Orient Lodge 4085

In the Province of Suffolk



At a meeting of the Permanent Committee of the Lodge of Unity No. 71, held towards the end of the year 1919, at which W. Bro. G. S. Knocker was present, it was found that they had a very heavy waiting list of eligible candidates, about 14 in number; and that in the ordinary course of events, with the prospect of still more applications from time to time, it would be an abnormally long while before they could all be initiated. the regular business of the Committee was settled, and just before the meeting broke up, W. Bro. Knocker propounded a query as to whether it might not be advisable to consider the foundation of another Lodge, in view of the extraordinary amount of work in front, not only of Lodge of Unity, but of the other Lodges in the district.

A general discussion arose, and the idea seemed to meet with considerable approval, although there were some of those present who doubted the advisability of it. Among those was the Secretary, W. Bro. F. Robinson, who was justifiably ambitious that the muster roll of Lodge of Unity should reach a total of 100 (the total number of members was then 96). There was, however, no real opposition to the idea, and, in fact, there was a genuine enthusiasm among many of the members.

Founders came in readily, and it was immediately seen that not only Lodge of Unity, but St. Margaret’s No. 1452 and Stradbroke No. 3291 Lodges also approved of the foundation; and as a result, these three Lodges passed unanimous resolutions in support of the proposal, and signed the application for the Warrant, in token of which their respective numbers were inscribed on the original banner of the Lodge.

Not withstanding this, it was settled at the very first, and at all subsequent meetings, that Orient Lodge should be a second Lodge of Unity, in its Constitution, By-laws and Ritual. It was definitely agreed, not only to follow the Ritual then in use by Lodge of Unity, but also the musical interludes which Were made up and introduced by the late W. Bro. W. J. Wilton between 1890 and 1900.

Bro. Kerry Rix suggested that the first Master and Wardens should all be Past Masters, in order that the difficulties of steering the new Lodge through the early years of its life should be in experienced hands. As a result W. Bro. George Stodart Knocker was selected to be the First Master, as a Past Master of the Lodge of Unity No. 71; W. Bro. John Brooks Whaley, a Past Master of St. Margaret’s Lodge No. 1452, and W. Bro. Thomas Harrison, a Past Master of Stradbroke Lodge No. 3291, as Wardens. Lodge of Unity No. 71 was both father and mother, and the members cordially assisted the new Lodge with their help and presence, many of them as Founders, and with gifts of Jewels and other necessaries; the old Lodge consenting to allow Orient Lodge the use of their furniture at an agreed annual charge. The selection of a suitable name, and one not already in use, was a matter of considerable difficulty, and after many suggestions had been brought forward, ‘Eastern’ was finally decided upon; this, however, was modified to ‘Orient’ by the W. Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro. Owen Aly Clark, and Grand Lodge raising no objection, it was adopted as a distinctive, euphonious, and most appropriate name for a Lodge held in the most Easterly part of England.


The Consecration Ceremony was held in the St. Margaret’s Institute, Lowestoft, on Thursday, 20 May, 1920, at 2.30 p.m. at which 178 Freemasons were present. This was preceded by a sumptuous four—course luncheon with wine (in the same building) catered for by W. Bro. J. B. Whaley, and Bro. H. H. Leighton. Owing to the unavoidable absence of the R.W. Provincial Grand Master, (Bro. Colonel the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Stradbroke, K.C.M.G., C.B., c.v.o., C.B.E., P.G.W.) who at this time was Governor of the State of Victoria, Australia, the ceremony was performed by W. Bro. Owen Aly Clark, M.B.E. (Deputy Provincial Grand Master). He was ably assisted by W. Bro. R. C. Todd, Prov. S.G.W., W. Bro. J. H. Wainwright, Prov. J.G.W., W. Bro. Rev. W. Horne, Prov. G. Chaplain, W. Bro. George Booth, P.A.G.D.C., D. of C., W. Bro. W. Ulric Cookes, Prov. S.G.D., W. Bro. P. R. Hill, Prov. J.G.D., and W. Bro. O. C. Jones, Prov. G. Pursuivant. W. Bro. Kerry Rix acted as Past Master.

