The St. John’ S Lodge
Date of Warrant: (Local) August 16, 1882. Confirmed: 1836. Centenary: 1937.
What’s the connection between a 200 year old Lodge in Secunderabad and St. John The Baptist?
On 24 June 1822, which is commemorated as St.John The Baptist’s day, an application was made in a simple and informal letter to the Provincial Grand Master by 17 military men* seeking permission to form themselves into a Masonic Lodge and work as such in their station, Secunderabad. The name ‘St.John’s Lodge’ was approved and numbered 13 in the Provincial Grand Registry. The approval was communicated to the applicants vide a letter dated 16 August 1822, granting them all the constitutional privileges of a Lodge on the usual conditions. They were charged to consider the said letter as a Voucher, pending engrossment of a Warrant in proper form after procurement of necessary materials. Thus St.John’s Lodge is perhaps the only Lodge brought into existence without the formality of submitting a petition to the Grand Master.
The Warrant per se was, however, issued to the Lodge only in 1836, some 14 years after its constitution, and the Lodge was numbered 628 in the Registry of the Grand Lodge of England in London. By a general alteration of numbers in 1863 the said number 628 was changed to 434, which is what the Lodge bears to this day. In 2006 the Lodge has thus completed 170 years from 1836, the year of issuance of the Warrant, although it has actually been in existence since 1822. The Lodge thus also has the unique distinction of having met without a Warrant for 14 years!
The aforesaid Warrant appears to have got lost some years after its issuance. A ‘Warrant of Confirmation’ was issued as a replacement by the Grand Lodge on 19 May 1868 against an application from the Brethren of St.John’s Lodge. This is the instrument under the authority of which the Lodge has been functioning since then to this day.