History Of Connaught Lodge

The Connaught Lodge banner is the Knight of the Garter Arms of His Royal Highness, Arthur Duke of Connaught, after whom the Lodge is named. The Duke, a son of Queen Victoria, was Grand Master between 1901and 1939. 

The banner contains the Order of the Garter motto, “Honi soit qui mal y pense”; old French for, “shame upon him who thinks evil of it”. The rest of the banner depicts Masonic imagery.

The provision of a suitable meeting place in Midsomer Norton was one of the first items to be considered by the brethren concerned, when in June 1910 the formation of a Lodge was first proposed. Connaught Lodge No 3573was Warranted on 10 January 1912 and Consecrated on 11 April 1912.

The Lodge suffered one casualty in the First World War; Infantryman Lance Corporal Percy Blinman of the 1/6 Gloucestershire Regiment who is listed on the Masonic Roll of Honour. He lost his life at The Battle of the Somme on 23 July 1916, aged 27 years. Initially Percy was posted as “missing,” but in May 1917 it was confirmed to his parents that he had been killed in the action. He lies interned in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle, in France. The year before he was killed Percy became a member of Connaught Freemasons Lodge, joining his father and uncle, W. Bro Harry Thomas Blinman, and W. Bro Francis Kingston Blinman, both of whom are Past Masters of the Lodge. On Friday 23 July 2021, the anniversary of his death, Connaught Brethren honoured Bro. Percy by dedicating a memorial to his memory in the Masonic Hall.

In 1939 the ground floor of the Masonic Hall was requisitioned by the War Office to station a company of Welsh Guards. Though the normal Masonic calendar was disrupted during the war, the brethren, ‘to do their bit for Kingand Country’, voted to use its funds to buy a Spitfire for the RAF.

Lodge meetings were once again disrupted in 2020 / 2021 due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic with meetings being suspended for several months at a time as the nation went into three periods of ‘lockdown’, each followed by restrictions limiting the number of people gathering together, and strict protective measures. Several Zoom meetings took place during this period with full meetings resuming on 8 September 2021 with the Lodge of Instruction and the Installation of W. Bro Neil Arthur as the Worshipful Master the following week on 15 September.

Kenneth Kinnersley Lodge No 9218 also meets in the Masonic Hall. The Lodge was Warranted on 12 November 1986 and Consecrated on 11 April 1987. Founder R.W. Bro Kenneth Casswell Kinnersley was Initiated into Connaught in 1939. He was Provincial Grand Master for Somerset from 1981 to 1991.

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