PORT HARCOURT LODGE - NO. 3881 (1918)
Port Harcourt Lodge No. 3881 was the third Lodge to be formed in the former Eastern Nigeria. The need for a Lodge in this growing centre had been considered for some time, and in the year 1918 a Petition to form such a Lodge was signed by twelve Masons. The Petition was sponsored by St. George’s Lodge No, 3065. The Warrant to form the new Lodge was issued on 22nd July, 1918, and the Consecrating Officer was Lieut. Colonel T. M. Russell Leonard, P.D.G.D.C. The first Master of Port Harcourt Lodge No. 3881 was W. H. Reeder. The first Senior Warden was T. Ottway-Ruthren, and the first Junior Warden was L. D. Street.
It seems that at first the Lodge meetings were held in a “bush-hut” in the Prison Compound. Some months later, the Nigerian Railways gave permission for a “bush building” to be used for the Lodge’s purposes. A water-colour painting of this latter building now hangs in the foyer of Port Harcourt Lodge.
It was not until early 1921 that the present Temple was completed and brought into use. It had been possible to erect the new building only after much struggle and considerable effort on the part of all members of the Lodge. The present Temple is situated at William Jumbo Street, Port Harcourt, (previously known as Outer Circle).
The first initiate of the Lodge was A. B. Henderson who died in England on 3rd August, 1961. He was initiated on 6th March., 1919. Rev. R. F. Skinner, P.A.G. Chap., P.D.G. Chap. was initiated in on 21st March, 1925, and later became Master of London West Africa Lodge No. 5485 in 1937.
During the period of the Nigerian civil war Port Harcourt Lodge held its regular meetings at St. George’s Hall, Lagos with dispensation from the District Grand Master for changes in the date and place of the meeting.
At an address given to the members of Port Harcourt Lodge in Lagos on the 8th October, 1970 by J. E. Lince, P.D.G. Std B. stated that a dispensation of this nature must of necessity be of a temporary nature, and could not be permanent, and that since the troubles of the civil war were ended, a thought must be given to the return of the Lodge to Port Harcourt.
It was noted that a lot of equipment and furniture had been lost, but a restoration fund had been created and Okrika Lodge, the daughter Lodge of Port Harcourt Lodge, had offered assistance. Also there were two Past Masters and three members already in Port Harcourt, and it was felt that with the help of several members of Port Harcourt Lodge who were resident in Lagos and who could regularly visit Port Harcourt, it should be easy to hold meetings.
The first meeting of Port Harcourt Lodge to be held at the Masonic Temple, William Jumbo Street, Port Harcourt after the exile was on the 21st January, 1972 with B. F. Perry, P.D.G. Std. B. as W. M. The visitors included, Dr. Sir Louis Mbanefo, D.D. G.M. who stated how pleased he was to be at the first meeting on the reopening of the Lodge in Port Harcourt.
Lodge Venue and Meeting Days
Third Friday of Each Month,
except may. Installation Third
Saturday in May.
Masonic Hall 26,
William Jumbo Street,
Mail: P.O. Box 311, Port Harcourt 500001, River state.