This Saturday, Penarth Masonic Hall celebrates its’ 90th Anniversary and Freemasons will hold a special Dinner to commemorate their forefathers foresight, exactly 90 years to the day.
14th October 1927 was the date that the Foundation Stone was laid for the building of Penarth Masonic Hall by RW Bro Col Sir Charles L.D Venables Llewelyn, Bart., in a public ceremony attended by hundreds of people.
The Foundation Stone can be seen inside the Penarth Masonic Temple in the North East corner.
As well as Sir Charles association with the Hall through the Foundation Stone and the remarkable picture of that event, he also donated a chair which bears his name.
Sir Charles Venables Llewelyn was the Provincial Grand Master of South Wales Eastern Division from 1913 to 1938. Penarth Masonic Hall was one of two that he laid that Foundation Stone for during his tenure, the other being Maesteg in 1924. He was also responsible for Consecrating 30 Lodges throughout South Wales, although was unable to be present at many due to his War Service. He was able to preside however at Rhondda Lodge in Pontypridd, and Vale of Glamorgan Lodge in Barry, both in 1919.
Windsor Lodge was founded in 1878 and sought new premises, as its’ then home in Station Approach, Penarth, now Penarth British Legion, struggled to seat 250 members. Penarth Masonic Hall was built on playing fields at Stanwell Road, once used by Penarth Athletic Club. This was to accommodate the growth in Freemasonry due to the expansion of Cardiff & Penarth Docks.
The first sod was cut in 1927 by 87 year old Frederick George (Daddy) Hodges. The Grand Temple, which was open to the Public recently as part of Cadw’s Open Heritage Events, has a magnificent domed ceiling decorated with stars and planets representing the Northern Heavens in September. It was designed Dan Jones, FRAS, and built by Tucker Bros, Broadway, Roath, Cardiff at a final cost of £10,500. The Hall was opened to coincide with the 50th Anniversary Jubilee of Windsor Lodge.
On Saturday 14th October 2017, Brethren will dine and celebrate this remarkable moment in the history of Freemasonry in Penarth. All will drink a proud Toast to the wisdom of their forefathers, using special commemorative shot glasses manufactured as a keepsake. All proceeds for the evening will go to making the building fit for another 90 years, and of course to prepare for its’ Centenary.