Our History


1983 – 2017

The story of the Headley Lodge No. 9072 begins with four men in a car, discussing an idea for a new lodge during a journey from Headley for a meeting of the Panmure Lodge in Aldershot in 1981. Billy Burton, Peter Leete, Geoff Atkins and Paddy Kearon were the four men in the car, and it was Paddy who broached the subject that another lodge was needed to cater for the rapidly growing Headley area where all four happened to live, thus encouraging existing Masons and likely candidates. It was an idea that took shape over the coming months, particularly in a Spanish restaurant in Grayshott, where the four had nurtured the agreeable practice of halting for coffee and cognac – in the spirit of friendship and fellowship – on their way home from other lodges.
Billy Burton suggested that the new lodge should be called Headley and other likely founders began to join the small group – one of whom was the late W. Bro. Charles Hathaway, a colourful character well known in local Masonic circles who had been a founder and Primus Master of Bordon Garrison Lodge and proved invaluable in assisting with our formation and with our approach to Provincial Grand Lodge.
A decision was taken that we would meet in the Bordon Masonic Centre, Geoff Atkins would be Primus Master, and Peter Leete would be Secretary of the Formation Committee. Although the original idea for the crest was of Headley Church, there was a feeling that the Church authorities would not agree and so a chestnut tree was considered but W. Bro. Keith Stobbs, a member of the Church Council, had become a Founder and did not feel that there would be a problem, and ultimately the Church Council was happy to give their approval.
The first Founders meeting was on Sunday 4 April 1982, by which time, in addition to the 26 Founders there were several proposed joining members and eight potential candidates for initiation. The sponsoring lodge would be Whitehill Lodge No. 8425, with the consecration to take place on Monday 23 May 1983 at the Masonic Hall, Lake Road, Portsmouth. This date we agreed was so that Bro. Burton one of the original instigators could complete his three years as a Master Mason and become a Founder.
In September 1982, the Assistant Grand Secretary informed us that the number 9072 was already allocated and that the petition must be presented to Grand Lodge before 6 December 1982, duly signed by the Founders, who must all have paid their Founders fee of £100. They were also advised that the consecrating team would number approximately forty (40) and with rehearsals in the morning, the Founders must bear the cost of a ‘working lunch’. W. Bro. A. E. P. Jones confirmed that the new lodge could utilise the ‘furniture’ of the Bordon Centre, such as Tracing Boards, Working Tools, and wands etc.
In January 1983, a sub committee comprising: the Primus Master, 2 Wardens (Bros Noel Thorne and John Habberley); Secretary and Assistant Secretary (W. Bros S. A. Stephenson and Jim Moore), and the 3 Grand Officers (W. Bros Tom Johnson, Alec Shephard, and G. Baldit) was formed to agree on final details. The Ritual would be Emulation which was the ritual most of the Founders were familiar with, and the lodge would meet in dinner suits except for the consecration which would be morning dress. Shortly before the consecration, W. Bro. Stephenson withdrew as Secretary designate, but remained a Founder, and W. Bro. Alec Shephard PGStdB stepped into the office, a post which he was to hold with distinction for the next thirteen (13) years.


The 28 Founders travelled to Portsmouth by coach on the morning of 23 May 1983 and rehearsed the ceremony under the direction of the Provincial Director of Ceremonies, W. Bro. Alan Callaway. The consecration took place in the afternoon and the festive board in the evening, with 163 in attendance. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW. Bro. Surgeon Captain G. S. Irvine PGSwdB occupied the Chair and appointed the Officers of the Consecrating Team which consisted of the Provincial Grand Master, RW. Bro. Thomas Bennett Langton MC DL, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW. Bro. Surgeon Capt. G. S. Irvine RN, and included the following, Assistant Provincial Grand Masters’ J. E. Bullen and A. D. Chun, Chaplain the Revd Dr Michael Morgan, Director of Ceremonies Alan Callaway, Deputy Directors of Ceremonies Bob Mills Goodlet and Robin Atkins, Junior Warden Alf Burton, and Senior Deacon Malcolm Slater.
At the first regular meeting on 21 September 1983, the Secretary was unfortunately in hospital, and Assistant Secretary W. Bro. Jim Moore valiantly aided by Treasurer Bro. John Gillespie eventually managed to decipher and read the minutes of the ‘Consecration’, because to use Alec’s own words, his writing was ‘suspect’. At that meeting, the late Clive Davies became the first initiate of the lodge and W. Bro. J. F. Shepherd and Bros J. Moyes, H. Pozner, P. Barnett and Terry Owens became the first joining members. W. Bro. Dr J. Happel PGStdB became our first Visiting Grand Officer. The lodge meeting on 19 October saw Bro. Davies passed to the 2nd degree, and Barry Read initiated, the lodge approved the investment of £500 into Bordon Masonic Properties Ltd, and authorised the formation of a Lodge of Instruction. At the December meeting, the Worshipful Master of Bordon Garrison Lodge No. 7538, W. Bro. Ted Budd presented Headley Lodge with a ‘Wallet for the Warrant’ of the lodge on behalf of Garrison Lodge.


