NORTHERN UNITY LODGE - NO. 4226 (1920)
The Petition to form a Lodge at Zaria was signed by ten freemasons. The Petition was sponsored by the Northern Nigeria Lodge No. 3325. The warrant to form a new Lodge was issued on 13th December 1920, but the consecration did not take place until 17th February, 1922. The Consecrating Officer was P. G. Merron, P.Dist. G.SWD. Br, a Past Master of Northern Nigeria Lodge.
The first Master of the Lodge was W. C. Freeman. The Warrant gives the name of J. D. Symes as the first Senior Warden but as he was not available by the time the Consecration took place, W. M. Bishop became the first Senior Warden. The First Junior Warden was F.J.I. Hawkins.
During the first year, Lodge meetings were held in temporary premises, but the foundation stone of a new Temple was laid by Sir F. A. Van der Meulen on 25th October, 1922 and the first meeting to be held in the new building look place on 20th January, 1923.
For many years, membership of the Lodge was mainly expatriates and dominated by Railway employees and Army officers. The first Nigerian to be the Master of the Lodge was the Late Elijah Akindele, P.Dist. J.G.W., in 1965. The second Nigerian to occupy the Chair was the Late Nat. Sole who became District Grand Master in 1973.
In 1977, the Lodge experienced some problems. Some members in government service came to feel that their continued membership of the Lodge might be inimical to their employment interests and as a result of this, the then Master resigned his membership in mid-term, as did a number of other freemasons. The Lodge barely functioned in 1978, but the determination of a few Members, combined with the support of Northern Nigeria Lodge No. 3325 and Kano Lodge No. 4975 ensured the continuity of the Lodge. As if this was not enough, two attempts were made to set fire to the Lodge building, one in 1980 and one in 1981, but fortunately both were unsuccessful.
Arising from these incidents, the Lodge decided, for security reasons, to open Regular meetings at 2.00 p.m. for a few months. This arrangement proved so convenient to members and to visitors that it was decided to make it permanent and Northern Unity Lodge was the only Lodge in the District which met in the afternoon.
In his “History of Northern Nigeria Lodge No. 3325”, written in 1960, Sir Lionel Brett, P.Dist. G.M. wrote the following:
“In 1920 the Lodge agreed to “mother” the proposed new Lodge in Zaria which became the Northern Unity Lodge No. 4226: and in 1921 it resolved to hand over certain unspecified items of surplus regalia. Northern Unity is the nearest Lodge under the English Constitution, and the relations between it and Northern Nigeria Lodge have always been specially close.”
It is pleasant to record, more than twenty years after those words were written, that the relations between the two Lodges are as close and as cordial as ever.
Lodge Venue and Meeting Days
First Saturday in February, April,
June, August, October and
December. Installation second
Saturday in February.
Hotel De Bently,