It is quite possible that on Saturday 9th December 1944 W. Bro. Cyril Webber Everns, secretary of the Wilberforce Lodge No. 5186 awoke to the strains of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing on the wireless. For the few moments before he arose to start his day he very probably remembered that this afternoon was to be the first formal meeting of the founders of the proposed new Lodge. Rising to attend to his ablutions he may well have turned the dial of the wireless to hear the early morning news, without dreaming that exactly a week later the great orchestral leader would disappear forever.
The war which had devastated so many lives had turned very much in favour of the allies and W. Bro. Everns and his Masonic colleagues probably began to feel some justification in looking forward to a new venture in what was hopefully to be a better and more ordered world.
The discussions had started early in 1944 between W. Bro. Everns and W. Bro. Harold L. Jeffries, another member of Wilberforce Lodge concerning the formation of a new Lodge from among the members of Wilberforce Lodge and the Wilberforce Lodge of instruction. The latter consisted not only of members of the Lodge but of many keen young Masons of other Lodges. The problem foremost in their minds was that because of the considerable popularity of Freemasonry between the wars it was taking many, many years for young Masons to reach the senior office and go through the Chair of their Lodges. Therefore, many new Lodges were being formed to speed up the process.
The proposed founders elected W. Bro. Everns Chairman and W. Bro. Jeffries Secretary and at the regular meeting of the Wilberforce Lodge held on 7 October 1944 it was agreed to recommend a petition to the M. W. The Grand Master. The founders agreed that the new Lodge should be named Clarkson after a close associate of William Wilberforce the man most responsible finally for the abolition of slavery.
When W. Bro. Everns and fifteen of his Masonic colleagues met at the Ardington Rooms on the above mentioned Saturday at 2:15p.m., it was agreed that W. Bro. Merry would occupy the chair initially and W. Bro. Jeffries agreed to act as Secretary. It was formally agreed that the M. W. The Grand Master be asked to approve the name of the Clarkson Lodge. It was also agreed at this meeting that W. Bro. Everns be recommended as the Warrant Master at which point W. Bro. Merry vacated the chair in his favour. There followed proposals concerning the initial officers of the Lodge whose names appear here.
Interestingly it was agreed that the dining fee for the ceremony would be thirty shillings which is equivalent to £30 at today’s rates. The initiation fee was to be twenty guineas, the joining fee five guineas and the initial subscription four guineas.
In today’s terms these figures are:
It is interesting to compare these with today’s level of charges i.e. Initiation Fee: £200, Joining Fee: £25, Subscription: £110.
All figures as of 1995
The next meeting of the founders was held at the Windsor Arms in Clapham 27 February 1945 at which W. Bro. Jeffries gave a report of the considerable correspondence and several meetings which he and W. Bro. Everns had had with the Grand Secretary. It was clear from this that Grand Lodge would not accept the name Clarkson but they would accept Broomwood. The reason for this name was that William Wilberforce has resided in a house in Broomwood Road. It was agreed that the name would be submitted and it was subsequently accepted. It was also agreed that the consecration of the new Broomwood Lodge would take place on 28 May 1945 at 3.00p.m. It was agreed that the Lodge Motto “Deeds not Words” and the design of the Lodge emblem should be submitted to Grand Lodge for approval which subsequently was granted.
Grand Lodge at that time also had to ask for six of the proposed founder members to withdraw their names from the petition due to the fact that they were not members of the Mother Lodge. This would have caused there to be a minority of the members from Wilberforce which was unacceptable.