Our History

The History of Nyanza Lodge

The Lodge of Unanimity No. 524 was instituted at Ilminster in 1788 but owing to lack of support was moved to Taunton on 18th September 1797, with 16 members. In October 1867, Nyanza Lodge was instituted and met in the Commercial School Rooms (our present premises) for just over a year. The Dispensation was dated 24th December. 1867 and the first meeting held on Friday, 27th December, at 9 a.m. when five candidates were proposed for Initiation and four masons as joining members. On 6th January 1868, the five were initiated and the four joining members approved and admitted.

The Consecration and Installation of the first Worshipful Master, John Knott, was on Friday, 10th January 1868. The brethren attended a banquet at 3 p.m., in their Masonic clothing, at the Crown Inn. We are told that all ended in harmony and goodwill.

Four days after the Consecration and Installation meeting. i.e. on 14th January1868, another meeting was held and the following items of expenditure were approved for payment:

  • Seward's bill for Banquet: £5 14s 4d
  • Parson's bill for Pedestal covers, etc: £0 11s. 0d
  • Way's bill for Use of Chairs: £0 3s 6d
  • Wakeley's bill for Carpentry: £0 8s 6d
  • Stephen's bill for Biscuits: £0 1s 0d
  • Minson's bill for Oil and Corn: £0 1s 0d
  • Perry's bill for Hire of Glassware: £0 1s 3d
  • Mitchell's bill for ½ doz. Sherry: £0 18s 0d

As these items were for the Consecration and Installation meeting, the 50 who attended the actual meeting and the 32 who sat down to the Banquet must have done themselves well.

The Lodge was named Nyanza after the Lake Victoria Nyanza in Africa in honour of the local explorer, Captain John Hanning Speke, who had discovered the source of the River Nile some years before. It would appear that neither he nor any members of his family had any connection otherwise with the Lodge.

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Our beginnings

The Consecration




...and much more

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