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Lodge History – World War 2

With the advent of WW2 in September 1939 the Government issued a directive to prevent large numbers of casualties from bombing attacks, gatherings of people such as sporting events were banned.  The United Grand Lodge of England responded to this by ordering that Masonic meetings be suspended until further notice.  For this reason there were no meetings of Nisi Dominus between May 1940 and May 1941.

Government departments were moved out of London to avoid the bombing and the Ministry of Pensions and the General Registry Office were both moved to Blackpool where there was plenty of empty hotel accommodation.  Most of the membership of Burton Court and some from Nisis Dominus became evacuees. Nisi Dominus members voted to offer temporary membership of the lodge to members of Burton Court.

The local Masonic Lodges in Lancashire warmly welcomed the evacuees and the fraternal kindness shown made Members of both lodges keen to return it, finally permission was granted for Burton Court to meet in the Province of Lancashire.  Regular meetings were held there until the departments moved back to London.  Prior to this new provincial Lodge was formed  with the support of Burton Court which is working still under the name “New Sanctuary Lodge 6604″in the Province of West Lancashire.

Nisi Dominus continued to work throughout the War years.  The meetings held on Saturday and attended by members of both lodges travelling down from Blackpool to attend a meeting of Burton Court Chapter in the morning followed by lunch together and a meeting of Nisi Dominus in the afternoon.  Evenings were best avoided because of the air raids.  On one such but very sad occasion just after the death of W.Bro Rind, who died peacefully in his sleep on 2nd June 1942 the Brethren travelled down to Brookwood for his funeral in the morning and on their return had a subdued lunch and a sad meeting of Nisi Dominus.

Regular meetings were resumed in May 1943, but the brethren did not dine due to the danger from flying bombs.  A meeting in July 1944 was cancelled due to the same reason.  When peace returned, the Lodge resumed full working but changed their dining arrangements to dine at the Connaught Rooms after every meeting.