The Formation of our Lodge
The North Kent Lodge was first spoken of in 1894 when W. Bro G Ratcliff Steel was nominated as a Grand Steward. Together with W. Bro Newton Dunn of Eltham and Mr Robert Hargreaves Rogers of Marl House, Bexley they approached W. Bro Thomas Jenkins of Bexleyheath. As to whether the time was ripe for the formation of a Lodge in the district. This had his total agreement, although their efforts were hampered by the unavailability of a suitable building in the area. After many inquiries, the public hall at Bexleyheath was looked at but it fell short of that required for a Lodge. After discussions with the management alterations were made which satisfied the criteria.
On November 23rd 1894 the first recorded meeting of Founders was held at W. Bro Thomas Jenkins house in Station Road, Bexleyheath. Present at this meeting were: Bros Steel, Dunn, Jenkins, Dale Fry and Chapman. It was announced that the Consecration had been fixed for the first Saturday in February 1895. Four further meetings were held by the Founders during December. At these the subject of furniture for the Lodge, agreement of the premises with the Public Hall Company, the menu for the forthcoming banquet, tickets, which were priced at one guinea, and the Founders’ Jewel and Lodge Badge were also discussed and agreed upon.
Consecration of the Lodge
It is recorded that February 2nd 1895 dawned frigidly cold with the thermometer registering many degrees of frost, with snow everywhere. But for some reason the paths leading to the Lodge were cleared by some unknown persons. The Urban Council had been determined that the footpaths in the district were not to be cleared, as this would take 1000 men or more.
It was noted at the time that one of the Founders, Bro E. Reeve Boulter, held the office of Surveyor to the Council. Possibly he knew something about the mysterious disappearance of the snow from the Lodge’s paths.
At the Consecration meeting three candidates for Initiation were proposed: Messrs Edmond Homes, David Joshua Pitt and John Butler, while Bro’s Dr. H Shelmerdine and G.E. Todd were proposed as joining members.