were encouraged to attend with their respective partners. In principle all members agreed to contribute personally to a Ladies Night present. The first Ladies Nights cost £3 and that included Sherry on arrival. These Ladies Nights turned out to be very popular.

The Lodge was a most friendly and sociable group. In the early years the Senior Warden, being an apple farmer, would bring Apples for the Brethren to eat when retiring after the meeting and before the Festive Board and W.Bro. F. Fisher would contribute by bringing Cockles from Southend. The one hundredth meeting of the Lodge took place in the Old Assembly Hall at the School on Saturday, 13th December, 1997, under the Mastership of W.Bro. Michael A. Jones, in the presence of the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. R. J. R. Tile. It would be difficult to find a room more magnificent or in a more graceful setting for a gathering of Masons.

For Old Culfordians’ it was a particularly nostalgic occasion. The scene was set by W.Bro. Peter H. Nunn who gave a very brief but fascinating history of Culford Hall, the School and the Lodge: W.Bro. Thomas W. Hurst read extracts from the Charter of the Lodge: W.Bro. Donald L. Amon read the minutes of the first meeting and W.Bro. Martin Crannis presented working tools and other equipment which had recently been donated by members. Routine business then moved on to the ‘Passing’ of Bro. James R. Brown before The Provincial Grand Master presented W.Bro. J. G. Fred Rynsard with a certificate to commemorate fifty years of service to Masonry. This was followed by the presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro. Martin J. Crannis.

All then adjourned to the Centenary Hall to enjoy a delightful and tasty meal provided by the catering staff of the school after which all the customary toasts were honoured. As is the usual practice the evening concluded with the singing of the old school song, ‘Viriliter agite, estote fortes!’