A 'potted' history of Anglo-Colonial. The Lodge was consecrated on 20th July 1906, the first Master was W. Bro R J Godson. The formation of the Lodge was conceived by W. Bro. Oakley Welsford as he felt that a Masonic rendezvous should be established to provide a home for Brethren from overseas and to further provide an opportunity to witness the working of an English Lodge.
In naming the Lodge the votes were equally cast between 'Anglo-Colonial' and 'Hands Over the Sea'. The other possibilities 'Greater Britain' and 'World-Wide' were rejected at the first ballot. The casting vote (W. Bro. Godson) gave us the name we now bear, however on the Banner ,Hands Across the Sea' is depicted on the bottom scroll above two clasped hands (handshake) which are in turn above the sea (complete with a lighthouse and an Island).
For the rest of the banner, at the top is the Royal Coat of Arms above the Globe complete with the Cardinal Points of the Compass, with two Union Flags emanating from the Arctic Circle In its heyday the Lodge met 14 times a year continuing to Initiate Pass or Raise on behalf and by request of other Lodges. On January 6th in 1908 five brethren were passed on behalf of Athlumney Lodge, in addition to the 6 of our own Brethren on the same night! By its Golden Jubilee the Lodge had completed 640 meetings and Initiated 605,passed 663 and Raised 642 Masons.
As a consequence of this furious activity three daughter Lodges were formed-Anglo-Overseas (4886) in 1926 followed by Exemplar (6145) in 1945 and the Seymour Lodge (7347). However with the decline in Freemasonry, Anglo-Colonial now receives few visitors from overseas although 'To welcome Brethren from Overseas is still an Agenda Item' a far cry from the days when Lodge Membership had addresses from Tientsin in North China, Sydney, Durban, Cairo, Rio de Janeiro and South Persia amongst many others. (Imagine being the Secretary-almost a full time job!)
The Lodge celebrated it's Centenary at an emergency meeting at FMH in 2006, although at the time the Lodge met at The Imperial Hotel, having moved from FMH in 2001 and subsequently with the closing of the Temple in the Imperial to The Royal National Hotel in Russel Square. We now hold 4 meetings a year September (Installation), December, March and June. The Ritual working is West End.