A Short History of Hurst Johnian Lodge No. 4937
St John’s College, Hurstpierpoint was the second school founded by Nathaniel Woodard in Sussex, the first being Lancing and the third Ardingly. Ardingly was the first of these schools to have an Old Boys Masonic Lodge. It was called the Ardingly College Lodge No. 4410 which was consecrated on 5th May 1922. The next Old Boys Lodge among the Woodard Schools was the Old Lancing Lodge No. 4660 and was consecrated on 15th December 1924. The Ardingly College Lodge of instruction which had been formed in 1922 has been attended by members of the Hurst Johnian Lodge since 1928 and in November of that year the question of forming a Royal Arch Chapter was discussed which resulted in the Woodard Chapter No. 4410 being consecrated in April, 1932. At the installation meeting of the Ardingly College Lodge on 25th May 1927 it was unanimously agreed that recommendation for a new Lodge named the Hurst Johnian should be assigned by the Worshipful Master and Wardens. Grand Lodge assigned the new Lodge with the number 4937 and it was consecrated by the V W Brother Sir Colville Smith, Grand Secretary on Friday, 28th October 1927. There were seventeen founder members and fourteen of them were appointed Officers in the Lodge.
List of officers, 28th October 1927
* W M W Bro. H C Edwards P G St B
* S W W Bro. J W Higman JP PAGDC
* JW W Bro J C St L Stallward PPGW (Oxon)
* Chaplain V W Bro RT Rev H K Southwell DD PGCh
* Treasurer W Bro J A Nixon PPG St B Bristol
* Secretary Bro D E Norman
*D C W Bro J Hooke PAGDC
*SD W Bro J H Tyler MBE PG Stwd
*JD W Bro F C Dixon
*ACC W Bro C A G Keeson MC
*Asst Secretary Bro H J Stafford TD
*IG Bro F A Shippam
*Steward Bro G Perkins MC FRCS
*Steward W Bro R F Wright BA
Tyler W Bro E E Foster LR
* = Founder
Meetings at St John’s College, Hurstpierpoint
At the February meeting in 1929, the Headmaster Brother Tower who was the first Initiate of the Lodge, proposed that the Lodge should meet and dine at the school in May 1929 and since that time, regular meetings on Saturdays in May were held at the school and continued until 1939 starting again once the War was over. The furniture of the Lodge was borrowed from several nearby Lodges but since 1958 the William de Warenne Lodge No. 6139 have very kindly lent their furniture on these Annual occasions.
Outstanding dates in the life of the Lodge
- In October 1938 C E Emmerson was installed by the Worshipful Master, he was the son of Worshipful Brother Emmerson, the Grand Treasurer and the Installing Master was very Worshipful Brother Sidney White, the Grand Secretary.
- In October, 1969 Right Worshipful Brother E G Holiday Passed District Grand Master (E Arch) very kindly agreed to be Master of the Lodge on his retirement from the Eastern Archipelago. He had been a member of the Hurst Johnian Lodge since 1937. At his installation Right Worshipful Brother Sir Allan Adaire attended in his official capacity as Assistant Grand Master, as well as a number of other eminent Grand Officers.
- The Association of Sussex Public School Lodges was formed in 1972 and the first meeting was in May 1973 when the Old Brightonian Lodge No 4104 was the Host Lodge.
- The following year the second meeting was held at Hurstpierpoint College and on that occasion the Hurst Johnian Lodge were the hosts. This was an extremely successful meeting at which 82 Brethren attended and 60 dined in the Library. All the dining arrangements were under the direction of the School’s Catering Organisation.
In the 1990s the decision was made to hold all future Lodge meetings at the college because of falling numbers and the difficulty of getting to London. Our meetings are held in the drama studio (the old gym as was) four times a year, with the festive board in the gallery. Any visiting mason is welcome to our meeting, especially OJs. Dates of all our meetings are in the events calendar.