Sunday, September 27, 2009
47 St Giles' Street, Norwich
Robin and Margaret Pooley led Beth and me on a tour of the city of Norwich on Thursday, September 10. One of our stops included a visit to 47 St Giles’ Street, which has been the home of Freemasonry in Norwich since 1881. St Giles’ is also the home of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Norfolk, which is celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year. Robin gave us a tour of this historic building, and we were greeted there by RW John S. Rushmer, the current Provincial Grand Master. Robin’s Norwich lodge which is one of several lodges that meet in St. Giles’ is Union Lodge No. 52. Union Lodge was constituted in “Kings Head” pub, in the City of Norwich in 1736. John and Robin shared several fascinating historical facts about this 273 year old lodge with us and showed us many of their artifacts.
By comparison, the Territory of Alaska was purchased from Russia and came under the flag of the United States on October 18, 1867. In 1869, the first Masonic lodge (Alaska Lodge No. 14) was constituted in Sitka, Alaska, a full 133 years after the constitution of Union Lodge No. 52. It’s hard to fathom the great heritage of Masonry that exists in this far off corner of England.