Masonic Records (Gibraltar)
Here is a selection of anecdotes and Masonic records held by Lodges in Gibraltar under the English Constitution.
Royal Artillery Lodge No. 148 (Now Lodge of St. John No 115):
Longest time span between labour and refreshment - three and a half years. The Lodge was in labour when the first cannonade of the Great Siege (1779-1783) was fired. The Lodge was hurriedly called off and was only closed in 'due and Ancient form' after a lapse of 3 1/2 years. The brethren were then regaled with a Festive Board consisting of bread, cheese and beer!
The most masonic work by a Master:
The illustrious Masonic historian Robert Freke Gould whilst stationed in Gibraltar revived the old Inhabitants Lodge on the 10th February 1858 (founded in 1777) after a dormant period of 14 years. RF Gould left Gibraltar on the 24th May 1858 and in those short three months it is recorded in the minutes that he initiated 13 brethren, passed 16 and raised a further 14 to the third degree. Amazingly he also had time to deliver a masonic lecture! A total of 43 candidates in 10 meetings. The Inhabitants Lodge No 153 is still going strong.
Serving as Master of the same Lodge the greatest number of times:
James C. Relph of the Royal Lodge of Friendship No 278 (Gibraltar) was in the Chair a record 11 times between 1825 and 1854 (1825, 1826, 1829, 1831, 1832, 1835, 1836, 1839, 1840, 1848, 1854).
Longest self imposed decision of not working a degree:
Members of St. John's Lodge No 115 EC who had been granted the special priviledge to work the three degrees in Spanish since 1826 carried out a twelve year long silent, but dignified protest against Grand Lodge's decision to revoke that priviledge in 1944. From 1944-1956 no initiation, passing or raising was carried out. The Lodge was opened and closed in due and Anient form but no degree ever conferred until such time as common sense was restored.
Most Victoria Cross Winners in a single Lodge:
The Royal Lodge of Friendship No 278 boasts four brethren with such a distinguished accolade, they are:
Alexander Roberts Dunn, Crimea, 1854
Arthur Frederick Pickard, New Zealand, 1863
Nevil Josiah Aylmer Coghil, Zulu War, 1879
Teignmouth Melvil, Zulu War, 1879
Longest established District Grand Lodge outside the British Isles:
The District Grand Lodge of Gibraltar is the longest established District under the EC outside the UK. It was established in 1752 and in 2002 celebrated its 250th Anniversary. However Gibraltar has enjoyed a Provincial Grand Master since 1727 the first appointed outside the British Isles.