Province of Bedfordshire
Old Cedarians Lodge No 8078
Patron Lodge of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution
Grand Patron Lodge of the Masonic Samaritan Fund
Patron Lodge of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
History of the Lodge
Consecrated 2nd April 1966 at Cedars School in Leighton Buzzard by the Bedfordshire Provincial Grand Master and attended by 183 brethren.
W Bro J S Dennis was installed as the first Worshipful Master of the Lodge, he had also been the first Head Boy of the Cedars School.
The founding of the Lodge was sponsored by Beaudesert Lodge No 1087 during their centenary year.
The Constitution requires the Lodge to meet four times each year with the Installation meeting to be held in March and regular meetings in May, September and December. The founders decided that the Emulation ritual would be used with certain ‘local’ amendments to give the work its own Old Cedarians character.
During the first six years two additional meetings were held each year due to the high level of interest in the Lodge and a decision was was also made by the founders not to do ‘double’ ceremonies but to hold multiple ceremonies on the same evening that resulted in up to four ceremonies being performed on occasion. At the time of founding the Lodge subs were 5 Guineas a year and dinner was 15 shillings. The Lodge has met since founding at the Gables in Wing Road Leighton Buzzard and before the dining facility was constructed at the Gables in 1973 the festive board was held at the Swan Hotel on Leighton Buzzard High Street.
The original intent of the founders was that the Lodge would be ‘established for the convenience of Gentlemen who have been educated at the Cedars School Leighton Buzzard and or have been Masters of that School’. In 1992 the members decided that the Lodge Byelaws should be changed to make the Lodge ‘open’ to all suitably qualified gentlemen and the first joining non-
The school tie is still worn by Lodge members with the four school houses evenly represented. We raise a toast to the school and sing the school song in its original Latin at our festive boards.
In 1978 the Lodge hosted the meeting of the Bedfordshire Provincial Grand Lodge which was held at Luton for the first time on that occasion. All the furniture from the Gables being moved to Luton for the event.
The Lodge is a member of the Federation Of School Lodges and in 1986 hosted the Annual Meeting that was held at the new school premises on Mentmore Road in Leighton Buzzard.
Condensed from a talk given by W Bro Ernie Wonnacott.
A more complete and illustrated booklet entitled ‘The First 50 Years, 1966 to 2016’ was prepared for our 50th Anniversary, copies are available from the Lodge Secretary.