Mount Olive Lodge No 385

 Mount Olive Lodge No 385 EC

 Mount Olive Lodge No1 in the Colony of Demerara was constituted in the year 1822 only 9 years after the Act of Union between the Ancient and Moderns in the United Kingdom.  The minutes of a meeting of Albion Lodge, Barbados, No 196 EC on September 11, 1823 show, that sometime prior to November 08, 1822, Mount Olive Lodge, No.1 in the colony of Demerara was constituted under a Provisional Warrant from Bro John Alleyne Beckles, R W Grand Master of the Provisional Grand Lodge of Barbados, held under the Constitution of the M W the United Grand Lodge of England……..it also appears from the minutes that at that time, a Lodge named Union was working under an Irish Charter, and is described as No 35 in the Registry of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

The Consecrating Officer was Bro Samuel Augustus Matthews, a  native of St Bartholomew who acted as Worshipful Deputy District Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Barbados.

The Lodge appeared to prosper and carry on Masonic Business when Bro B Day of Union Lodge No 462 ER, acquainted the Master of Mount Olive Lodge with the contents of a letter addressed to him by the Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England.  The Grand Secretary drew attention to the fact that the Provincial Grand Master of Barbados did not have the authority to grant Warrants outside of his Province which was limited to the island only.  As a consequence Mt Olive Lodge was deemed irregular until it obtained a Warrant from the United Grand Lodge of England.

The Provincial Warrant was eventually confirmed on December 10, 1826, by Charter from the United Grand Lodge of England.  Unfortunately it was destroyed during one of the great fires which ravaged Georgetown.  The original number assigned to Mount Olive Lodge on its formation by the United Grand Lodge of England was 812.  In 1832 this number was changed to 541 and in 1863 to the present 385.

Mount Olive Lodge worked regularly up to 1835 when it ceased to hold meetings.  Regular meetings were resumed in June 1853 and a successful application was made in 1953 when a Centenary Warrantwas granted the Lodge on June 10, 1953.

Meeting Places

Between 1857 and 1870 when the Lodge removed to its own premises at Lot 8, South half of Columbia, Georgetown, in what is now the High Court of the Judicature, the Lodge held its meetings in two houses.  This new building at Columbia was consecrated on  May 10, 1870.  In 1879 the lessors of the Lodge required the premises and the Lodge purchased Lot 92 Smyth Street, which was mortgaged to the Saffon Trust in 1885. .  The Saffon Trust foreclosed the mortgage in March 1889, and the Building was sold to the Vestry of St Phillip’s Church .

The Lodge obtained a suitable building at 161 Lamaha Street on November 07, 1889 and by  August 06, 1891 agreed to purchase North half 86 Carmichael Street, Georgetown from the Loyal Albion Oddfellows for the sum of $2,050.  The Transport was passed in favour of the Worshipful Master and his Wardens and their successors in Office.

The first meeting was held on October 01, 1891 at 86 Carmichael Street, the present meeting place where the Lodge has been holding its meetings regularly for the past 108 years.  Electricity was used for the first time on October 04, 1894.  From October 1972 to May 1973 meetings were held at Freemasons’ Hall, Company Path when the building was being repaired.  Air conditioning of the Temple was effective from April 1995.

 The lodge meets on the first Thursday of every month.

 The Lodge Banner

The new Mount Olive Lodge Banner was dedicated on February 03, 1994 by the Rt Wor District Grand Master, Bro Peter Alfred Taylor.  This Banner replaced the original woven one bearing the date 1826,to commemorate the date of Mount Olive Lodge’s confirmed Warrant of Constitution, [the first  of 1822 having been deemed irregular].  It has been estimated that the original Banner was in existence from about February 1908,  some 91 years ago.

The Dedication of the Banner has to be acknowledged as an important occasion  in the history of both Mount Olive and the District Grand Lodge as this was the first ever such Dedication Ceremony to be held in the annals of the District.

The Ritual

The Lodge practices the Emulation Ritual in a modified form for the Opening, Closing and the Installation, while the Ceremonies of Initiation, Passing and Raising are based on a series of scripts extracted from a “York Rite” used in the USA.

Sponsorship

Mount Olive Lodge has had the honour of sponsoring three Lodges under varying circumstances, which though very interesting and relevant are too voluminous to be recorded in this short history.

Silent Temple Lodge No 3254 Consecrated    January 26, 1908

Eureka Lodge No 8515           Consecrated    September 25,1973

Universal Lodge No 9644                   Not yet Consecrated.

Centenary

Mount Olive Lodge celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the confirmation of its Warrant [December 10, 1826] with a Historical Address presented on August 06, 1927 by Bro Edgar Mortimer Duke, LLB,who was Installed as Master in December 1927.  He was subsequently awarded the CBE  and became a Past Asst Grand Registrar.

During 1956, the United Grand Lodge of England accepted evidence of uninterrupted working of the Lodge from 1853 and granted the Lodge its Centenary Warrant.  To mark the occasion there was a Special Meeting held on November 22, 1956 when the Immediate Past Master, W Bro Hilton Rupert Harewood, MBE, in the presence of the Rt Rev His Grace the Archbishop of the West Indies, W Bro Alan John Knight, District Grand Master and his Officers, delivered another illuminating Historical Address on Mount Olive Lodge based on that which was previously prepared by W Bro Edgar Mortimer Duke, CBE, PAGReg. in 1927.

Milestones

Apart from the land marks of the Lodge the Brethren of Mount Olive also celebrated on September 05, 1995, the achievements of its distinguished members such as that of the 50 Golden Years of Freemasonry by W Bro Ivor Roy Byron Robinson, MS, ED, PSGD, DDGM [Initiated September 08, 1945] together with the Fortieth Anniversary of W Bro Cecil Norman Murray, PDSGW, PDGSN(RA)[Initiated March 03, 1955] and W Bro Dr Ovid Ashworth Hercules Johnson, PDSGW, PDGSN(RA) [Initiated November 03, 1955].  The Brethren also celebrated the 90th Birthday of W Bro  I R B Robinson in March 1998 at a well attended function at the home of W Bro Ken de Abreu.

During its 177 years [1822] of existence of which 173 are deemed regular [from 1826], Mount Olive has a proud history and reflects on the personal attributes of its members, many of whom also give unstinting and exemplary service to their communities as well as the nation at large, and which is manifested by the national awards bestowed upon so many.

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