Lodge Hiogo & Osaka No. 498 [5]

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At Kobe Club

In addition to the meeting above mentioned, Bro. Woodward presided at 7 regular meetings from No. 701 on 16/2/56 to No. 707 on 6/12/56 and also at an Emergency Meeting on 28/6/56. 4 brethren were initiated, 1 passed and 1 affiliated.

At 31st December, 1956 there were 11 Life Members (6 resident), 21 Life Absent Members, 7 resident and 21 Absent Members.

It was pointed out that while the disappointing trend in regard to membership continued, the Lodge’s finances had improved remarkably in 1956, the General Fund standing at ¥1,427,303.88, Benevolent Fund at ¥423,473.93 and K.B.M.C. Reserve Fund at ¥791,593. It was pointed out that in addition to a War Damage Compensation Claim of ¥325,766 collected on behalf of the Lodge and credited to General Fund, Compensation had been collected on behalf of various dormant masonic institutions, on whose behalf the Lodge was now holding ¥1,319,520 and Rising Sun Lodge a similar sum. It was also pointed out that K.B.A. had collected its claim and had repaid the bank loan incurred by the two Lodges. It was also noted that some Lodge Furniture and Equipment had already been purchased and that further additions were planned. On the other hand, the law suit over the K.B.A. leased land still remained unsettled.

Bro. C. H. Woodward: Re-installed at the 80th Installation Meeting on 29/12/56.

Installing Officers:— Wor Bro. A. N. Petersen, M., Bro. H. H. Kulpe, SM., Bro. W. Lackie, J.W. and Wor. Bro. A. G. Kentwell, I.G.

8 regular meetings were held, Nos. 708 to 715. From No. 713 onwards, we reverted to holding regular meetings on the 1st Thursday instead of the 3rd Thursday as had been the practice for some time. Bro. W. Lackie deputised in the chair at the 713 and 714th meetings. Emergency meetings were also held on 4/2/57, 7/3/57, 20/6/57, 24/7/57 and 19/9/57. 7 brethren were initiated, 9 passed, 8 raised and 3 affiliated.

At the 714th meeting it was unanimously decided to place the Lodge under the jurisdiction of the District of Hongkong and South China but to delay communication of this decision to Grand Lodge in the hope that Lodge Star in the East No. 640 S.C. would arrive at a similar decision.

At 31st December, 1957, the membership was 11 Life (5 in Kobe), 18 Life Absent, 12 resident and 21 Absent.

At the same date, General Fund stood at ¥1,526,566.90, Benevolent Fund at ¥476,678.14 and Kobe Base Masonic Club Reserve Fund at ¥791,593.

During the year, Kobe Building Association effected a compromise whereby the land owner received a modest compensation and K.B.A. got a freehold title to the land in exchange for the balance of the 1,000 year lease. The land was sold later on during the year. The K.B.A. had also gone into liquidation and the partners were in communication with the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland regarding distribution of the assets.

During 1957, the first of a series of advances was made jointly with Rising Sun Lodge on behalf of the Masonic Hall, Ltd. This company was a company registered in Hongkong whose shares were held by Masonic bodies of the English Constitution and whose assets consisted of The Masonic Temple at No. 3, Bluff, Yokohama and the ground on which it stands. During the war, the operations of the Registrar of Joint Stock companies were, of course, suspended and some of the records were destroyed. The Masonic Hall, Ltd. did not take the opportunity afforded by the 1947 Hongkong ordinance of re-establishing its identity and resuming filing of Annual Returns and other procedures necessary under the Company Ordinance. Also the District of Japan and the various Yokohama Masonic bodies of the English constitution who had supplied the shareholders and directors of The Masonic Hall, Ltd. had not re-activated themselves after World War II. With considerable difficulty and expense, eventually the company was reconstituted and restored to the Hongkong Company Register, the shares vested in the District Grand Lodge of Hongkong and South China E.C., the D.G.M. and 2 other officials of same being appointed directors and Bro. F. H. S. Clark, then Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 1401 E.C., legal representative of the company in Japan.

The Lodge had no direct interest in the matter but was naturally desirous (1) that property belonging to the English Constitution should not be forfeited to the Japanese government or to any other party and (2) that a Scottish Lodge, Star of the East, No. 640 should continue as a tenant. Unfortunately, the property is rather expensive to maintain and as a result, the advances made by ourselves and Rising Sun Lodge still remain outstanding. It is hoped that fairly soon at least one English Lodge will resume working in Yokohama and that this plus improved financial status on the part of the existing tenants will permit a refund to be made.

