A Brief History of our Masonic Lodge


Cator Masonic Lodge, (taking its name from the well known family who owned a large part of Beckenham at the that time), was granted its Charter or Warrant of Constitution by the United Grand Lodge of England on the 3rd July 1888 being the two-thousandth-two-hundred-and-sixty-sixth Lodge registered under this Grand Lodge. The Lodge was consecrated at the Railway Hotel, Beckenham by the V.W.Bro Colonel Shawell H. Clarke, PGD, Grand Secretary.


The Lodge adopted the Cator Family Coat of Arms which can still be seen on the front of the Club House in Beckenham Place Park, formally the home of the Cator family. Members of the Cator family are buried in the churchyard of St George's Church, Beckenham, although none were actually members of the Lodge.


Following the consecration ceremony, W.Bro James Hill was installed by the Grand Secretary as the first Worshipful Master of Cator Masonic Lodge.


During the first three years of its existence the Lodge met at the Railway Hotel Beckenham. On the 18th Fenruary 1891 the Lodge moved to the Public Hall which continued to be its home until September 1939, although around the end of the First World War, three meetings were held at the Holborn Restaurant.


The Public Hall was requisitioned for Civil Defence purposes on the outbreak of the Second World War and the Lodge moved to the Eden Park Hotel for the November 1939 and February 1940 meetings. Thereafter for several years the difficulty of obtaining venues and a sufficent number of members, together with problems caused by the bombings, resulted in an erractic pattern of meetings.

In 1948 the Lodge moved back to the Public Hall for four years before moving to the Old Council Hall. 1956 saw a move back to the Eden Park Hotel which becaome the Lodge's home for the next twenty six years until a final move to our current home at the South East London Masonic Centre


Cator Masonic Lodge is located within the area of Metropolitan Grand Lodge. Metropolitan Grand Lodge (MetGL) was formed on 1st October 2003 as an independant administrative body under a Metropolitan Grand Master. It supports Freemasonry in London and its Boroughs in a similar way that the various Provincial Grand Lodges support Lodges elsewhere in England and Wales. Metropolitan Grand Lodge has over 1,400 constituent Lodges comprising nearly 40,000 members. The offices are situated in Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London which is also the home of the United Grand Lodge of England.



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© Scott Dunn