Following a letter from W. Bro. Harry Scotts LGR, the first meeting of the Lodge of Instruction took place on 11 November 1983 at which W. Bro. P. Leete was elected Preceptor, W. Bro. R. Shea PPAGDC (Middlesex), Deputy Preceptor and Harry Scotts, Secretary. Various members had made suggestions for the ritual, and for two or three years, there were cries of “We don’t do it that way in my Lodge” to the utter frustration of the
Preceptors. W. Bro. Geoffrey Whittle, who became a joining member in December 1983 had extensive Masonic experience in London, Eastern Archipelago, and British Forces Germany was appointed Director of Ceremonies in 1985. He gradually formulated the ‘Headley Ritual’ used today, which is mainly Emulation with some ‘Taylors’ working in deference to many our Founders who were more used to that ritual.
The “Silent Perambulations” now performed at our installation meetings, were first seen by W. Bro. Peter Leete when visiting Cherry Tree Lodge in Bordon, and when W. Bro. G. G. Whittle became Director of Ceremonies of Headley Lodge; he added some refinements to these, which several lodges have since tried to copy.
In 1992, the lodge agreed to pay the £50 hire fee for the Masonic Hall, to enable the Lodge of Instruction to hold a Festival where an initiation ceremony was performed. This format has since been an annual event, with more junior officers occupying the various offices, including that of Worshipful Master. Moreover, it is customary for the lodge for the Worshipful Master to act as candidate. The dining varies between a formal festive board, a ‘White Table’ with non-Masonic guests and possibly a disco, or a ‘fish and chip supper’. The Lodge of Instruction continues to thrive under the direction of our current Director of Ceremonies and Preceptor, W. Bro. Ray Read.


On 15 February 1984, the Provincial Grand Chaplain, W. Bro. The Revd Dr Michael Morgan Past Assistant Grand Chaplain dedicated the banner, which our Primus Master, W. Bro. Geoff Atkins had designed and had made by a former nun. W. Bro. Eddie Coleman and Bro. Terry Owens presented the banner to the lodge and the Provincial Chaplain, W. Bro. Revd Dr Michael Morgan gave a lecture on ‘Banners and Heraldry through the Ages’. At the same meeting, W. Bro. G. Baldit PGStdB and Bro. N. P. G. Thorne presented the lodge with a cushion on which to carry the Volume of the Sacred Law.
The banner was re-dedicated at the consecration of the new Temple in Bordon on 19 May 2003 by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W. Bro. E. F. R. Moss, who had been a guest at the original dedication when he was a Past Provincial Junior Warden.
The lodge grew steadily, and since our formation in 1983, there have been 52 initiates into the lodge plus 35 joining members, with the membership now standing at 39, including 5 Founders (August 2017). The 100th meeting of the lodge on 25 January 2000 saw Alan Wylam initiated with the ceremony performed by the original Founding Officers of the lodge except that W. Bro. P. Richards took on the role of Chaplain and W. Bro. J. A. Moore the role of Assistant Director of Ceremonies, as the original officers were no longer members of the lodge.


In February 1988, reference was made to correspondence with Daintree Lodge No. 2938 about the possibility of reciprocal visits between the two lodges, which originated because of a friendship built up over the years by Founder, Bro. Paddy Kearon, then a member of Daintree Lodge, and his permanent guest, Peter Leete, which were encouraged by W. Bro. Alfie Burton and other senior members of Daintree Lodge. As a result, some members of Headley Lodge visited Daintree Lodge at Botley, Southampton on 14 June 1988 and on 21 September 1988, a reciprocal visit to us was made by 12 members of Daintree Lodge, led by their Immediate Past Master, W. Bro. Vic Smith. Amongst their members attending was W. Bro. Alf Burton PAGSwdB, who had been the Provincial Junior G. Warden at our consecration, and who achieved lasting fame by arriving in a dinner jacket, bow tie etc. and brown suede shoes; he always drove in those but had forgotten to bring any black shoes with him. His dignity was saved from further hilarity by borrowing the shoes of our Tyler (Bro. Barry Read). W. Bro. Alf, who had a great sense of humour, is regrettably no longer with us but he always told this story against himself with much mirth. These reciprocal visits continue each June and September to this day, with numbers attending varying between 6 and 15, but enjoyed by all and with many friendships being forged along the way.


In 2002, W. Bro. Charlie Kemp, our Founding Junior Deacon and Master in 1987/88 who is still a member, was appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight and promoted to Past Senior Grand Deacon in Grand Lodge the following year.
Over the years, most of our Past Masters have been honoured with Provincial Rank, including several who received an Active Rank for their first appointments:
1993 – J. H. Habberley – Deputy Grand Registrar
1995 – Billy Burton – Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
1996 – J. C. Gillespie – Assistant Grand Registrar
2002 – B. P. Read – Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies
2014 – R. D. Read – Assistant Grand Sword Bearer

