History Of St. Martins Lodge No. 4142
In 1920 the Guernsey masons thought that a new Masonic Lodge was needed, this was sponsored by Loyalty Lodge No 243, and St. Martin's Lodge was formed.
The date of the Warrant was 8th June 1920 and the Lodge was consecrated on the 30th of September 1920 and registered as No. 4142 by the Grand Lodge of England.
The new Lodge building, which had been amongst other things, at one time, used by a local Scout troop and called "Dauntless Hall", was very generously offered to the Lodge by the Senior Warden Designate of the new St. Martin's Lodge, Brother H. Barnett, and purchased by the Lodge.
With the generous help of the Founders, the Lodge building was equipped and the Lodge became very progressive.
In 1924, the now Worshipful. Brother H.Barnett made another generous offer. If the members of the Lodge would add two more anti-rooms and renovate the existing long anti-room at no expense to the Lodge he would vacate his bond on the property, this meant he would give up his mortgage on the building, (give up the freehold of the property).
The work having been completed, Worshipful. Brother Barnett handed over the deeds of the property and the building became St. Martin's Lodge's freehold property.
The Lodge continued to progress and prosper and was in a very healthy positions when in 1940 the German forces invaded the Island and they closed this building and all Masonic Buildings. Not much was saved from here, however due to the clever strategy of two Guernsey Officials some of the furniture and the warrant, or charter, were stowed away to be handed back to the Lodge in 1945. At this time the Lodge deeds were also hidden away they had been so well hidden from the German forces that they only came to light again, 47 years later when in 1987 the Ecrivan Stanley Jehan was retiring and his papers were being sorted, they were also returned.
During the war the building was very badly used by the Germans, a number of "Hitler Youth" were billeted here and they sacked and damaged the place beyond recognition.
Thus in 1945 the Lodge room was handed back to St. Martin's in a very dreadful condition, all the furniture gone and holes in the walls and floors, this must have been very disheartening to all the brethren those who remained here through the war and those who were then returning to the Island. After viewing the "ghastly and afflicting site", the brethren decided that the Lodge must start again.
The first meeting was held on February 4th 1946, in a rented property while the brethren refurbish this building.
This, at the time, was very difficult, as each brother had his own problems with his personal and business rehabilitation as well as to help with the work of fixing up this damaged building.
They set to with a will and from making furniture for the building from one brothers sideboard, the sets of metal tools made by another brother and wooden ones produced by another, they painted and decorated , making the Mosaic Pavement as well.
New electric light was installed, as
previously the building had only been lit by gas lights.
The building was repaired beautifully, and the first meeting was held in the building on the 7th of October 1946.
The Lodge got back on its feet , so to speak. The little history book states that
SO MUCH has been done by SO MANY at So LITTLE cost to the Lodge.
Over the years since 1946 the original furniture and ornaments have been added too, by very generous donations from many brethren, and the members had a Lodge room to be very proud of.
In 1992 it was found that the Masonic temple in Le Marchant street, St. Peter Port, the main temple for all the other Guernsey based Lodges, required extensive repairs and as it held a prime real-estate position in the Islands capital, a new Masonic Centre would be the best plan to follow.
See development of the Masonic Centre for detailed time line and discussions.
Due to local planning laws it was found that the only place which would be suitable and be acceptable to the authorities was the area which held St. Martinís Lodge building, after long negotiations with the other eight lodges and St. Martinís it was agreed that St. Martinís Lodge would donate the property to build the new centre in return for an exclusive Lodge room in the new complex. On this agreement and the sale of the Le Marchant street property the old St. Martinís building was cleared and demolished to make way for the new Masonic Centre.
While the building work was being completed the Lodge, together with the other Guernsey Lodges, made exclusive use of a room provided by a St. Martinís member in a local Hotel, La Villette.
On completion of the New Masonic Centre, dedicated 25th July 1998, St. Martinís Lodge has an exclusive Lodge room designed and decorated by the members.
It is a pillar and arch design added and painted on the walls, the views though the pillars are painted well known landscapes of the sea & cliffs which border the Parish of St. Martin in Guernsey. Also behind the SW chair is a painting of our dear old original building, gone but not forgotten. The secretaryís table incorporates a display cabinet in which a shown some of the artefacts of St. Martinís Lodge, which are now no longer in use by the Lodge but are there for the younger brethren to appreciate the fondness that previous generations of Masons have had for the Lodge.
Most information for the early history is from a photo copy of a history produced in 1958/59, as it appears that the minute books etc.., were lost during the Second World War so most of the information has been by word of mouth and is as accurate as can be found.