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History of The Sphere Lodge, No 5051


Our Lodge, sponsored by the Arts and Crafts Lodge, No 4134, was consecrated on Wednesday the 31st of October 1928 at the Masonic Temple, Broad Street, Birmingham. The ceremony was conducted by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Colonel W F Wyley, VD, DL, PGD. He was assisted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Brigadier-General M Quayle-Jones, CB, CMG, CBE, PGD. Eight other Provincial Grand Officers assisted.

Following the consecration, W Bro John Wild, PProvSGW, was installed as the first Worshipful Master of the Sphere Lodge, No 5051.


Our Emblem, which appears on our Summons and on our Banner, depicts a Lady framed between two Great Pillars which are supporting a Sphere. Lodge history has it that our Founders originally wished to denote the Lodge 'the Aston Villa Lodge' but this was not, at the time, permitted hence the 'Sphere' Lodge. This footballing association is supported by the fact that a large number of Lodge Members, over the years, have been professional soccer players, referees and FA administrative officers.

One of the founders, W Bro E A Eden was for many years Secretary of the Birmingham County FA and in later years was prominent as a BBC Sports Interviewer, served on the Committee of the FA and assisted in various draws for rounds of the FA cup.
Bro S Lines, who was installed as Worshipful Master of the Lodge on 27th November 1943 was for many years an eminent Football referee taking charge of 1st Division and International matches.
Bro Joseph (Joe) Bradford, initiated into the Sphere Lodge on Wednesday 2nd December 1936, had played for Birmingham City FC for 15 seasons scoring 249 League goals plus many in the FA Cup and International Matches. He was capped 12 times by the FA and Football League. Never guilty of misconduct on the field he was known as 'Gentleman Joe' by all connected with the game.
W Bro E H Spiers, a member, was on the Council of the Birmingham County FA.
Bro Fellows, a member, was Secretary of Walsall Football Club, joined by Bro S Longmore, Chairman of the club in 1937.
Wor Bros S Hillcox and J M McDonnell served on the Birmingham County FA for many years.
W Bro W R Ward was Secretary of the All England FA and also served on the committee of the Referees Association.
Bro W H Grady was Secretary of Birmingham FC for 12 years.
W Bro F J Wickham was Secretary of the Birmingham AFA for many years.
Bros J E Townsend and J Tregellas were A1 referees taking charge of 1st Division and League matches.
W Bro R C Williams was Secretary and Treasurer of Walsall Schools FA from 1934 to 1950 and was also Secretary of the Birmingham and District Schools County FA from 1949 to 1960.

Sadly, with the current active members of the Lodge, there is no direct football connection, although members retain their pride in the founding principles and history of the Lodge. We would welcome contact with anyone with sympathies in that direction.


The Lodge Founders
W Bro J Wild W Bro PH Bullas W Bro GW Mobbs
Bro GC Freeman Bro FH Ward Bro FJ Wickham
Bro J McDonnell Bro T Robinson Bro E A Eden
Bro JJ Webb Bro EH Spiers Bro AJ Lloyd
  Bro WH Painter  

Delving into the old Lodge Minutes and Past Masters & Officers Meetings Minutes reveal a number of interesting items.

The Lodge Banner cost £14.14s.0d (14 Guineas) which would equate to some £750 in 2013!

The Annual Subscription in 1928 was £4.14s.6d (4½ Guineas), approximately £240 at today's rates!

The first Initiate of the Lodge was Mr Kenneth Charles Freeman, son of W Bro G C Freeman, one of our Founders. This set a pattern for the Lodge as during its 85 years many sons have joined their fathers in the Sphere Lodge, indeed, there are presently two sets of father and son, the youngest member of our Lodge having been Initiated by his father in February 2012!

The Lodge Meeting held on 7th April 1971 was the first to be held at the 'New Temple', Stirling Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The foundation stone for this building had been laid by the Provincial Grand Master in 1969.

On the 5th April 1972, the Sphere Lodge mourned the passing of the last remaining Founder of the Lodge, W Bro F J Wickham.

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