A History of Snowdonia Lodge No. 259

Snowdonia Lodge was consecrated at Porthmadoc, on Saturday, 25th September 1880. At that time North Wales formed part of the “Mark Province of Cheshire & North Wales”, whose Provincial Grand Master in September 1880 was Bro. The Hon. Wilbraham Egerton M.P., who by dispensation allowed a Provincial Grand Mark Lodge to be held at Porthmadoc, for the consecration of Snowdonia Lodge No. 259.

Being unable to be present at Porthmadoc on the day he deputed Bro. Charles Hunter to undertake the ceremony of consecration, which began with Bro. G.L. Woodley in the Master’s chair and Bro. Robert Owen as Senior Warden and Bro. W.L. Banks as Junior Warden.

Before the actual consecration began 19 candidates were balloted for and elected and of these 7 were advancees to the degree of Mark Master Mason, again by dispensation dated 1st September 1880. Among the advancees were 5 from Madoc Lodge No. 1509 and 2 from Towyn Lodge No. 1583 both being Craft Lodges, the latter known as Corbet Lodge.

The names of the founders are given  as:- Capt. Hunter, Consecrating Officer; W.B.Hughes MP; C.Davies; R. Roberts; W.E. Kirkby; J.G. Tuxford; D. Roden; G.W. Woodley; Capt. J.P. Spooner; and J. Owen. The warrant authorising the formation of the Lodge was read by Bro. J.S. Hughes the acting Provincial Grand Secretary, whilst the Rev. Bro. Mayor gave an ‘effective oration’. Corn, wine, oil & salt were duly strewn as the ritual demanded. The choir was conducted by Bro. George Felton. After the Provincial Grand Mark Lodge was closed in due form a Board of Installed Masters was declared during which Bro. Cornelius Davies Past Master of Madoc Lodge No. 1509 was installed in the chair as the first WM of Snowdonia Lodge No. 259 by Bro Woodley the Installing Master.

Bro Cornelius Davies was a native of Holywell and joined the Liverpool Police Force in 1850 and later became a heroic member of Liverpool Fire Brigade. His career in the Police force took off when he became Sergeant and then in 1855 Head Constable in Rhyl, later becoming Pay Sergeant in Betws-y Coed. In the year he spent there he was responsible for bringing several notorious criminals to justice. In 1858 he was promoted to Inspector in Portmadoc where he stayed until 1883 when then promoted to Deputy Chief Constable at Caernarfon.

After 47 years on the force he retired in 1897 and died aged 71 in 1899. the funeral service was followed by a Masonic service, with him holding by then high offices in the Craft, Chapter and Mark.

The WM appointed and invested his officers including the ranks of SS & JS believed to represent the offices of Senior and Junior Steward. Seven honorary members were also elected and the Lodge received congratulations from Grand Mark Lodge of England & G.R.A. Chapter of Scotland. Good wishes were also expressed to the new lodge from St Davids Lodge No.38 being themselves only 9 years old.

The lodge’s stay in the Province of Cheshire & North Wales was not for long, as it was decided to divide the province into two and Bro. William Bulkely Hughes was nominated as the first PGM of the Province of North Wales and was installed as such on Nov. 16th 1880 just seven weeks after Snowdonia’s consecration.


(Thanks to W. Bro. Ian Perkin Hunter No. 324 & Snowdonia Lodge No. 259 Centenary Booklet).