In The Masonic Province Of Antrim
James Chambers Masonic Lodge 318
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Stated Communication
17th March 2017

The History of Warrant No.318

The following information was taken from the records retained at the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

The first record of the warrant No 318 held at Grand Lodge shows - a duplicate warrant being issued on the 7th July 1763 to brethren in Stewartstown, Co.Tyrone. Volume 1 of the extant of Grand Lodge Registers records three brethren being registered on this date, Worshipful Master - W.Bro. Robert Saunderson, Senior and Junior Warden, Brother's - William Young and George Campbell. The warrant was later cancelled on the 7th July 1825.

On the 10th March 1830 the warrant was re-issued to 'Hibernian Lodge' in St Andrews, New Brunswick. The minutes of Grand Lodge record, Lodge 318, 10th March 1830, read memorial from Brothers Sam Barclay, William Finlay and Sam Bowers to be formed into a lodge of Freemasons to be called 'The Hibernian Lodge' this warrant was to be held in New Brunswick, Granted.

Between the 3rd September 1863 and the 6th October 1882 the following lodges presented their warrants to the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, 301, 318, 324 and 327.

On the 2nd October 1882 a communication was read from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick requesting that the Old Warrants which had been returned on establishing the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick should be sent back to the lodges to be retained as a memento of their connection to the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Letters were then read from the representative of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick at the Grand Lodge of Ireland supporting the application and stating that the Grand Lodge of England had acceded to a similar request.

The Grand Lodge Board recommended compliance with this request, a suitable record being previously made on the warrants. This is confirmed in the Minutes of Grand Lodge on the 5th October 1882.

The warrant of 318 was again re-issued to 'Temple Lodge' in Mackay, Queensland Australia by dispensation in 1879 and by warrant on the 2nd December 1880. It is noted that V.W.Bro Cam stated that the dispensation date was the 13th July 1879 and the warrant date was 31st March 1880. The warrant was surrendered on the 25th April 1904.

On the 30th January 1911 it is recorded - read memorial from Brother's Reynolds, Dale, Beatson and eight others praying for a warrant to establish a lodge in Belfast in the County of Antrim to be called 'The J. Chambers'. This was recommended by lodges 664, 21, 314 and the D.P.G. Master of Antrim.

The extant from the Grand Lodge minutes dated 2nd March 1911 state - reissued warrant No 318 to Belfast as, 'The James Chambers Lodge'. Those brethren named are - David A. Reynolds, Peace Officer, Lodge 259; Samuel Dale, Warehouseman, Lodge 602 and James Beatson, Soldier, Lodge 730 along with eight other brethren from various lodges. There is no record of who held the position of Worshipful Master or Wardens.

By the 23rd July 1923 records show 148 brethren registered to Lodge 318. In most cases the date certificates issued were shown alongside the occupation of the brother.

Between 1914 and 1918, six brethren from Lodge 318 are recorded as having served in World War 1. Sadly Brother James Beatson, WO1 (RSM) made the supreme sacrifice.

The registers retained in Grand Lodge (series five volume 19, shown as volume 3) shows warrant No 318 to Belfast as 'The James Chambers Lodge'. This register commences with the registration of James Morrison, Mechanic, registered on the 15th February 1924.

By the 17th August 1952 a total of 132 brethren are recorded as being registered to lodge 318. Series six, volume 22 of the extant of Grand Lodge Register shows, Warrant No 318 to Belfast as 'The James Chambers Lodge'. The register commences with the name Hugh Murphy, Machineman, registered 20th March 1953.

On the 21st August 1984 a total of 113 brethren are registered to Lodge 318. Again in most cases the dates the certificate was issued was recorded alongside the occupation of the Brother. Since 1984 all registration held at Grand Lodge are kept in alphabetical order. The register is held extrinsically at Grand Lodge of Ireland, Freemasons Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. The registration of the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Secretary are held in a separate register, the first volume covering the period 1983 - 1994 and the second volume covering the period 1994 to present day.


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