Bro. W. Lackie was appointed Honorary Grand Bible Bearer by the M.W. Grand Master Mason in November 1957.

Bro. V. L. Gal: Installed at the 81st Installation Meeting on 14/12/57.

Installing Officers:— Bro. C. H. Woodward, M., Bro. H. H. Kulpe, S.W., Wor. Bro. A. N. Petersen, J.W. and Bro. W. Lackie, I.G.

At the Installation Dinner, a silver salver with replicas of members’ signatures on it was presented to Bro. C. H. Woodward who was being transferred to U.K. after over a quarter of a century of service to the Lodge. Bro. Woodward was initiated on 5th February, 1931 and was Master in 1940 and again in 1949/50, 1956 and 1957.

8 regular meetings were held and also emergency meetings on 13/1/58 and 22/5/58. Bro. W. Lackie deputised at the second emergency meeting and Bro. K. M. Pate at the regular October meeting.

6 brethren were initiated, 7 passed, 6 raised and 11 affiliated, the membership at the close of the year being:-Life 13 (6 resident in Kobe), Life Absent 19, Resident 23 and Absent 24.

On 6th February, 1958, the Lodge was received into the District of Hongkong & South China, later renamed District of the Far East.

During 1958, the members of The Kobe Masonic Club decided to liquidate and divided its funds equally between ourselves and Rising Sun Lodge, our Lodge benefiting to the extent of ¥973,448.

The partners of G. K. Kobe Building Association, after consultation with the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland, decided to divide its funds equally to Rising Sun Lodge and ourselves with the condition that if Lodge Albion in the Far East should be revived each Lodge should pay it ¥300,000 and similarly with Rising Sun Chapter to the extent of ¥200,000.

As a result, we received the following:

Written down rights to use of Kobe Club
Less: Contingent Liability to Lodge Albion
in the F.E. & Rising Sun Chapter

The balance at credit of K.B.M.C. Reserve Fund, ¥791,593 was also transferred to credit of General Fund and as there was a surplus of ¥255,664.59 on the ordinary working for the year, the balance at credit of that Fund rose of ¥7,307,241.49. The balance at credit of Benevolent Fund rose by ¥28,367.33 to ¥505,045.47.

In co-operation with Rising Sun Lodge, a Masonic carpet and sundry other furniture and equipment were acquired.

New regalia was ordered and the nucleus of a Masonic library was formed.

Bro. C. H. Woodward presented sets of Working Tools for all degrees.

Largely at the insistence of our Lodge, the question of re-possessing the investments of the General Masonic Charity Fund of Japan, about which nothing has been done since the end of the War, was taken up earnestly, and our suggestion that the Fund be wound up as redundant since Star in the East had also joined the Scottish District and Rising Sun had joined the English Hongkong district was prosecuted with vigour. It is gratifying to report that in 1959 the Fund was wound up and part of the assets transferred to the Hongkong & South China Masonic Benevolent Fund Corporation.

On the 1st December 1958 the R.W. District Grand Master announced that he had conferred Honorary District Grand Lodge Rank as Senior District Grand Wardens on Bros. W. Lackie and J. Levy and Senior District Grand Deacon on Bro. C. H. Woodward.

The first official visit of District Grand Lodge was made on 5th March 1959 by Bro. G. Colton Hon. Grand Bible Bearer, W.S.D.G.M. assisted by Bro. T. W. Fripp District Grand Secretary and other District Grand Lodge Officers. On the previous evening Bro. Fripp took the Chair and conferred the Mark Degree upon 19 brethren. He was assisted by five Mark Masons of the Lodge and various District Grand Lodge Officers present. Thus the Lodge was enabled to resume work in the Mark Degree, and yearly Mark meetings are now held.

On 30th November 1961 the M.W. Grand Master Mason conferred the Honorary Grand Rank of Sword Bearer on Bro. H. Colton (R.W.M. in 1933) and that of Marshal on Bro. J. Levy (R.W.M. in 1934). On the same day the R.W.D.G.M. appointed Bro. W. Lackie, Substitute District Grand Master.

The Lodge now meets at the Kobe Club on the first Thursday of each month from October to May.