Saturday 8th December 2018 at Twickenham Masonic Centre marked a special day in the history of Gooch Lodge, No. 1238, a sesquicentennial celebration, but to you and I, it means one hundred and fifty years of Freemasonry in the Lodge.
What stories might be told, what friendships struck, what joys shared and what hopes and ambitions realised by the Brethren both past and present might be found in the personal Lodge histories, as well as in the Minutes of the Lodge.
By any standard in Freemasonry reaching this special anniversary is a remarkable achievement and taken in its context historically the founding of Gooch Lodge in 1868 harks back to Gladstone’s defeat of Disraeli in the 1868 General Election, Whittaker’s Almanac being first published, the last public hanging in Britain and the opening of Smithfield Market.
In some way this adds to the amazing longevity of the Lodge.
This special occasion was marked by a demonstration of an Initiation from 1717 the year when United Grand Lodge was formed.
The demonstration was given by Brethren of Elizabethan Lodge No 7262 and was enjoyed by over 63 members and guests present.
The evening began by the Opening of the Lodge by the Worshipful Master W. Bro Les Hull and the official delegation was received.
Invitations had been extended to the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W. Bro Barry Cramer and he was escorted by W. Bro Raghu Sharma.
The Lodge APGM W. Bros Robert Rough and Paul Huggins were also in the visiting escort.
Particularly poignant was the inclusion amongst the guests of those Lodges who had acted as sponsors way back in 1868.
Firstly Villiers Lodge, No. 1194, together with Strawberry Hill Lodge, No. 946 and Royal Union Lodge, No. 382 who between them give remarkable testimony to an enduring relationship between these Lodges over many years.
For the inquisitive the name Gooch has nothing to do with cricket but relates to Sir Daniel Gooch.
The Lodge was founded by a number of engineers and railwaymen who were also members of these other Lodges mentioned above.
Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Baronet was an English railway locomotive and transatlantic cable engineer and Conservative politician (MP for Cricklade) who sat in the House of Commons from 1865 to 1885.
He was the first Superintendent of Locomotive Engines on the Great Western Railway from 1837 to 1864 and its chairman from 1865 to 1889.
He even had a pub in Bayswater, London named after him.
The members and guest enjoyed an excellent repast with 63 dining and all in all enjoyed a very sociable occasion.
So at 150 not out we are expecting great things from Gooch Lodge 1238 to carry forward this remarkable history of Middlesex Freemasonry to 200 years.
So mote it be.
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