As with all research, occasionally you come across an individual who has already performed that work and in respect of our Founder Member W Bro. James Berry this is the case.
W Bro. David Catchpole of Rochford Hundred Lodge 8922 has written a feature about James, following a discovery of a photograph. We learn that we were the first of many Lodges he was a founder of including a Chapter. Outside of Freemasonry it appeared he was Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Southend-on-Sea during the early 1900’s.
To read David's full feature click on the link below which will take you to the Rochford Hundred website.
This newspaper cutting was discovered in the SOUTHEND STANDARD October 23rd 1902.
It was a regular occurrence for lodges to have some meetings advertised in this way - something which is not continued today.
The article describes the meeting held during circa 18th October 1902 in which James Berry was installed as Master by E M Kemp both founding members. It not only describes all the new officers but also the speeches at the festive board!
It’s also interesting to note that the Mayor of Southend, J Ingram was also in attendance although we are unsure whether he was a member - on further investigation however, it was recorded that James Berry became the Mayor a year later in 1903.
Following the dinner a musical programme was given by what appears to be several members of the lodge - we doubt this would have been an early prelude to our Fish Night entertainment?
Further information of James can be seen on page 164 of the Masonic Illustrated (a periodical of the time) dated the 1st May 1903. The heading reads Assistant Grand Pursuivant