Ceremony of Consecration was conducted all in accordance with Ancient Custom, and with great dignity, solemnity and decorum; during which the Warrant of the Lodge, granted by the United Grand Lodge of England at the will of the M.W. The Grand Master (His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught and” Strathearn, K.G.) on 17 February, 1920, was read by the Provincial Grand Secretary (W. Bro. Major Vesey Davoren, P.A.G.D.C.). The Consecration Vessels used in the ceremony were those about to be presented to the Provincial Grand Lodge by W. Bro. C. W. Croydon, P.P.G.St.B. The Musical arrangements for the ceremony were under the direction of Bro. H. T. Eyles (Prov. G. Organist).

After the Consecration of the Lodge, W. Bro. George Stodart Knocker, P.P.S.G.D., was Installed as the First Master of Orient Lodge by the Provincial Grand Secretary (W. Bro. Major Vesey Davoren, P.A.G.D.C.).The Worshipful Master then appointed and invested the first Officers of the Lodge. All the Consecrating Officers were elected Honorary Members of the Lodge.

The following presentations were made to the Lodge:

The 75th Anniversary was held on the 24th May 1995 at The Masonic Hall Lowestoft, the Worshipful Master was W.Bro. H J Watson.

The 100th Anniversary was to be held on the 7th October 2020 at The Masonic Hall Lowestoft, the Worshipful Master was W. Bro. Trevor David Winship, P.P.J.G.W. Due to the coronavirus pandemic this was put back and celebrated at a dinner in 2022.


By the Lodge’s 50th year the number of Initiations was 152, and of Joining 55.

Seven Founders of the Lodge, Thirty-one Initiates and Eight Joining Members became Masters of the Lodge.

Seventeen Lewises (sons of members) have been Initiated into the Lodge.

It was a matter of great regret that the first Initiate of the Lodge, (Bro. Ivan Kittle), although Warden for three years in succession, did not (through his own Wish) become Master of the Lodge.

The first Master Mason to become Master was Bro. Ernest Robert Long, a Founder, in 1923.

The sixth Initiate of the Lodge (Bro. J. W. Searby), was the first Initiate to become Worshipful Master, this was in 1929; prior to this date the Masters of the Lodge were Founders, and a Joining Member.

During the course of its 50 years life, the Lodge and its Members have subscribed £6,000 to the Masonic Institutions and the Hospital.

The Annual Reciprocal Visitation by the Officers of the Lodge to Waveney Lodge No. 929 commenced in May 1933, and continued until May 1940; it was revived in May 1956 and continues at the present time.

Since the first meeting of the Lodge, 22,187 Freemasons have attended its meetings, consisting of 14,121 members, and 8,066 visitors in its first fifty years.

The Ballot Box was presented to the Lodge by W. Bro. George Stodart Knocker as a token of his affection for the members of the Lodge for their many kindnesses to him.

The original Banner of the Lodge, having become very dilapidated and past repair, was replaced in 1967 by one designed by W. Bro. James W. Croft, P.P.G.W., and executed by Bro. F. H. Green, and first saw the light of day at the Provincial Grand Lodge, held at the Royal Hotel, Lowestoft, in June of that year.

306 meetings of the Lodge were held at the Royal Hotel, 48 at the Hatfield Hotel, 39 at the Hotel Victoria, and 27 at the Lowestoft Masonic Hall. Six meetings of the Lodge were cancelled (3 in 1939, and 3 in 1940) owing to enemy aerial activity. In total 420 meetings of the Lodge have been held in the first fifty years.

As far as can be ascertained, there were only four brethren who were alive at the fiftieth year anniversary, in the Province of Suffolk, who were present at the Consecration of the Lodge. They are W.Bro. F. H. Warner, P.G.D., P.Prov. D.G.M., of Prince of Wales Lodge No. 959; W.Bro. Rev. J. L. Buddell, P.P.G.C., of Martyn Lodge No. 1983; W.Bro. R. N. Lofts, P.P.G.W., of Royal St. Edmund’s Lodge No. 1008; and Bro. F. O. Capos, Master Mason of Lodge of Unity No. 71.

The year 1961 was the record year for attendance at the Lodge Meetings; at the Installation of Bro. G. A. Read, on 1 March, 124 members and visitors were present; 113 members and visitors attended on 3 May; during the whole year 650 Freemasons attended the meetings of the Lodge; these figures are the highest recorded during the first 50 years of the Lodge’s life.

The year 2020, which was the Lodge 100th anniversary, became unusual due to the COVID-19 virus that year. It caused all masonic activity to cease for many months (May to spring 2021?). All masonic halls were closed throughout the Province, and at Grand Lodge administration was still being carried out although at a reduced level and from peoples homes where they were self isolating.