On the 26th March 2011 James Chambers Masonic Lodge No. 318 celebrated 100 years of labour; the Lodge being formed on the 10th March 1911.
The Warrant of the Lodge has travelled around the world, the first record showing it as a duplicate Warrant, issued in Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone before being transferred to New Brunswick in 1830, Mackay, Queensland in 1879 and back to Northern Ireland in 1911, being issued to James Chambers Masonic Lodge No. 318.
The Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of James Chambers No. 318 are pleased that we currently have around 45 members with numbers growing continually, young men keen to join and older members re-joining.
The celebration to mark such an auspicious event was not one that happened overnight, in fact it took several years of detailed planning, continued dedication and some stress to organise. Careful consideration was given to detail by all the members of the Lodge from the simplest of details to the most important of the arrangement. This included the striking of a jewel to mark this occasion and the invitation to the distinguished visitors.
On the weeks running up to the event, numerous meetings took place and rehearsals were arranged to ensure ritual etc., was given minute detailed attention, so that all could go away happy and it would be subject to conversation in the years that lie ahead.
The W.Master, Officers and Brethren of the Lodge were exceptionally pleased to have in attendance the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, M.W.Bro. George Dunlop and the Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master of Antrim, R.W.Bro. John Dickson, accompanied by other distinguished Brethren and Officers from the Provinces of Antrim and Down.
It was great to see 85 brethren sitting in an almost full Lodge room, with black tie being the order of dress for the day for officers and members of the Lodge.
As the Lodge progressed through the business it was a pleasure and indeed a privilege for all the members present to be presented with a 100 year jewel in open Lodge. The Most Worshipful Grand Master and Provincial Grand Master taking the time to do this, assisted by the W.Master Mark McCormick.
Before the Lodge was closed both the Grand Master and the Provincial Grand Master made reference to the manner in which the business was conducted and said they felt it only right that they also congratulate the Lodge on their ritual, something that put the Director of Ceremonies on a high for the remainder of the evening.
All the Brethren retiring downstairs took part in a sherry reception before sitting down to a fantastic 4 course meal, served and delivered to a high standard, in a hall that had paid careful attention to detail, right down to the flowers on the table layout, smart place sittings and in another part of Crumlin Road Masonic Hall that was befitting of the special occasion.
Sitting at each place setting was a detailed booklet that took hours of preparation by professionals, consultation by Lodge officers and members containing details of founder members, Past Masters and current members. Also included were old photographs adding yet another special touch. This booklet was later signed by each person present to keep a record of the special event.
The night in question finished with some speeches, music and light refreshment all of which added to a fantastic day and night and was the topping on the cake for all the planning that went before. Lodge 318 would like to put on record their special thanks to those involved in adding the special touches to this day :- Hilltop Caterers, Table Ten (table planning and supplies) and Crumlin Road trustees and hall committee, as well as all the Brethren of the Lodge who put time and effort into a fabulous day.