THE BIRTH OF THE LODGE
On October 27th 1898, at the Crown Hotel, Marlow, three men had an informal discussion and decided to call a meeting of local Freemasons to consider the formation of a Masonic Lodge to be held at the Crown Hotel, Marlow. They were W.Bro. Henry Hambling, P.S.G.D. (Bucks), P.M. Abbey Lodge, Westminster, No. 2030, and Wycombe Lodge, No. 1501, a retired Superintendent of Police from London living at Redpits, Marlow. W.Bro. George W.S.Kendall, P.M. St. John and St. Paul Lodge, Sidcup, No. 615 a young man who had recently commenced business in Marlow and later became Rate Collector and founded a firm of House and Estate Agents, and Brother W.E.Cole, Wycombe Lodge, No. 1501, the proprietor of the Crown Hotel, who was to provide accommodation for the new Lodge.
In response to the invitation sent by W.Bro. Kendall in the name of W.Bro. H.Hambling, eight local freemasons attended the meeting called for November 3rd 1898 and two wrote promising full support. These included Bros. W.T.Porter, Dr. T.G.Nicholson, Dr. J.D.Dickson and G.Meakes. W.Bro. Hambling was elected Chairman and W.Bro. Kendall Secretary.
At the next meeting held on December 8th 1898 it was decided that the Secretary should write to the Brethren who had promised to become founders inviting them to sign the petition. The fee was fixed at four guineas, to include the cost of Founder’s Jewel and the first half year’s subscription. The money accruing from these fees was to be deposited at Messrs. Stephens, Blandy & Co., now Lloyds Bank, Marlow, in the joint names of W.Bros. Hambling and Kendall.
There were fourteen present at the next meeting on February 28th 1899. Among the new names were Bros. H.Flint, S. Flint and J. C. Copock, the Editor of the South Bucks Standard. They decided that if the Warrant were granted the Consecration should take place on the second Wednesday in October and the meetings on the second Wednesday in November, January, February, March and April. Various articles of furniture and donations were promised and it was agreed that the Inside Officers should present the Collar and Jewel of the respected offices. A vote of thanks to W. Bros. Hambling and Kendall for their services in forming the Lodge was then passed.
For a badge the Founders selected the incomparable view of the river Thames spanned
by the delicate suspension bridge and backed by the gracious spire of the parish
church of All Saints. For a motto they selected which Lord Nelson had made famous
as his own, ‘Palman qui meruit ferat’. This excellent line is not by a Roman poet
but is found in a poem ‘Ad ventos’ (To the Winds) in Jortin’s Lusus Poetici, published
in 1748. The complete stanza will show its peculiar aptness to Lord Nelson:-
Et nobis faciles parcite et hostibus
Concurrant pariter cum ratibus rates,
Spectent numina ponti, et
Palman qui meruit ferat
(Graciously be merciful both to us and our enemies,
Let ships meet ships in fair battle,
May the gods of the sea look on, and
May he who has deserved receive the prize of victory.)