The History of the Lodge

Royston Lowe being presented with a 50 year, Long Service certificate by W. Bro. Jim Cook, our official visitor in 2006. Terry Daniels, WM


by W. Bro. Royston Low, PPSGW


The history of Claygate Lodge begins, strangely enough, with the Consecration of Sudbrook Lodge, No.6440 in 1947, when the Founding Master was W. Bro. Walter Westlake.

The object of their first meeting was to initiate his son, Orville Westlake. Brother Orville progressed steadily through the various offices until he too attained the Chair, when his first duty was to initiate an old friend of his, Royston Low.


Sudbrook Lodge took pride in their punctilious working of the ceremony, adhering to strict Emulation with the presiding Master delivering every word of the Master's Part, but at times it was felt that things were becoming too regimented. It was, in those days, a large Lodge, with attendances regularly up to the forty mark, and although the ceremonies were a pleasure to perform, somehow there was no sense of fun or companionship.

Orville Westlake conceived the idea of forming another lodge which would combine the best of both worlds a meaningful, well-performed ceremony superimposed on true Brotherly Love and Affection' and exhibiting the meaning of Masonry by tempering solemnity with enjoyment.

To this end the lodge would need to be very selective in choosing prospective members and not so large as to become 'cliquey' -preferably youngish professional or business types who would be prepared to give time and effort to making the Lodge an integral part of their lives 'with out detriment to themselves or connections'.

At the beginning the net was cast at those members of Sudbrook Lodge whom Orville and Royston felt would fit in with this picture, plus three brethren known to Bro. Westlake from other lodges.


It was agreed that, as brothers Westlake and Low both lived in Claygate, it would be called Claygate Lodge. Much thought was given to deciding upon a suitable emblem, and eventually it was felt that the old Semaphore Station upon Telegraph Hill was a sufficiently unusual and interesting local feature and that just as the semaphore station was used to transmit messages from one place to another, so it was hoped that Claygate Lodge would be of service in transmitting the Brotherly Affection of Masonry to all within its compass.