Masonic Province of Hertfordshire
Tercentenary - History Project
Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Gadebourne Lodge No: 6960
King Henry VIII Lodge No. 1757 sponsored the Lodge to provide membership facilities for persons coming to the new town of Hemel Hempstead, especially those employed in Local Government, and the New Towns Commission. The Gadebourne Banner was originated in a GP meeting by Ernie Foster, a founder member of the Lodge. His wife Amy was an expert needle worker and was member of the English Needle worker’s League. At this time, she had already completed banners for Henry VIII and Gloriana Lodges. Later Eric died and Amy sadly went blind, the lodge mindful of the expertise and the fact that the creator was unable to complete any more banners, treasures its banner. It has until recently been behind the President on Ladies Nights and carried in procession at Installation meetings. The death of the Brother, who carried the banner during Installation has brought a hiatus to this practice but there are plans to revive the practice at the 2017 installation. The banner forms the centre piece of the Past Master’s Jewel.
The Banner depicts the parish church of St Mary’s in Hemel Hempstead. The noble edifice of St. Mary has remained changeless for over eight hundred years as it still stands as it did in the closing years of the 12th century. Gadebourne Lodge has had a long association with St Mary’s. During John Doyle’s time in the Masters Chair his charity of choice was the renewal of the lead of the Spire of St Mary’s and all the lodge’s charity collections were used for this renovation.
Amy Foster wove a lock of hair of each of the founders of the lodge into the windows of the church. There are some members who believe that the hair is woven into the Sheep on the banner so without deconstructing the banner we will never know. At least we know that in one of two places on the banner are locks of hair from all the founders of the lodge. Another interesting divergence relates to the name of the lodge. Some sources maintain that the name derives from the River Gade which is a small stream that flows through the town via Gadebridge Park next to St Mary’s. An earlier interpretation of 'bourne' is 'bound' or 'limit', therefore it is true to say that St. Mary Church stands within the bounds or limits of the River Gade. Other lodge sources Claim that the lodge name derives from the fictional junction of the Gade and the Bulbourne rivers.
The lodge was consecrated on 31st March 1950.