The Birth of Westoe Lodge
In the year 1924 the strength of the John Redhead Lodge No. 3217 which had been founded in 1907, numbered some 280 members and had a waiting list of about 60 prospective candidates. Since the lodge was limited to initiating two candidates at any one meeting, several of the brethren felt that the consequent delays were discouraging to any desirous of joining the Craft and decided that there was a need for another Lodge in South Shields.
To this end a meeting of the Master, Past Masters, Treasurer and Secretary of the John Redhead Lodge was held on the 28th November 1924, W Bro Jacob Reay presiding at which it was resolved to petition the Provincial Grand Master to form a new lodge.
There were 36 founders all of whom were members of the John Redhead Lodge No. 3217, the name of the new lodge was resolved to be ‘Westoe Lodge’ taking its name from the area of South Shields in which the Hedworth Masonic Temple, whose foundation stone had been laid in November 1924, was to be situated.
The lodge would meet on the last Monday in the month at the Hedworth Masonic Temple and like John Redhead Lodge it should be a temperance lodge.
Among the conditions laid down by Provincial Grand Lodge governing the formation of Westoe Lodge were; The working of the lodge to be Emulation, not more than 7 initiates in any one year and that the maximum number of members be 75 with leave to appeal.
It was agreed that the lodge badge should be a view depicting Westoe Village looking east from Sunderland Road.
In the absence of the Provincial Grand Master, R.Bro. The Rt Hon. Lord Ravensworth, due to illness, the Westoe Lodge was consecrated on Wednesday, 21st October 1925, by W.Bro Cuthbert Wilkinson, P.A.G.D.C, P.P.G.W,Deputy Prov.G.Master.
W.Bro Foyle Fawcett, Prov S. G. W
W.Bro E.W Andrews, Prov J.G.W
W.Bro. The Rev.C.B.Hunter, M.A, Prov.G.Chaplain
P.A.G.Std.Br., Prov.G.D. of C.
W.Bro. J.G. Finlayson,
W.Bro. R.WE. Dixon, P.A.G.D.C.,Prov G. Secretary
The Deputy Prov.G. Master. installed W.Bro Milton Swales. P.Prov.G.D., as the first Master of the lodge.