TRIAD NIGERIA LODGE - NO. 6909 (1949)
A Petition to form a second Lodge at Jos was signed by twenty-seven masons in 1949. The object of the Founders was to form a Lodge in Jos primarily for the benefit of members of African descent, although it was to be a mixed Lodge and not exclusively for Africans. The founders consisted of both Africans and Europeans, the former being in the majority.
The Petition was sponsored by the Plateau Nigeria Lodge No. 5229 and a Warrant to form the new Lodge was issued on 27th July 1949. The Lodge was consecrated at the Masonic Temple, Jos on 5th November, 1949. The Consecrating Officer was the District Grand Master, Dr. George Munn Gray. The first Master of Triad Nigeria Lodge No. 6909 was W. C. Nicholls, P.D.G.W. The first Senior Warden was S. G. Obomanu, and the first Junior Warden was D. E. Nicol.
The first initiate of the Lodge was Sigismund A. Johnson. He was initiated on 21st January, 1950. Triad Nigeria Lodge No. 6909 meets in the Temple of the Plateau Nigeria Lodge No. 5229 at Jos, by arrangement with the “mother Lodge.”
As early as 1930, an English Constitution Masonic Lodge was existing in Jos, but membership was restricted to Europeans. It, therefore, became necessary for Masons of African descent living in the Plateau to form an association with the aim of founding a broad based Masonic lodge.
The first of the “Jos Masonic Association” meeting was held on Sunday, 9th February, 1944, at No. 35 Lonsdale Street, later renamed ‘Shendam Street’ Jos. Subsequent meetings were held at ‘Oha Restaurant’, situated at 22 Lonsdale Street, Jos, and thereafter, at the house of J. M. C. Obiako.
The following pioneers were present at the first association meeting: E. W. C. George, J. O. Soyingbe, J. M. C. Obiako, H. Otutu Erewa, E. O. Ijeoma, Sam. A. Ennin and J. Abaka Mends. J. Abaka Mends was unanimously appointed the first Secretary of the association. At the second association meeting held on 20th February, 1944, a proposal to apply for a charter to establish a lodge known as “Trinity Lodge” under the Scottish Constitution was approved and a letter was dispatched to the Mr. Galloway, Superintendent of Lodges of Scottish Constitution in West Africa. This proposal did not materialize in view of the embargo then placed on the establishment of new lodges of Scottish Constitution in West Africa and Palestine. Members, therefore, opted to apply for an English Constitution Charter. Through the co-operation of J. J. Rowe and Sam C. Obianwu, contacts were established with Adeyemo Alakija in Lagos, who called for a petition from members of the association. The Chairman, E. W. B. George and H. Otutu Erewa were mandated to sign the petition for the establishment of a new lodge of English Constitution in Jos, which would embrace all races.
It is interesting to note that the first subscription levied on members was one shilling per month. During the several deliberations of the association, the following places of worship were considered:
(i.) Odd Fellow’s Temple, Jos; (ii.) St. Luke’s Church, Jos; (iii.) A new plot annexed to the ‘ROF’ Temple in Jos Township. These suggestions were turned down for various reasons although an effort to secure a new plot did not materialize.
When eventually it became clear that a Lodge of Scottish Constitution could not then be formed and progress in establishing a second English Constitution Lodge was in advanced stage, it was unanimously agreed on 29th June, 1947, to approach Plateau Nigeria Lodge No. 5229 EC for the use of their Temple when the new lodge would be consecrated. To prepare for this event, every member was levied a “foundation fee” of £10 (Ten Pounds).
On 14th January, 1948, a meeting was held between all members of the association and H. A. Cochran (representing Plateau Nigeria Lodge), in the latter’s office at Mines Office, Jos. Highlights of the meeting were the agreement reached for Plateau Nigeria Lodge to sponsor the new lodge and allow the use of their Temple. The then District Grand Master, Dr. G. M. Gray, also communicated Plateau Nigeria Lodge that he would be glad to help in founding the proposed lodge.
This development spurred on the members to activity and at the following meeting of the association on 8th February, 1948, a contribution of £25/7/0 (Twenty-Five Pounds Seven Shillings) was collected on the spot for the purchase of lodge furniture, Jewels and books. Another event which immediately engaged the minds of the association was the name of the proposed lodge. Previously, “Trinity Lodge” was mentioned. Other suggestions included “St. Luke’s Lodge” and Jos Lodge”. Eventually, “Triad Nigeria Lodge was unanimously adopted. “Triad” means “Trinity.”
Sadly, H. Otutu Erewa, who hitherto, had been the Chairman of the Association from 1st September, 1946, died on 6th October, 1948, about a year before the proposed Lodge was consecrated. This singular event gave W. C. Nicholls the golden opportunity of being installed the first Master of Triad Nigeria Lodge at the consecration on 5th November, 1949.
Members whose names featured prominently in the minutes of the association from 9th February, 1944 when it was formed to 14th September, 1949 when the last association meeting was held, deserve to be honoured in this historical write-up; they are, E. W. B. George, J. J. Rowe, J. Galba Bright, Sam. N. Amobi, A. Alakija, H.A. Cochran, A. Miyer, J.F. Dale, W. C. Nicholls, T.H. Goodyer, A. J. Fisher, W. B. MacNab, S. C. Obianwu, L. Palmers, I. B. Johnson, and A. A. Adeshigbin.
Others are, J. Abaka Mends, J. M. C. Obiako, Bunting Wright, J. O. Soyingbe, H. Otutu Erewa, Sam A. Ennin, Emma Okwudili Ijeoma, P. Gardiner, H. Power Erewa, Dunstan Nicol, Charles G. Smith, E. N. Iroha, N. U. Obasi, E. Erimona, F. Dennis Wood, E. Obiora Odunze, E. Nwora Emordi, O. O. Coker, R. Adekunle Wright, S. O. Doherty, H. E. O. John, D. Atanda Pratt, R. D. Agbakoba, S. G. Obomanu A., W. O’Dywer, M. A. Aboaba, L. L. Lelard, J. Omo Fadaka and B. O. Jumbo.
Lodge Venue and Meeting Days
Third Saturday of January to
November. Installation in
Masonic Hall 10, Bank Road, Jos.
Mail: P.O. Box 18, Jos, Plateau State.
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