Square and Compass

History of St Patrick's

Formation

On 5th April 1759 Warrant No 315 was issued to Bros. James Bell, John McGomery and Samuel Ferguson to erect a Lodge of Free Masons in the town of Tandragee. The Lodge was known as “The Orange Lodge of Tandragee.” The original Orange Banner of the Lodge is still in existence and can be seen above the door at the entrance to the Lodge Room in Newry. The meeting place of the Lodge is also unknown, but it was certainly not the present Masonic Hall in Tandragee, which was built in 1874, sometime after the Lodge departed from the town.
To maintain its seniority following the arrival of Lodge 105 from Loughbrickland, a new warrant was sought. After a unsuccessful attempt to purchase Warrant No 12 we find a new warrant No 79, was issued to the Lodge on 28th June 1831.

Warrant moves to Donaghmore  
On 1st December 1864, by permission of the Grand Lodge, the Warrant was moved to Donaghmore, Co. Down. The Lodge met in a building known locally as “The Four Mile House”. Following the move to Donaghmore there appears to be a marked improvement in the records kept by the Lodge. From the minute books, a number of interesting facts have emerged.
 
Warrant moves to Newry
It would appear that over the next few years the fortunes of the Lodge declined, culminating in the loss of it’s meeting place at Donaghmore. With the aid of the Newry brethren, particularly the late V. Wor. F.C. Crossle, then Provincial Grand Secretary of Down, the Lodge moved to Newry on 14th October 1893 where it remains to this day.
From its arrival in 1893 until 1908 the Lodge were regarded as tenants of the hall and were treated as such, with the House Committee assessing then with a yearly rent. In March 1908 the Lodge received a communication from the House Committee stating that Lodge 79 had been admitted as joint owners of the Masonic Hall, enjoying the same privileges and incurring the same responsibility as the other Lodges resident in the Hall at the time.

 

 

History

One Mason of interest is Arthur Charles Innis. W. Bro. Innis was initiated into the Lodge in 1869 and was Worshipful Master in 1878.
W. Bro. Innis was the Member of Parliament for Newry from 1865 to 1868. The Innis family resided at Dromintine, an imposing house set within a magnificent demesne.

 

Another Samuel McGredy, the gardener at Dromintine, was also a member of the Lodge. After leaving the employment of W. Bro. Innis, Bro. McGredy moved to Portadown where he founded the Royal Nursery. The McGredy family has continued in horticulture to the extent that they are now recognised as the world authority in the cultivation of roses.

Change of Title

From the minutes of a meeting held on 10th May 1865 it appears that the Lodge changed its name to Saint Patrick’s Lodge, Donaghmore, Newry.