ST. JOHN’S LODGE LAGOS - NO. 2668 (1898)
The second oldest Lodge in the District of Nigeria is St. John’s Lodge No. 2668. The Lodge was warranted on 3rd July 1897, and the Consecration took place in Lagos on 19th January, 1898.
The Petition to form the Lodge was sponsored by Lagos Lodge No, 1171, and was signed by the following ten brethren in the order shown:- 1st W. M. Charles Ungebauer, 1st S. W. Frederick George Osborne, 1st J. W. Adolphus Pratt, Christofer A. Sapara Williams, John JC. Hutton, Kitoyi Ajasa, John Augustus Otunba Payne, Rufus A. Wright, John Evans and David T. Walker.
With the exception of the last signatory, all the Founders were members of the Lagos Lodge No. 1171. D. T. Walker was a member of Lodge Athole, Glasgow, No. 413 S.C.
A history of St. John’s Lodge No. 2668 was compiled by Dr. Kwao Sagoe, and published in 1958, the year of his Mastership of the Lodge. It was first issued and circulated in booklet form during the celebration of the Lodge’s Diamond Jubilee (1898-1958) on 14th January, 1958.
Dr. Sagoe records that ”clothing and jewels were worn at Installation banquets, except when the function was held in a private house where the inmates were not Masons”. It seems that at first the Lodge meetings were held at “the New Hall. Marina”. Later the meetings took place at Freemasons’ Hall, Bamgbose Street by arrangement with Lagos Lodge No. 1171. The Lodge continued to meet at Bamgbose Street until 1914 when it moved to St. George’s Hall, Broad Street. The first Lodge Meeting to be held in St. George’s Hall took place on 30th October, 1914 and all subsequent Lodge meetings have been held there ever since.
From 1867 to 1897, there was only one Lodge in existence in Nigeria, i.e. Lagos Lodge No. 1171. At an Emergency Meeting of Lagos Lodge held on 19th December 1874, the Worshipful Master read a communication from Grand Lodge relative to a Petition to form a new Lodge. This Petition had apparently been signed by a number of brethren of Lagos Lodge who were desirous of forming a second Lodge in Lagos but it failed because of lack of sponsorship. It was not until twenty-three years later that the Petition to form the new St. John’s Lodge was sponsored by Lagos Lodge.
On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of St. John’s Lodge No. 2668 held at Lagos on 14th January, 1958 an oration was delivered by W. Bro. Dr Kwao Sagoe P.D.G.D. An extract from this Oration is given below :-
“During the latter period of the nineteenth century, when Freemasonry was instituted in Lagos, West Africa, the consensus of opinion was that it belonged to a group of devilish organisations. There was a very strong current belief that its members conversed and held assembly with spirits and the spiritual world, raised the dead for interlocution, and often sacrificed their wives and children to the gods and devils in order to gain their desired ends. Such a notion became deeply rooted on the occasion of an annual church parade which was a regular feature after an Installation.
The Masonic church parade (familiarly known and styled Installation Thanksgiving Service) was generally held in the Christ Church Pro-Cathedral (now Cathedral Church of Christ), at the Trinity Methodist Church in Tinubu Square, at the St. Paul’s (Breadfruit) Church or the Wesley Chapel (now Wesley Methodist Church) at Olowogbowo. Masonry was then a dreaded organization.
During the regime of a certain Worshipful Master who was a Methodist by denomination, there was a procession to the Wesley Chapel, Olowogbowo, via the road now known as Broad Street. The procession was passing opposite the building of Consul Leigh when a Billy-goat dashed out of a lane (now known and called Akinsemoyin Lane) and made an attempt to break through. His progress was hindered by the Director of Ceremonies. The heady animal made a second attempt, and was again driven back. His third attempt was to cross ahead of the procession when the Tyler, regarding him as an intruder and cowan, cut the “eavesdropper” into two equal parts. Blood ran cold in the on-lookers who scrambled helter-skelter. That act was regarded as a justification of the ill-current idea of freemasonry in that age.”
Lodge Venue and Meeting Days
Second Tuesday of Even
Months Installation in June,
St. George’s Hall,
28 Broad Street,
Mail: P.O. Box 227, Marina, Lagos.
ST. JOHN’S LODGE ONITSHA – 3780
SIR ADEYEMO ALAKIJA LODGE – 9870
DISTRICT GRAND STEWARDS LODGE – 9889
NIGERIA CENTENARY LODGE – 9913
KEY STONE CENTENARY LODGE – 9923