On 21 December 2005, RW. Bro. E. F. R. Moss, Past Provincial Grand Master attended and presented W. Bro. Geoffrey G. Whittle DFM, PPJGW SLGR PDDepGDC(EA) PJGW (BFG), with a Certificate commemorating his 60 years as a Freemason. In October 2009, W. Bro. Whittle, who had moved to Lincolnshire to be near his son and daughter, was elected an honorary member and sadly, passed to the Grand Lodge Above on 14 January 2016 aged 93, shortly after receiving a certificate commemorating his 70 years in Freemasonry, from the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire.
To date, the lodge has received 13 official visits from officers of Provincial Grand Lodge and their accompanying teams. W. Bro. David Flemming PSGD AProvGM accompanied by Officers of Provincial Grand Lodge was the ‘Official Visitor’ at our Silver Jubilee meeting in May 2008; a total of 110 attended the celebration – 20 Officers, 21 Members and 69 Visitors,
including RW. Bro. Hywel Davies Provincial Grand Master of South Wales Eastern Division, who was a personal guest of our Primus Master.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW. Bro. Graham Williams made an official visit on 20 October 2010 and presented joining member, W. Bro. Ted Pilgrim, LGR with a ‘Certificate and Lapel Badge’ to mark Ted’s 50 years as a Mason. Ted gave a witty and at times emotional reply, including memories of his evacuation from the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940. Ted died in May 2016 at the age of 97.
On 26 January 2016, Assistant Provincial Grand Master W. Bro. Bill Withers PSGD attended and presented the lodge with the Platinum Award for the 2016 Festival for the Boys and Girls.
It was perhaps appropriate that W. Bro. Jim Moore, one of our Founders and highly successful Charity Steward of long standing was installed as the Worshipful Master at our 25th Anniversary Meeting, 25 May 2008. W. Bro. Jim said that as a Founder, it had not been his original intention to go through the Chair of Headley Lodge, but several years ago when one of the lodge officers resigned, he had stepped in and continued the progression without initially realising that he would reach the Chair in our 25th year. To be able to take the Chair in such a special year was one of the proudest memories of his life in Masonry. Jim died on 11 June 2017 at the age of 83 after a long illness.
In accordance with our usual practice at installation meetings, in May 2009, the lodge was called off, and all retired downstairs for tea and biscuits. Unfortunately, the lift broke down about 2 inches below the upper floor with W. Bro. Idwell Jenkins the only occupant being trapped for over 30 minutes before rescue finally took place causing the installation to be delayed by some 20 minutes — Idwell missed out on his tea! Lodge Secretary Mike King who took him home felt that Idwell quite ‘enjoyed’ the experience – or more likely the attention he received!!
December 2010, saw our first non-Christian candidate initiated when Mukund Patel took his obligation on his Holy Book, the BHAGAVAD-GITA [Hindu scripture]; Mukund is very popular and our current Senior Warden.
At this meeting, W. Bro. Charlie Kemp, PSGD PProvAGM presented W. Bro. Alex Shephard PAGDC, our Founding secretary with a certificate and lapel badge commemorating Alex’ 60 years in Freemasonry.
While most meetings have been ceremonies, there have also been a number of lectures on various Masonic topics, one of great interest being on 17 October 2012 when the Provincial Grand Mentor (W. Bro. K. C. Young) attended and gave an excellent presentation on mentoring which included role play.
In 2015, we were delighted to sponsor the Chequered Flag Lodge 9914 which was consecrated on 6 November 2015, and this is proving a very successful and popular lodge.
On 7 February 2017, our Founding Secretary, W. Bro. Alex Shephard PAGDC, who was elected an honorary member in January 2013, died aged 98.


In 1984, the lodge held its first Ladies Festival at the Savoy Hotel in London. Since then a festival has been held each year, often over a weekend, with the festival itself taking place on a Saturday evening, including one memorable weekend function in Brussels; arrangements are already in hand for the ‘2018 Festival’. Various social events have been held every year since formation, including dances, hog roasts, skittles evenings, quizzes etc. at which many thousands of pounds are raised for both Masonic and non-Masonic charities.


From consecration to date, the lodge has donated a total of £125,000 to the 4 Masonic Festivals hosted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight (1984 – Boys Festival, 1994 – Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, 2005 – New Masonic Samaritan Fund and 2016 – Boys and Girls Festival); plus more than £7,000 to other Masonic charities.
At a Tercentenary Charity evening at Bordon Masonic Hall in June 2017, lodges in the North-East Area made donations to charities of their choice. Headley Lodge made donations of £3,500 to 5 charities including Riding for the Disabled (Woolbeding Branch £1000), Headley Youth Football Club (£1000), Headley Fun Run, which we have supported for several years, (£250). All these donations raised our total to non-Masonic charities to more than £18,500. As a result of the Annual Festivals, the Lodge of Instruction has also donated several thousand pounds to mainly non-Masonic charities, in addition to the lodge totals.
One of the principal tenets of Freemasonry continues to be practised by the lodge and having achieved our Platinum Award for the 2016 RMTGB Festival, in addition to donating substantial funds to non-Masonic charities we are looking forward to the future with confidence and excitement.

Written and compiled by W. Bro. John H. Habberley PPSGW – August 2017
Edited by W. Bro. Brian Crane, PPAGDC to Oxford and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Style Guides – August 2015.


We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.