Warrant issued 29th May 1922
Consecrated 27th September 1922
Hall Stone Lodge
The founders came mainly from Royal Sussex Lodge No.491, which was suffering from serious congestion. The Lodge was named after the martyred saint (who also gave his name to the town of St.Helier) and the emblem of the Lodge is that of the Hermitage Rock, by Elizabeth Castle where St.Helier is believed to have resided.
Lodge St.Helier was consecrated on Wednesday September 27th 1922 as part of a week long Masonic festival. The ceremony commenced at 5.30pm, closing at 7.45pm. The minutes show twenty-one members of the Lodge at the consecration ceremony, but the total numbers present exceeded one hundred. W.Bro.W.M.Le Brun was then installed as Master by the Grand Secretary VW.Bro.P.Colville Smith.
The Lodge started on a very active basis, and in October 1925, just three years after its inception, whilst under the Mastership of W.Bro.Philip Le Quesne, qualified for the Hall Stone Jewel. A fund known as the Masonic Million Fund was set up to build a new Freemasons Hall in London as a memorial to the brethren who gave the supreme sacrifice during the 1914-1918 war. Lodges subscribing an average of ten guineas per member were issued with a permanent jewel for the Master to wear, known as the Hall Stone Jewel. Lodge St.Helier was the only Lodge in Jersey to become a Hall Stone Lodge.
The Junior Deacon of the Lodge, W.Bro.Capt. H.W.W.Millthorpe, was a joining member and a retired army officer from the King's African Rifles. He was designated to raise the money for the Masonic Million Fund and this he did with great enthusiasm for within ten months it was minuted that he was within eight to nine guineas of his target, raising a final sum of £325.10s.0d. It will be realised that such an amount was no small sum in those days. W.Bro.Millthorpe attended Grand Lodge on the 1st December 1926 to receive the jewel from the Pro Grand Master. On December 13th 1926, the Provincial Grand Master, RW.Bro.C.E.Malet de Carteret visited the Lodge at which there were 52 visitors, and took the chair. He was asked by W.Bro.Millthorpe (now Junior Warden of the Lodge) to accept the Hall Stone Jewel. The Provincial Grand Master addressed the brethren in the following words.
The Most Worshipful the Grand Master has charged me to invest you on his behalf with the Masonic Memorial Hall Stone Jewel. He also wishes me to state that he is not only grateful for the support your Lodge has given him, but he is highly appreciative of the foresight and thought your Lodge has taken in collecting the amount necessary to qualify your Lodge to become a Hall Stone Lodge. He wishes me to say, and it is also my own opinion, that it has developed into something more than a memorial for the fallen, it represents the spirit of English Freemasonry. The laying of the Foundation Stone, and the completion of the building will close one epoch in Freemasonry and open another, by placing in the hearts and minds of the brethren the ideals and principles of the Craft.
He then invested the Master with the jewel. The meeting closed with W.Bro.Millthorpe presenting to the Lodge the die of the Hall Stone Lodge, which has been used on most of the summons since that date. It is particularly unfortunate to note that after such excellent sterling work in collecting such a sum to enable the Lodge to become a Hall Stone Lodge, W.Bro.Millthorpe resigned from Lodge St.Helier in 1928 just four months before he would have become Master of the Lodge, and went to live in France, taking no further part in Lodge affairs.
Until 1934, the candidates for all degrees wore their normal clothes. On the 10th December, W.Bro.George Van Trump proposed that the Lodge should purchase the garments suitable for the three degrees. This was referred to a committee of the Lodge, and approved. These garments were used until 1940, but the practice died out after the war and it was not until the 50th Anniversary was being considered in 1972 that a proposal to resume this practice was approved. Lodge St.Helier is the only Lodge in the Province of Jersey where the candidates do not wear their ordinary clothes for the ceremonies.
It was not until 1937 that Lodge St.Helier voted to obtain its own banner. At the meeting in October, the Treasurer, W.Bro.G.S.Knocker proposed the acquisition, and that the Temple Management Company be requested to arrange a position for it in the Temple. It was unveiled by the Provincial Grand Master, RW.Bro.C.E.Malet de Carteret, at the regular meeting of the Lodge on the 14th March 1938. The cost of the banner from Messrs Kenning and Son was £17.16s.0d.(£17.80p). [When it was subsequently replaced in 1966, by Toye Kenning & Spencer, the cost had increased to £197.00].
Work continued normally until the 164th meeting of the Lodge held on the 15th May 1940. There is then a gap in the minutes until the 10th September 1945. War had intervened, and the Occupation of Jersey had begun. In September 1945, many brethren were still in England, and the 165th meeting was attended by only fourteen members and four visitors. It is a great pity that the Secretary at the time did not consider it important enough to record for posterity what had happened in the intervening period. Apart from the gap of five years, there is nothing else in the minutes to indicate that anything out of the ordinary had occurred. The Master from before the war W.Bro.L.Le Sueur remained in office, and continued until the next normal installation in 1946. He was succeeded by W.Bro.W.M.Le Brun (who had been the founding Master of the Lodge). The enthusiasm to rebuild the strength of the Lodge after the war was strong, and just two years later, the installation meeting was attended by 32 members and 41 visitors. Indeed the numbers in the Lodge were expanding at such a rate that it was usual at each meeting to have two separate degree ceremonies, and even at the installation meeting, a ceremony would also be worked. This practice continued through until 1952.
The Past Masters' board was constructed by W.Bro.R.H.Ford (a Past Master of the Lodge), and unveiled on the 10th September 1951 by the Provincial Grand Master, RW.Bro.Dr.E.P.Marett.
Before the war, the brethren met in morning dress. After the war, meetings were held in dark suits, obviously making allowances for rationing, and this continued until 1950 when the summons indicate "dark suits or dinner jackets." White gloves are not mentioned on the summons until 11th December 1961 and "black ties" appeared in December 1965.
The fiftieth anniversary was celebrated on 27th September 1972 and was graced by a Provincial Grand Lodge visit. At this meeting was W.Bro.W.H.Clements, who had been present at the consecration. W.Bro.C.Dale proposed that for that meeting, the candidate should be dressed in clothing similar to that used prior to the war, and that the officers of the Lodge should be dressed in the type of morning suit or tail coat such as might have been worn in 1922. Solent Engineers Lodge No.8338 presented the candidate's clothing to the Lodge. The Lodge also decided to celebrate the occasion by presenting to the Province a candelabrum to match the two single candlesticks already in use.
In 1975 an attempt was made to change the Lodge's practice to follow that of most other Jersey Lodges of a "short" closing in the second and third degrees. This was firmly rejected, and the Lodge is unique in Jersey in working the full second and third degree closing ceremony on all occasions.
At the October meeting in 1993, W.Bro.D.P.Becquet presented to the Lodge a poignard which had been found in his late brother's house, bearing an inscription stating that it had originally been donated to the Lodge by W.Bro.H.W.W.Millthorpe in 1926. Researches to date have not identified how it got there. It has been carefully refurbished and now takes its place as part of the Lodge furnishings once again.