Banners of Craft Lodges in Hertfordshire (Continued)
Hitchin Lodge No: 6561
The Hitchin Lodge, practising Emulation Working and a daughter of the Cecil Lodge No. 449, (consecrated in 1838), first met at the Sun Inn, Hitchin but transferred to the Cloisters, Letchworth in 1957. It was consecrated on 9th February, 1948. A strong Lodge with pride in its reputation of workings and hospitality. The lodge banner and jewel depict the south porch entrance of the eighth century parish church of St. Mary's Hitchin, which has been a place of worship since the eighth century and has remained relatively unchanged for the last five hundred years.
Thought to be dedicated to merchants and crafts, trade crests and tools are chiselled in relief on the stone work of the porchway. Also prominent on the entrance columns are the Gavel, Square and Compasses. In addition, and of Masonic significance, within the church reposes a Purbeck marble effigy of Bernard de‘Balliol, the founder of the Preceptory of Knights Templar at Temple Dinsley, also of the Knights Hospitallers. The first banner was presented by W.Bro.EE Russell, the founding master and dedicated in 1954. It was refurbished in 1988. The current banner was presented by the Don Mears Fund to commemorate the 50th year and dedicated 21st April 1998.