A Brief History of Hamtun Lodge, 7083

The Hamtun Lodge No. 7083 came into being in the rehabilitation period following the end of the Second World War. It was early in 1950 that the idea of forming a new lodge in Southampton was discussed by a group of Masons whose mother lodges were situated in far away parts of the country. These Masons found themselves in Southampton due to the circumstances of the late war and felt themselves to be Exiles from their own lodges. Hence the reason for forming a new lodge as they felt their future lay in Southampton.

On the 30th June, 1950 W. Bro. F. Melling approached Clausentum Lodge No. 1461 to ask them to arrange for the third Friday of each month to be reserved in the Masonic Hall, Manor Rd., Woolston, Southampton for the proposed lodge. This was agreed to. Clausentum Lodge No. 1461, at the same time, agreed to 'Mother' the new lodge (see lodge family tree), subject to the approval of Provincial Grand Lodge. On the 2nd February, 1951, the Founding members of the proposed lodge wrote asking Clausentum to support their petition, and it the Regular meeting of Clausentum Lodge No. 1461 held on the 7th February 1951, a letter from the Founding members secretary W. Bro. L. A. Jeffcott having been received asking the W. Master and Brethren of Clausentum to support the signing of the petition, the W. M. put the motion to the Brethren and it was agreed to, whereupon the Petition was signed in Open Lodge.

On the 9th May, 1951, the founders received the news that the number 7083 had been allotted to the new lodge. Rehearsals were arranged for the third Friday or first Tuesday of each month, during which many and varied rituals were used and quoted from. However, in our Midst was an expert and experienced ritualist, W. Bro. Percy Thatcher D. C. Elect and it wasn't long before he by example and precept had converted all the mixture of rituals into a recognised Emulation working, creating a very high standard. The final rehearsal was on the 19th September, 1951, the eve of the Consecration. Then on the morning of the 20th, the founders (25 of the 26 ... one being away at sea) attended a special rehearsal at the Guildhall, Southampton under the direction of the Provincial Grand D.C. W. Bro. Lt.Col. F. W. Phillips, who drilled them into what was required of them for this important Consecration Ceremony. This great ceremony was carried out by the Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire & I.O.W., Right Wor. Bro. Wilfred Attenborough and W. Bro. A. C. Hopkins, Provincial Grand Chaplain. There were present, in addition to the founders 9 Grand Lodge Officers, 45 Provincial Grand Lodge Officers and 202 visitors. Then followed the Installation of Hamtun Lodge's first master, W.Bro. K. E. H. Muskett by W. Bro. F. O. Goodman, Deputy Provincial Grand Master. The address was given by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Wor. Bro. Maj. Gen. R. L. Bond.

The second meeting of Hamtun Lodge was on Friday, 19th October 1951 when the 'business" of the lodge really began with the Initiation of our first two candidates. Mr. T.S. Melling, son of our first S.W. W. Bro. Frank Melling, and Mr. W.J. Wild, the son of our first J.W. Bro. Walter Joseph Wild. On the 15th February 1952 the Lodge was opened and then closed, no business being done, as this was the day of the funeral of H.M. King George VI. The 18th April 1952 saw the first 'Visitors night', most members bringing two or more guests. During this first year our W. Master W. Bro. Ken Muskett became ill. He showed great courage in continuing his job and the work of and in the lodge despite a worsening condition. On the 19th September 1952 he passed away, the day he would have been installing his successor. So ended our first year... .6 Initiates... 6 joining members and 1 death.

Our first Ladies night was held on the 14th February 1953 at Mayes Restaurant. In 1962 the first Provincial collar was given to the lodge in the person of W. Bro. A. Hensser. In September, 1962 our first Initiate, Bro. T.S. Melling attained the Chair of the Lodge. On the 17th June 1966, the lodge was honoured by a visit of the Right Wor. Prov. Grand Master Maj. Gen. R.L. Bond accompanied by several of his officers.

In 1974, this comparatively young lodge itself became a sponsor of a new lodge in agreeing to help launch the William Fawcert Lodge No. 8612. In 1975, Hamtun suffered a grievous loss in the death of W. Bro. Percy Thatcher who collapsed and died whilst attending a meeting of the Ferndown Lodge No. 7860. On the 28th April 1976, the lodge was greatly honoured by the elevation to Grand Rank in the person of W. Bro John Jefferis, virtually our first joining member on the 19th October 1951 who was given the collar of Past Grand Standard Bearer. The Beautiful Lodge Banner was presented to the Lodge by the late Wor. Bro. Douglas Harfields P.A.G.D.C. whose advice and guidance during the formation of the Lodge was so valuable.

Compiled with the help of W. Bro. R. A. Lewry, Secretary Clausentum Lodge, 25th March 1979, W. Bro. Dickie Lock, P. M. Hamtun Lodge No 7083 and W. Bro. Charlie Samways, P.M. Vespasian Lodge No. 4222 (first Treasurer, Hamtun Lodge).

By W. Bro. Arthur Hensser, P.P.A.G.D.C., former D.C. Hamtun Lodge.