Defying Gravity

Members of  Hundred of Gore Lodge No 8314 Members of Hundred of Gore Lodge No 8314

A Case for growth.

If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet.” – James E. Faust

These words may well ring true of the fortunes of Masonic Lodges, where over time there will be periods of rude health, with double ceremonies and lengthy guest lists, while at other times there can be pressure to find enough Brethren to fill the Lodge offices and a sense that the future is uncertain, to the extent that handing back the warrant is considered.

One such Lodge that has seen these ebbs of fortune is Hundred of Gore No 8314 Lodge consecrated on 16 June 1970 by thirteen masons who reputedly came together as a response to the high demand for Freemasonry that had led to larger lodges and the consequent delays in enjoying active office. In addition to the Provincial members and Founding Members, there were 87 other masons in attendance at its Consecration.

After that promising start the economic decline of the 1970s resulted in a downward spiral that lasted for the next three decades and the Lodge only survived because of the support of the older Brethren doing most of the work. The Lodge was now in survival mode. Many of the guests assisted in the ceremonies and the fact that the Lodge has had 33 Worshipful Masters over the past 50 years indicates that many of the Brethren were taking office more than once.

The Bleakest Moments and Revival

During its bleakest moments, the Lodge debated options including merging with another Lodge or surrendering its warrant. However, today it is currently in an upswing, with membership growing with new younger initiates as well as new joining members. There is a group of light blues waiting to take up the mantel and by 2025 the Lodge will be run by light blues. There are currently eight “white badges” waiting for their light blues resulting from new members joining through 2023.

How did the Lodge turn things around? The festive boards were always lively and this ensured the visitors always returned when invited. However, it was the determination, commitment and hard work of the members that ensured The Lodge’s survival. There was a focus on making sure that every member was happy and had the desire to progress and be involved.

A number of initiatives were employed in the Lodge Initiatives to halt any gravitational pull downwards which included a lively and fun based approach to freemasonry and allowing some flexibility in meeting work/life balance and providing support to the membership. Another important and motivational attribute is to encourage the newer members to take an active part in delivering discreet parts of the ceremony within their qualification. All this plus building a strong bond with the Mother Lodge in which the members have been Initiated. Obviously, in this instance Hundred of Gore Lodge.

Making it Work

Hundred of Gore is also a Lodge with multiple family connections and has a thriving social side that reaches out through its events to attract new members. These activities include picnics, meals, attending theatres/cinema, white table functions, ten pin bowling nights, clay pigeon shooting, badminton nights, 6-aside cricket, 5-aside football or golf days.

W. Bro Yogesh Teli who is current Treasure and Past Master of the Lodge said, “We are sure the younger and more energetic members will develop the strategy that will allow all members to participate. We need to promote the benefits of the Lodge and ensure we provide a positive message.

Ed: Has your Lodge overcome adversity to blossom again? We’d like to hear from you how you achieved it, to inspire any other Lodges who may currently be struggling.

Thanks to W. Bro Yogesh Teli PPrDepGReg for the report and also to W. Bro Ian Mitchell PProvSGD for the edit.

Back to top of page